Friday, August 26, 2011

A Secret Garden in Cobb County, Georgia – part 2

In part 1 of my post on the Smith-Gilbert Gardens we toured last week I stopped at the rose garden. I took many pictures of these roses as they were still quite lovely under the warm August sun. I had a rose garden once, before I started to go back to work full time, about 120 hybrid teas, a dozen Old Garden roses, half dozen each of floribundas and grandifloras. One of my favorite roses Double Delight was at the Smith-Gardens, shown below. (I am posting many pictures – they will look much better if enlarged – click on pictures twice to see them better.)

The hybrid teas are so elegant with their long stems, but the roses with just 5 or 6 petals are very delicate and their stamens stand out in contrast to their soft petals. As for the Old Garden roses with their multitude of petals their nostalgic charm is precious, too. I love them all.

We went back to the Smith-Gardens this week to see more sculptures we had missed last week. Near the rose garden is a circle of five prayer flags inscribed with messages of happiness, long life, prosperity, luck and goodwill to those who are close and far.

Smith and Gilbert traveled to the kingdom of Bhutan in the Himalayas and decided to include these flags in their gardens. The flag colors represent the elements of earth, water, fire, cloud and sky.

For thousands of years prayer flags have been hoisted in Bhutan, Tibet and other cultures in the Himalayas. Buddhists have planted these flags outside their homes for the wind to carry the beneficent vibrations across the countryside toward all beings. These prayer flags are used to promote peace, compassion, strength and wisdom. They do not carry prayers to “gods” but mantras that, when blown by the breeze gives the wind the opportunity to activate the blessings and spread the compassion around the world.

Further down were vibrant bushes of coleus, a tall type of daisy, flowering shrubs and dainty wild flowers on the ground.

We continued walking on our nature path awaiting another discovery around a corner. We were walking leisurely – the speed limit being the same as the value of π (pi.)

Not to worry - we were not rushing as there were too many interesting plants and pieces of art to admire, such as “Transformations” (1994) the group of pieces by American artist Linda Cunningham.

She slightly carves rocks, keeping the natural qualities of the stones then adds steel beams or bronze forms to create pieces that remind one of the rocks in Asian gardens displayed for contemplation and meditation. Art does not dominate nature, in the Asian philosophy, nature influences art.

Walking along a shady path we stopped to admire Marsha Pels piece which is called “Woman and Dog” (1986) in the garden brochure. In fact it is the patined cast bronze memorial of the artist and her first dog “Seamus.” It really conveys the love between the woman and the dog. I could not decide how to photograph it and took pictures while turning around it.

The tea house was coming into view. No one was there. I wished I had a book with me so that I could stop in this peaceful place for a while.

We walked toward the pond and stopped to take a picture, then realized that we were in each others' picture.

I could hear some rushing water so I kept walking. I passed another small pond with a tempting bench

but the sound of water was very close and I had to take a look.

I followed the little stream

to this small, but spectacular, waterfall.

The water looked so cool - I would have liked to get close and touch it, at the top

or at the bottom of the fall, in the pool.

After a last look at the waterfall – and at least 30 pictures of it, I walked back up the path, passing more flowers,

and another sculpture - a piece by Tom Suomalainen, a Minnesota born artist of Finnish ancestry.

Even without the sculptures, a walk in this garden would be a great pleasure because of all the large old trees on the property.

Some trees carry little houses for birds.

I always gaze up at large trees to look for nests, or birds – or planes – or to just look at the sky and clouds through the branches.

People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don't even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child -- our own two eyes. All is a miracle.

~ Thich Nhat Hanh. Vietnamese Buddhist monk, poet, born in 1926 and living in France

More to come later...


Pierre BOYER said...

Thanks to share pictures of this gorgeous walk...
Enjoy your day !
Greetings from France,


My name is Riet said...

What a beautiful garden. LOve the waterfall the statues and the flowers and greens and yes everything is a miracle.

Diane said...

Where do I start, this is a fantastic post. I could sit quietly all day and listen to water, it has such a relaxing effect on me. I have never heard of prayer flags, interesting. That first rose is absolutely stunning. Have a good weekend.
A bientôt Diane

Lonicera said...

