September 21st, 2006 – by: WildwoodCorgis
The State Botanical Garden of Georgia
Outside the Highway 10 loop around Athens, the Garden is run by UGA (the university, not the bulldog!). The Garden sits in the middle of the UGA Agriculture farms; you pass the porcine, bovine & poultry farms before the entrance. The Garden is well-situated alongside the Middle Oconee River; the Alice Hand Callaway Visitor Center is in a modern glass-and-steel style and houses a small tropical conservatory, gift shop, and cafe'. The cafe' offered a nice lunch; I had a CBLT(catfish, bacon, lettuce and tomato) sandwich with a fresh relish spread - it was a great sandwich! The Garden is small enough that you can easily walk the theme gardens in less than an hour. I followed the Purple and Orange Trails that led away from the plantings and through the trees down to the river and back up and around to the parking lot. A little more than one mile in length, the trails were a great opportunity to see the native plants and trees.
As I left the parking lot, I took a minute to stop at the Day Chapell. This lovely building is truly the gem of the Garden. Built in 1994, it appears to be a small, frame building from outside. A workman allowed me to peek inside and I was shocked at the fabulous cypress interior! This chapel is so restive and comfortable in its setting in the trees; the interior is wonderful craftsmanship. What a pleasant surprise!