Smith Gilbert Gardens
The first seeds were sown in 1970, but the story of Smith-Gilbert Gardens actually starts almost 150 years ago. Though the 16 acres of emerald landscape features wooded paths, evocative sculptures, and more than 3,000 species of plants, the jewel in the garden's crown is the Hiram Butler House, an Italianate and Greek Revival blend built by a celebrated 19th century railway man. Today, the house is just one of many points of interest on the estate. An explosion of color greets visitors to the Perennial Garden, where daffodils, bearded lilies, and vivid asters mingle together and sometimes sing a capella. The conifer garden features small and slow-growing bushes and trees that thrive in the Southeastern United States, while the Japanese Maple Grove features more than 30 varieties of this ornamental tree. Other must-see spots include the Cedar Field and Rose Garden, where a single sylvan sentry stands guard over a grassy expanse, and the Bonsai Garden, one of the only gardens of its kind in Georgia.