My design group went to the “biggest secret in Georgia” for our June social event a few days ago…..
Do you know that we have our own Biltmore type estate in LaGrange? Well we do! This house and gardens established in 1916, is just fabulous and full of innovations and considerations that will take your breath away, and especially for that time period! The home has 31 rooms, and the design is outstanding in each area of the architectural detail and interiors.
But the property dates back further than that with the first gardens and home, in the 1800’s. The women in this family enjoyed the gardens on a daily basis – they were movers and shakers, especially for their time and certainly enjoyed the beauty of a garden. This one is on a grand scale that was started by Sarah Ferrell and continued by the Callaway family – a Living Legacy.
The name of the estate is Hills and Dales and is located very close to the LaGrange College campus. You can read more of its history here, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hills_and_Dales_Estate and on their website, http://www.hillsanddales.org/ After you read my post, dive into these links for much more history…..it’s fascinating to hear the stories and how they evolved with Hills and Dales.
It’s touted as one of “the finest historic homes in America”.
No pictures are allowed inside (but you get a sneak peek on the website). However, I took many photos of the exteriors that include the beautiful formal gardens that surround the home. We were treated to the guided tour by the chief resident horticulturist….. David (there are 8 total on the staff) and he had many stories to share with us about the grounds as it is today, not to mention the upkeep to preserve the century old property. He was full of the history of many places on the property (and dates that they became part of the gardens) and in the green houses as well. Two universities have studied many of the plant varieties and designs throughout many years with their horticulture and architectural design departments. Not only were we treated to the beautiful grounds, but David designed the beautiful floral arrangements (cut flower material from the garden) that graced each room with their beauty and their aroma!
There’s so much to share in my pictures and excitement but it’s truly not enough until you see it in person. There are pergolas that are organic, magnolias as innovative climbers on a wall, water fountains strategically placed in design, boxwoods spelling out words of significance to the family, and even a planting of a lover’s lane.
When we finished the tour, I said that we found a Diamond in the Rough – who knew? This spectacular home is nestled is the quiet and beautiful little town of LaGrange, Georgia, with such a beautiful and historical examples of architecture, design, innovation….not to mention the generations who have been a part of this family and estate with like minded spirit, and labors of love!
It’s my plan to go back at Christmas time when it’s decorated for the Holidays or perhaps next Spring when it’s in full bloom! Make your plans to attend any time of the year and consult their website for info on tickets, dates, etc.! It is so worth a trip for this extra special treat – right in our backyard!