BALL GROUND — Gibbs Gardens is having its first Japanese Maples Festival through Nov. 15, celebrating more than 2,000 Japanese maples in 100 varieties at peak fall color.
In addition to the natural beauty of the premier gardens, on Oct. 26 and 27 and Nov. 2 and 3 visitors can enjoy a celebration of Japanese arts, culture and traditions set against the backdrop of the largest Japanese Gardens in the nation.
The festival, featuring music, arts and events in a garden setting, will be presented with the support of several Japanese American organizations that provide art, dance, and a wide range of demonstrations as a way to introduce Japanese culture to the metro Atlanta community.
The Japanese maple trees paint a gold, yellow, orange and flame red panorama on every vista. Hundreds of bright red Burning Bush and thousands of yellow Sweet Shrub blend with the reds of Sourwood, Sassafras and Dogwood trees to color the hills with sweeping splashes of color.
“You won’t see fall color like this anywhere else. The blending of our landscaped gardens with the magnificent hues of autumn reveals the true harmony of nature,” said a release about the gardens.
From the Torii Gate entrance to the Zigzag Bridge, Tsukiyama, “the hill and pond stroll garden,” the Japanese Gardens flow across 40 acres with seven spring-fed ponds, islands, bridges, massive boulders and authentic hand-carved Japanese lanterns.
Visitors can see ikebana and origami demonstrations set on a vast stretch of green lawn draped by hundreds of red Burning Bush, as well as the beauty of Japanese calligraphy and the art of bonsai during the festival.
Performances, and the skills of shinkendo, kyudo and other martial arts will be highlighted during the festival.
The 300-acre Gibbs estate garden includes 220 acres of gardens set in mature rolling woodlands dotted with ponds, springs, streams and waterfalls.
Jim Gibbs, the owner, designer and developer of Gibbs Gardens, is the founder of Gibbs Landscape Co., one of the largest, oldest and most successful landscaping firms in Atlanta. Gibbs and his company have received more than 250 awards for landscape design excellence, including two national awards presented at White House receptions.
“I’ve dreamed of creating a world-class garden in the Atlanta area for more than 40 years,” Gibbs said. “After spending six years finding just the right property and another 30 plus years designing and developing Gibbs Gardens, that dream came true when we opened Gibbs Gardens to the public in March 2012.”
The gardens are open from March 1 through Dec. 15.
Gibbs Gardens is located off Yellow Creek Road in Cherokee County.
The Welcome Center adjacent to the parking area includes The Seasons gift store, ticketing and restrooms. Just steps away, The Arbor Café offers a selection of sandwiches on fresh baked bread, desserts and daily specials on baked goods.
Tickets to visit the gardens are $20 for general admission to all 16 garden venues. For seniors 65 and older, tour groups of 10 or more and children 4 to 17, tickets are for $18. Children ages 3 and younger and 4-Season garden members are free.
There is no charge for parking.
For more information, visit www.gibbsgardens.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org for questions and information.
Gibbs Gardens is at 1987 Gibbs Drive in Ball Ground. For information call (770) 893-1880.