It's a shame with blogger that you can only appreciate the true sharpness of pictures if you click on them to enlarge - as if the technology didn't exist to make them look pin sharp within the post. That first rose is indeed fabulous (my favourite rose is - of course! - one remembered from childhood, with pink edges and butter yellow in the middle. I have one in my garden.). Much enjoyed the previous post as well.

DJan said...

I always enjoy visiting with you and going on your adventures. This gentle place is well captured by your pictures. I like the one of the two of you in each other's pictures, and of course the lovely rose. The sculpture of the woman with her dog... so poignant and lovely!

Jinksy said...

A lovely place...

Pondside said...

Such a beautiful place. First, the roses - the colours, the variety....we haven't had too many roses this year so I enjoy vicariously.
The stones and the bits of iron look like dancers to me - I see the movement.
You have so many beautiful places within reach of where you live!

FilipBlog said...

Looks like a nice place to have a walk.


Helen said...

Your photos are just amazing ... Happy Saturday!

Unknown said...

I really do like the waterfalls pictures.

Ann said...

again..a wonderful post which took me on a mini-vacation !! Such beautiful roses. As I was reading your post,the temp. where I live keeps going up..100 degrees right now and our A/C is broken..came to the water/stream photos..which took me to the waterfall...i swear i could here the water..I instantly felt 20 degrees cooler!!!! Your photos and words really "take me" on vacation!!!
thank you for the lovely time!!!

Kay Dennison said...

Utterly Breath-taking!!!!!

Friko said...

This is a very interesting garden, both from a historical and horticultural perspective.

As it is so close to home you could visit it during different seasons and see the planting as it comes and goes. i always find birth, life and death of plants fascinating. There is so much to study. Well, perhaps not with the roses, but certainly everything else.

Snowbrush said...

I so enjoy your photos. I can smell the roses just from looking at them. Many people here in the Willamette Valley have streamers with prayer flags.

Frances said...

Vagabonde, I am so glad to be able to see more of this remarkable place through your eyes.

That it remains so much a secret makes it even more beautiful. I agree with other comments that it would be great to revisit it in various seasons.

Best wishes.

Amanda said...

"Double delight" and "Mr Lincoln" are some of my favorite roses for their beautiful colors but also their wonderful smell.
I wouldn't be surprised if you bought a membership to this gorgeous garden. So close to home; how lucky!

Elaine said...

What a glorious garden this is! I love the roses, and the photos you took at the pond capturing each other, but most of all the waterfall photos. Exquisite!

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

This is indeed a secret garden and what a gorgeous place. Each vista is unique in its own beauty.

We have Bellingrath Gardens here in Mobile and I would invite you to come one day. It is not a secret but a treasure for our area and for those who love gardens and water. Uh, better wait a month or so until it cools off here - hah!


Ginnie Hart said...

I love that you caught each other in your picture taking, Vagabonde, and that you couldn't decide what angle to take of the woman and dog sculpture...and so took them all. I love the prayer flags and the quote from Thich Nhat Hanh. I love the way you see things and then describe them to us. Thank you.

Olga said...

I really love the sculpture of the dog and the girl. It really belongs to the earth. I have never seen anything like this in my life. What a wonderful post.

Vicki Lane said...

All IS a miracle and your pictures help us to see that!

Carole Burant said...

Oh, how I'd love to visit that Secret Garden, it's so delightful with all the flowers, statues, etc...and even a tea house! The roses are gorgeous and I wish I had better luck growing them. I had 5 rose bushes in my faerie garden but only 2 have survived and even those are not producing as they should. The two I have planted in the flowerbed at the back of the house have been there for 3 years and not once has either of them had roses bloom!! I so enjoyed looking at every picture of this wonderful garden. xoxo

claude said...

Bonjour Vagabonde.
Je suis passée dans ton précécxdent jardin et au moment d'obtenir la traduction, j'ai eu une coupure internet.
Il est magnifique ce jardin. Il y a tout ce qui me plait, chute d'eau, magnifiques roses, des birdhouses, des arbres. Ce dut être une belle promenade dans cet endroit.
A bientôt et bises!

OldLady Of The Hills said...

It is MAGNIFICENT!!!! Like the show, "SECRET GARDEN", this is so very very special....!

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