On a cool Saturday morning in mid-May, I got up early, got dressed and put on my new green tennis shoes that the internet tells me are “Helen Mirren’s favorites.”
Dame Helen wore her Cariumas to Cannes (with a fanny pack, no less). My event was less glamorous, but a lot of fun. I packed a water bottle and snacks in my backpack-style bag and headed out for a day of garden touring in nearby Cobb County.
This year (2022), the Cobb County Master Gardeners Tour included four private residences in west and central Cobb along with one of my favorite green spaces, the Green Meadows Preserve. (Green Meadows is home to an impressive community garden, see my 2021 visit to Green Meadows Preserve.)
Garden Nerd Alert
I typically get a little nerdy and overexcited in gardens, and the pandemic experience has only exacerbated this awkwardness. At check-in tables, I’m cheery and overly friendly and I grab too many brochures and sign too many forms. I say things like, “Isn’t it a beautiful day to be in a garden?” to anyone around me. Most folks smile and nod and some find something just beyond to view next. Thanks for indulging me, everyone. I’m learning how to navigate in the world all over again.
Following are my snaps with a few notes and observations. I made attempts to identify plants (thanks to Google Lens and iPhone’s Plant identifier). If I’ve gotten details wrong, please comment and I’ll make a correction.
Let’s begin, shall we?
Retreat at Horseshoe Hill
I started the day at the Retreat at Horseshoe Hill. this gorgeous property featured a barn, a lake, outdoor fireplace, chickens and goats, bee boxes, and a productive vegetable garden,
Next up, Texture Among Friends at the Driskell house. Check out this towering rhododendron in a neighbor’s yard ~ it was at least 10 feet tall. I think it got the Garden Tour memo and decided to looks its best on tour day.
The entrance to the Driskell property featured a bed of shrubs and perennials that played up the texture theme. The snapdragons were having a full sun moment.
This garden featured several hundred (I’m not lying) containers and a stunning hosta collection. Following is the shady part of the garden.
Oh my goodness, are those the shoes made internet famous by Dame Helen Mirren?
Why yes, yes they are.
I walked around the house and came to full sun portion of the house, on a heat-reflecting driveway.
A Tale of Two Gardens
A Tale of Two Gardens highlighted a pair of gardens on challenging lake-side sites. The homes and gardens were not adjacent, but a path on the lake side made the walk between the properties easier. My pictures are a jumble here, of native plants, shade gardens, and full sun delights.
Green Meadows Preserve
Green Meadows Preserve is a historic site and gardens on 112 acres in west Cobb. It includes a lively community garden and the Bullard farmhouse, surrounded by native and historic plants.
Chives and sorrel in the garden at the Green Meadows Preserve. Photo by Lucy Mercer/A Cook and Her Books
Learn More About Cobb County Master Gardeners
Cobb County (Georgia) Master Gardeners sponsors a garden tour each spring. Check out their website for information on the tour and many projects.