Star Location Gibbs Gardens Will Wrap You In The Beauty Of Georgia's Springtime

Star Location Gibbs Gardens Will Wrap You In The Beauty Of Georgia's Springtime

Callaway Gardens can only do so much for you, but Gibbs Gardens takes you to worlds you wouldn't be able to find elsewhere.

A few weeks ago, I went with my friend to Gibbs Garden to see the famous daffodils bloom. It was toward the end of the daffodil season, so unfortunately, we weren't able to see as many as there were in all. But that wasn't important considering there were thousands of flowers throughout the garden, with a Monet bridge replica and the largest Japanese garden in the country.

Georgians usually like to run immediately to places like Callaway Gardens, but Gibbs Garden is a more peaceful location that has beautiful pathways created specifically to tour throughout the entire location. Plus, there's a cat that walks around near the cafe, and you can get the chance to see it if you're ordering something to eat!

Manor House

My favorite part of the entire trip was going to the Manor House at the top of the garden, where Mr. Gibbs, the owner of the garden, actually lives. When we went, there were people sitting everywhere near the pool, walking up the steps, and just resting on the benches. There were small hanging pots filled to-the-brim with tiny blooms of a variety of colors, from purple to baby blue, to yellow and white. I hadn't even seen those colors in petals before, so I had to take numerous close-ups of the plants.

Hanging Flower Pots at the Manor House

When you first enter the entire area, the tour guides will point out the two main locations that people will visit: the Manor House and the Japanese Garden. I was so excited to go to the Japanese Garden that I didn't even realize the Manor House would be so magical.

There are a few flights of stairs to take that continuously go higher and higher, but the journey is nothing short of breathtaking. There are various arches to walk under and flowers spread about that you can't help but take longer to walk because you don't want to miss a second of the view. The orange and yellow tulips (with a few red ones here and there) were my favorite part of the walk to the house.

The house itself was only open in the pool area, but people still took advantage of any seat they could find. The weather was perfect that day, but after a walk up the stairs, the only thing people needed was to sit down and be surrounded by nature on all sides.

Japanese Garden

The Japanese Garden was amazing because of the pond in the middle of the tree-heavy area. The trees were honestly my favorite part by themselves because they cam in a variety of shapes and colors, and they were placed strategically next to each other.

The region was neither too crammed nor too vacant, especially impressive considering the time of year we visited — when flowers were either just starting to bloom or were finishing up for the year. There was a region next to the Japanese Garden with fields of red tulips, and it was impossible not to take pictures next to them.

Red Tulips in the Background

Overall, though, the trees next to the pond were the highlight of the Japanese Garden because they appeared ethereal in the videos and photos taken. Compared to the light grass and flowers in the rest of the garden, the darker leaves on the trees were definitely a nice sight for the eyes.

So if you ever find yourself looking for a cute place to go in Georgia that captures spring, Gibbs Gardens has your back!

Cover Image Credit: Shreya Ravichandran

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5 Ways Impulsively Getting A Dog Saved My Mental Health

Those four paws are good for a lot more than just face kisses.


Shortly before my husband and I officially moved out onto our own, he surprised me with a puppy in hand on the morning of our anniversary. Moving out, tackling college, and everything in between, I thought another huge responsibility was the last thing I needed. However, in reality, Oakley, the lab/Australian shepard/collie mix, was exactly what I needed to get back to "me."

He provides emotional support

One of the most obvious reasons is how much emotional support dogs, (and other respective animals) can provide. His paws have been accidentally stepped on, and he certainly isn't a fan of the forced flea/tick medication doses, but less than 30 seconds later, he is without fail immediately by my side again, tail wagging and ready for more kisses. Although he is not trained or certified as an ESA, it's without a doubt he has effectively (and unconsciously) combated random anxiety attacks or feelings of being alone.

He requires being cared for

You'll heavily judge every crazy fur mama, as did, I until you become one. Getting Oakley immediately got me consistently back on my feet and forced me to ask myself, "What does he need today?"Even simple, easy tasks like taking him out to run/go to the bathroom had me excited and forced me to find a motive in the day to day activities. I loved no longer having even the mere choice to be unproductive. Don't want to start your day? Well, Oakley needs his day started, so let's get moving.

He serves as protection

It's no surprise how far a dog's loyalty will go to protect their owner. For decades, specially trained dogs have had life-saving responsibilities assigned to them. Even being married, my husband and I's schedules vary significantly to where it is not uncommon for me to be alone. The slightest sound or shadow from outside our door immediately initiates barking. In the bathroom taking a shower? He's there. Knowing that Oakley is looking out, even when I get carried away with tasks like cooking dinner, always calms my nerves.

He's become something to look forward to

The nice thing about having Oakley is regardless of how my day goes, I know exactly how it is going to end. Whether I passed an exam with flying colors or got the lowest grade in the class, I know what waits for me when I open the door at home. After a long day, nothing resets my mood like walking into a face that is just as happy and excited to see me!

He encourages bonds with others

If you want your social interaction to sky rocket: get a puppy. No, I'm serious. You'll have people wanting to come over and visit "you" (let's be real… your puppy), like it's your last day on Earth. For me, this was exactly what I needed. Getting Oakley had family members constantly checking in to see how he was growing, learning, etc. Not only did this encourage more interactions with family and friends, but it also "livened" my husband and I's home life. Instead of the "normal" weekend nights consisting of Netflix and MarioKart, (which are enjoyable in their own respective ways), spending our nights playing Monkey in the Middle with our new four-legged friend has proven much more entertaining.

So ideally was it the right time to get a dog? Probably not. However, adding Oakley to my small little family combated anxiety and depression in ways I wouldn't have ever thought possible.

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Florida Native's First Snow Is A Doozy

Seattle's most snow in February since 1923 hits hard


For all of us Washingtonians, the recent snow storm is something we were unprepared for. Seattle broke the record for the most snow in February since 1923. But for a Floridian who has never seen the snow, this week has been an adventure right out of a Christmas movie.

Snow in Tacoma, WashingtonMaddy McKeever

My friend and I reside under an hour drive away from Seattle in the city of Tacoma, Washington, and despite not being in the record-breaking city, we still had at least 7 inches of snow. The result? More than 40 people calling out of our store because of unsafe driving conditions (including myself), massive food and de-icer shortages, and a revitalization of the old Seattle driver stereotype.

Presented with a once in a lifetime opportunity, I decided to take my Florida friend on a snow day through the winter wonderland that was Wapato Park. He adored it.

My dog, Hyperion, in the snowMaddy McKeever

Despite having to carry my small dog a lot because of the depth of the snow, the trip went wonderfully. We all three bundled up immensely, none of us use to being out when it was 19 degrees Fahrenheit, even the dog.

The trip began with a stereotypical snowball fight, but quickly turned into a dazzling photo shoot. The landscape was like that of a painting: tall fir trees dusted in fresh snow, paths carved out by countless frozen footsteps, and friends slipping and sliding across bridges covered in blankets of white. It was truly a sight to see.

Wapato Park bridgeMaddy McKeever

I have still yet to experience the heat of a Florida summer, but my friend has now lived through a cold west coast winter. If he can make it through a park with dogs running all around and not fall face-first into the ice, all us Washingtonians can too.

We've all heard of Christmas in July, but it's Christmas in February this year. Anyone know of a good Valentine's Day movie set in the snow?

Wapato Park's frozen lakeMaddy McKeever

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