Borrego Springs, CA

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Callaway Gardens (part 2)

There were two more major stops along the way on our auto tour of the gardens.


Since the major azalea bloom happened earlier in the year, the John A. Sibley Horticultural Center was the best place to see blooming flowers at this time in May.

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                               We had a pleasant walk among all the garden settings. 


                                  The insects were certainly busy gathering pollen from the blooms.


I got a real kick out of what looked like giant Chia pets!  One of the elephants was covered in what looked like a creeping vine that we used to call creeping Charlie when I lived in New York.  It was the bane of my vegetable garden.


                                    There was also a lion that appeared to be having a bad hair day!


The colors along the walking paths were like eye candy.  What a gorgeous place.  I can just imagine how beautiful it was when the over 4000 azaleas were blooming last month.

Gerri told me that this whole area used to be cotton plantations.  “The land at Callaway Gardens has been nourished for more than half a century.  What once was barren eroded agricultural fields has been transformed into the diverse, beautiful combination of gardens, resort, preserve and community lands guests and residents enjoy today.”


Last but not least, we visited Mr. Carson’s Vegetable Garden.  This was a place I wanted to visit. 


It is a 7.5 acre demonstration garden that is the Southern set for PBS’s “The Victory Garden.”  After investigating, I believe that show started in 1975.  I remember many happy times watching it in New York in the late 70’s and early 80’s.  Being up north in the cold, I often wondered where the heck that pleasant gentleman was doing his gardening in what for me was a frigid winter.  Now I know.  Smile


My garden wasn’t 7.5 acres, but it was close to a half an acre including the strawberry patch.  I canned and froze a year’s supply of vegetables each late summer and fall, and truly enjoyed watching The Victory Garden for hints and tips.  I must say, though, that it seems like the kids and I picked a lot more rocks and weeds than they ever depicted on the show!


After a great morning and early afternoon at the Gardens, we headed for a local joint in Pine Mountain for lunch.  I can attest that the hamburgers at the Whistling Pig CafĂ© are delicious.  Thanks again, Gerri and Mike for a wonderful tour of the Callaway Gardens.  If I had tried to do it on my own, I know I wouldn’t have seen half of what you showed me.

My plans are to be off early tomorrow morning for a long road trip to Andersonville, GA.  Since I don’t know if I’ll ever be in this area again, I don’t want to miss the chance to visit this National Historic Site.

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy


  1. Gorgeous flower photos. I could almost smell them.


  2. Cool Chia pets. What a nice place to visit.

  3. I DO remember The Victory Gardens show....As much as I love the gardens,I would be more excited about Andersonville....

  4. Absolutely awesome pictures! I use to watch the Victory Garden on PBS and always wanted to visit. I’ll have to put it on my ‘places to visit’ list. Thanks for sharing your beautiful pictures.

  5. Andersonville is sobering, but definitely worth a visit.

  6. Another great place. The list is still growing:)

  7. Love the lion...too cool.

    Thanks for the great tour. Loved every bit of it.

  8. Love the animals, can't remember what you call that art form.
    Was the Victory Garden on that long ago?

  9. Loved the Chia Pets, especially the lion. I used to have long hair like that in my wild and mis-spent youth. Thanks for bringing back the memory... ;c)

  10. Great photos as usual, thanks for the eating tip.

  11. Love the flowers and the topiary animals. You captured them all so beautifully. We loved our visit to Andersonville. Jimmy Carters birthplace is nearby and though he wasn't the most popular president, it was an interesting place to visit.

  12. It looks like creeping fig on the chia pets. Creeping fig is a standard plant for topiaries in the humid south. I'm looking forward to your report about Andersonville.

  13. Just beautiful; can't wait to see it for myself. Love the lion with the bad hair day :-))

  14. That lion looked a little like a porcupine to me! :-) The photos of the gardens are just terrific, Judy!

  15. Callaway Gardens looks terrific. I hope you enjoy Andersonville. We thought it was well done.

  16. Another beautiful pictures post Judy. I too thought the lion looked like a porcupine. Sure must take a lot of workers to keep those gardens looking so good.

    I always wondered how many it took to keep the Victory Garden going. I didn't watch it but I read his books since I too had a 2 acre garden including every berry and fruit tree that would grow in Virginia. Did the canning, drying, freezing, jams, jellys, etc for a year thing as well. Too bad we didn't know each other then, we could have comiserated. I look back now and wonder how did I ever do all that.

  17. You are correct. Our summers were fun filled weed and rock picking experiences. I loved it so much that I have lived in big cities for the last 8 years so that I wouldn't have the urge to just pick rocks and weeds. Man I truly loved those activities.