I lived in Ball Ground, Georgia, for eight years and my parents lived there for eighteen, but during that time, we had no idea that Gibbs Gardens was being planned and planted just a few miles farther out in the country. Right down the road from Stancil’s Store, as a matter of fact. We used to visit that old general store at the corner of Conns Creek Road and Yellow Creek Road on the occasional Saturday morning. We’d walk through the stacks of Liberty overalls and always take home a freshly cut slab of hoop cheese. Mmmmm…
Stancil’s Store is now closed up tight, but we pass the old building on our way to see Jim Gibbs’ labor of love, more than thirty years in the making. It’s the largest daffodil garden outside of Holland and the largest Japanese garden in America. And it has officially put Ball Ground on the map…hardly anyone has ever heard of it before now.
We marvel at the myriad of languages we hear around us. It’s unbelievable that the world now comes to Ball Ground. When I lived here, the post office was my window to the world. I had penpals all over the globe, and the 2-block walk to the post office was the highlight of every day. But now I hear languages I don’t even recognize…here in Ball Ground, of all places.
Gibbs Gardens is about an hour north of Atlanta. If you have a chance to visit, it’s definitely worth the trip. Regardless of the season, there’s plenty of beauty to behold. Get more information and find out what’s blooming here. The scenes of heaven in the movie Miracles from Heaven were filmed here…it’s not hard to see why.
You’ll work up an appetite exploring the gardens, so be sure to stop for lunch or supper at a true Ball Ground landmark, Two Brothers Barbecue. There are lots of food options in town now, but Two Brothers used to be just about the only choice. Dusty antiques still line the walls, although there’s no longer sawdust covering the floors. (Perhaps the health department put a stop to that?) It’s local flavor at its best–just be prepared to eat your barbecue sandwich with a fork. Enjoy!