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Gibbs Gardens Adds New Garden To Celebrate Nature’s Color Palette

Gibbs Gardens Adds New Garden To Celebrate Nature’s Color Palette

By Gibbs Gardens
Photographs Courtesy Of Gibbs Gardens

Jim Gibbs, owner, designer, developer of Gibbs Gardens, is at it again. He’s creating another brand new, unique garden of perennials and annuals— with nature’s color palette at the heart of his design.

“Visitors to our gardens love color— so I’m planting a very special new color garden just for them,” he said.

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The wide views of the color garden beds illustrate Jim Gibbs’ serpentine planting design and the beauty created by combining plants into “arrangements.”

Gibbs started planning and planting his new serpentine flower beds in 2021, adding more combinations of perennials and annuals, new colors, plant sizes and shapes to create hundreds of singular artistic arrangements within the beds. This spring he added three additional beds to the five now blooming in his color garden. The result: Even more shades of colorful plantings for July through mid-September.

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Firecracker flower— native to India and Sri Lanka— is a heat-loving plant.

Colorful plants added this year include:

  • Coleus, a family of shade plants with bright colored— often red and green— leaves.
  • Egyptian star cluster pentas, a perennial native to Africa and Yemen.
  • African bush daisy, a flowering plant in the sunflower family. Native to Africa.
  • Obedient plant, also called lion’s heart— may also be found in Lady Bird Johnson’s Wildflower Center in Texas.
  • Firecracker flower can be annual or perennial depending upon location. Native to India and Sri Lanka, this heat-loving plant grows about three feet tall.
  • New Guinea impatiens with flower colors in shades of orange, pink, red, white, and purple. Its blooms are similar to but larger than those of common impatiens.
  • Purple heart, a spiderwort native to northern Mexico, is an annual known for its violet flowers and purple leaves.
  • Scarlet sage salvia was chosen for its bright red blooms. This perennial, native to Central America, is an annual in cooler climates.

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The height of blooming season

The color garden is just one example of nature-perfected colors throughout Gibbs Gardens. In July, long serpentine beds of roses and daylilies adorn sprawling bright green lawns in the upper Valley Garden. Mature hydrangeas display blossoms in shades of pink and blue while the mountain laurels’ abundant blooms of creamy white sparkle with morning dew along the wooded hillside. Set on the highest point in Gibbs Gardens, the Manor House Gardens combine mountain views with artistic annual and perennial plantings, rose-covered trellises, vibrant Japanese maples and fountains by a magical pool.

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New Guinea impatiens bear flowers in shades of orange, pink, red, white, and purple.

A cool place to visit

Gibbs Gardens is a cool place to visit— even in summer. Hundreds of natural deep springs supply two large streams as they wind through the gardens, bringing cool, fresh water to the many ponds, waterfalls and fountains throughout the Valley Gardens.

Jim Gibbs calls it nature’s version of air conditioning. “Our fresh spring water comes out of the ground at about 63 degrees and circulates in our streams throughout the gardens. The springs feed 19 waterfalls throughout the gardens, helping to lower temperatures and cool the air in the Valley Gardens from morning until early afternoon.”

In his book, “Gibbs Gardens, Reflections on a Gardening Life,” Gibbs recalls his first visit to the Yellow Creek Road property. “I saw the canopy of mountain laurel, hundreds of ferns and then the abundant springs— more valuable than gold. At that moment I knew this was the place where I would build the garden I had dreamed about for years.”

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Scarlet sage salvia (Salvia splendens), chosen for its bright red blooms.

A world-class garden experience

Honored with the National Garden Clubs’ Award of Excellence, Gibbs Gardens has been named one of the “Thirteen Best Botanical Gardens in America,” “2020 Best American Botanical Gardens,” one of the “World’s 10 Best Places to See Daffodils,” a top garden in Georgia by the Atlanta Journal Constitution and Explore Georgia. To learn more about Gibbs Gardens go to gibbsgardens.com.


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