Monday, November 4, 2013

Hills and Dales

Pine Mountain RVC Outdoor Destinations
Pine mountain, GA
November 2, 2013

Anyone with pups around knows that they usually have the best seats in the house. Dover loves watching...everything!  If any of the blinds are up, she is perched on the back of the sofa soaking up the sun and enjoying the view.

Saturday morning, our view was especially pretty. The fog was wispy and light and the sun was shining. The feel of the brisk autumn air and knowing it would warm up to the low 70s...just made for a perfect day!

Errands needed to be done in LaGrange, but first on 
our agenda was a visit to Hills and Dales Estate.

Hills and Dales Estate is the home built for Fuller E. Callaway and his wife Ida which was completed in 1916. The property includes the pre-Civil War Ferrell Gardens started by Nancy Ferrell in 1832 and expanded by her daughter Sarah in 1941. 

The Callaway Foundation was founded in 1917 by Fuller E. Callaway and for almost 100 years has made contributions for religious, educational and charitable purposes of more than $45.6 million...most of which has been for projects in the LaGrange area. When Alice Callaway (daughter in law to Fuller Callaway, Sr) died in 1998, the estate was bequeathed to the Fuller E. Callaway Foundation. As the Callaways instructed, the estate became a museum for the enjoyment of the visiting public. After renovations and the addition of a visitor center, the estate opened to the public in 2004.

Visitor Center

We were given two choices at the visitor and garden tour with a guide or a self-guided garden tour. We chose the later.

This was the entrance and driveway when the Callaways purchased the estate of Judge Blount Ferrell in 1912.  

 The home was designed to complement the Italian boxwood gardens created by Sarah Ferrell in 1841.

 The Ray Garden features seasonal flower beds today, but in the early to mid 1900s the Callaways had a vegetable garden here. Alice converted it to the Ray Garden where she grew roses and conifers.

A Southern magnolia is espaliered over the windows of this former garage and chauffeur's quarters.

The entrance to the greenhouse was once a walk framed with Chinese Privet. Today, only the arbor is covered with privet.

The Herb Garden was added in 1960. Joe and I were both fascinated by the cotton plants.

We have seen cotton growing in fields for many years, but had never seen this pretty flower that produces the cotton.


We also found chili peppers, oranges, and lots of butterflies and bees!

Originally built in 1916, the greenhouse was remodeled by Alice in 1949. It is maintained much the same as it was in Alice's time.

The first section contains orchids and begonias. The dark, chocolaty colored orchid had a sign that said "smell me". It smelled just like cookie dough!

The center section displays Alice's ferns. 

The third section once grew cut flowers, but now contains a succulent collection and orchids. 

 The remains of four cedar trees planted by Sarah in the mid 1800s now covered in wisteria provide a shaded spot over the well and benches.

 A huge China fir also planted by Sarah in the mid 1800s towers over the garden.

 And then there is a Maidenhair Tree or Ginkgo that Sarah planted. It was just beginning to turn yellow and is one of the most beautiful trees in the fall.

 The boxwoods in the picture below spell GOD. Sarah was inspired by the Biblical account in Genesis: "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth..." This was near the original entrance to the garden so Sarah planted "GOD" at the beginning of her garden.

 Southern magnolias on the estate were reportedly planted from seeds collected during the Civil War by local confederate soldiers.

We enjoyed the story behind the garden. What a treat it was to meander and enjoy all the beauty it has to offer. We have seen lots of gardens...including the Biltmore...and I have to say this is by far the best. And its right here in my hometown!

The East Portico and main entrance to the home...view from the circular drive.

The circular drive where guests arrived...view from the East Portico.

Well, our month here has flown by. We have enjoyed family, play time, being tourist, and just plain living! Tomorrow is travel day. We are off to the Gulf Coast...and hoping the weather will cooperate for some beach time there.
So, until next time...

be safe, and
enjoy your view!


  1. Gay, what a fun day! Your photos make me feel as if I was there. Beautiful!

    1. We had a great time...the gardens are so pretty and so old! It was amazing to see the new growth on the China Fir at its age!

  2. I love touring the old estates. I try to imagine being someone wholived there in the days gone by. Great picture story.

  3. Your photography is beautiful and your interesting details make for good reading. I can't believe your month is up already. Weather is still lovely down here so expect the beach will be enjoyable as well. Safe travels

  4. What a beautiful place. Thanks for sharing. The landscape with the small pond looks like a old English painting to me. Wonderful, relaxing.

    1. Pine Mt RVC is one of our favorite parks just for the very large sites and the view.

      Thanks for stopping by good-times-rollin!

  5. A flower that smells like cookie dough - now that is my kind of flower. So beautiful there.

    1. Such a beautiful orchid and smelled soooo yummy!

  6. Looks like the garden tour choice was a good one. Love the photos of the various flowers, plants and trees. It was obvious from the photo of you that the best part was soaking it all in.

    Safe travels as you venture forth!

  7. You certainly have some gorgeous photos. We can tell that fall is in the air.

    1. The colors have been magnificent this year...I think all the summer rains helped!

  8. Just love southern Georgia, excellent pics again!

  9. What a gorgeous place! I love the Ray Garden. I bet it was beautiful full of vegetables. What a clever idea for the magnolia! I'm sure it is very pretty when in bloom. Love all the orchards!

    What a great way to spend your the end of your time at home. Safe travels south. Hope we meet up somewhere this winter.

    1. We sure had a wonderful day! It was nice to take our time and enjoy.

  10. What a lovely garden. We too enjoy strolling through gardens on our journeys. We had beautiful flower gardens & trees in our stick & brick. It's the one thing we truly miss. Love the photo with the fog as well. Have you ever visited the Angel Oak near Charleston, SC? If you like old majestic trees, then this one is a must see. Safe travels on your way to the Gulf.

    1. Thanks for the tip....will check out Angel Oak next time we are in the Charleston area...

  11. Hey beautiful captures of fall colors. We did not do the inside tour too for the gardens by itself is already gorgeous. It sure look different now when we were there in spring,

    Have a safe travel, hope to meet you up somewhere as we head north next spring or who knows while you are still there at the Gulf Coast this winter.

  12. I enjoyed your pictures of the same gardens with the azaleas in bloom. Each season has it's own beauty!