4 places to see blooms around metro Atlanta

A brief history of the Atlanta Botanical Garden

Metro Atlanta is abundant with public gardens in which to take in all the flowers of the season. From more well-known floral favorites like Atlanta Botanical Gardens to hidden gems off the beaten path, consider adding each of these spots to your garden tours.

Atlanta Botanical Gardens

Some would argue the popular Atlanta Botanical Gardens to be one of the most verdant gems in the state’s floral crown -- and for good reason. This popular garden destination opened in 1976, and for decades has billed itself as an “urban oasis in the heart of Midtown.” The garden features 30 acres of trails, blooms and gardens to wander, including the Children’s Garden, Skyline Garden and the Fuqua Orchid Center.

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Atlanta Botanical Gardens also hosts classes, educational events and story time for children. And March 14 - April 30 is the perfect time to catch the garden’s bulbs in full bloom, from tulips and daffodils to crocuses and hyacinths.

Location: Midtown - 1345 Piedmont Ave; Website: atlantabg.org; Contact: 404-876-5859

Gibbs Gardens

Head up to North Georgia to take in the breathtaking floral display and rolling green hills at Gibbs Gardens in Ball Ground. Gibbs Gardens sits on over 300 acres, earning it a place among the country’s largest residential estate gardens.

The gardens boasts a beautiful valley stream replete with springs and tributaries, and a topography dotted with native azaleas, dogwoods, mountain laurels, Japanese maples and more, as well as 24 ponds, 32 bridge crossings and 19 waterfalls.

In the Spring, the garden offers up the colors of its countless pansies, cherry blossoms, tulips and what appear to be rivers of endless butter-colored daffodils for visitors to enjoy.

Location: 1987 Gibbs Dr, Ball Ground, GA 30107; Website: gibbsgardens.com; Contact: 770-893-1880

The Azalea Bowl at Callaway Gardens

Head down to Pine Mountain to take in one of the most colorful floral displays in the season -- azalea season at Callaway Gardens.

The Callaway Brothers Azalea Bowl, as well as the property’s neighboring trails and gardens, are purported to contain the world’s largest collections of both native and cultivated azaleas, with more than 20,000 blooms in a variety of candy colors, from pink and magenta to delicate shades of lavender purple.

The 40-acre garden also contains 2,000 trees and shrubs bedecked in a kaleidoscopic array of foliage and blooms, offering up their color all throughout the year.

Location: 17617 US-27Pine Mountain, GA 31822; Website: callawaygardens.com; Contact: 844-512-3826

Goddess Garden Atlanta

If you like your garden experience to be a bit more spiritual, consider the Goddess Garden, a kind of hidden botanical gem created by Shasta Zaring in 1990.

The Goddess Garden is a beautiful, botanical oasis that offers not only blooms, but a chance to connect deeply with nature and Mother Earth. Zaring calls her garden an “urban wilderness habitat and healing sanctuary,” its trails and paths adorned with altars to the Divine Feminine. The garden is kept and tended without the use of chemical pesticides and herbicides, and is also a certified Audubon Society Wilderness Habitat.

The garden’s private preserve is open to the public during daylight hours. Cash donations, which go toward the maintenance of the garden and the feeding of wildlife, are appreciated.

Location: East Atlanta - 801 Angier Springs Rd. NE; Website: goddessgardenatlanta.com; Contact: 404-892-6153

Metro Atlanta is also full of smaller, local gardens supported by neighborhoods and community members. Beloved green spaces such as the North Marietta Neighborhood Community Garden, Urban Farm in College Park and Gillam’s Community Garden often invite volunteers, and are a great way to commune with nature and get acquainted the communities these gardens support.

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