One hour south of Atlanta and thirty minutes from Macon is the small town called,”Flovilla”. If you are traveling down I-75 between these two cities, I urge you to hop off the exit and take the back road detour to explore this area.
The Whimsical Garden, is a botanical treasure that resides behind Mrs. Lee’s Sweet Stop in the Village at Indian Springs. The garden, sitting atop a hill, is almost hidden behind the town’s sparse buildings. You can enter the garden through an education shed or near the Big Chief Store. A stone path winds through the garden, making it an easy stroll for wheelchairs, walkers, or strollers. Every where you look you see, impatiens, daisies, jonquils, rhododendrons, purple heather, and jasmine brightly shining in the sun. Large oak, willow, and pine trees gently sway, kicking up a gentle breeze. The cicadas sing their sad tune throughout the trees lining the perimeter of the garden. This is truly a botanical beauty.
We started our garden tour in the rose garden where a large wooden totem stands greeting you. There are hundreds of roses in every color surrounding it. I wish I knew who carved this beauty.
The garden itself is situated so perfectly within the Village at Indian Springs so that if standing in the center of the garden you see the chapel in the background and a lovely fountain in the foreground. There is a large gazebo with ceiling fans and rocking chairs that provide a place for visitors to relax while taking in the botanical scene. Shane and I sat for a spell, enjoying the warm breeze, surrounded by blooms that permeated a sweet fragrance throughout the garden. We enjoyed our ice cream that we picked up at the Sweet Stop. (Try the banana pudding flavor) The birds were singing, and the chapel was in the background. It was a hot summer day, but sitting under the fans of the gazebo was cool and relaxing. We just sat and connected with each other.
Following the path that winds under archways and through manicured tunnels, we continued on. Bright pinwheels twirl along the way and playful stone animals await children to pose for a photo op!
As we moseyed along we came to a screened building that had at least 50 vintage metal “Tonka Trucks”. These are kind that my brothers and I used to play with. Sadly, ours were left behind in the crawl space when we moved from our childhood home. Years later my brother Chris and I went back to the old house, hoping they were still there, but alas, no, they were gone. This was a nostalgic gold mine! They are old, battered and covered in mud and rust. I could picture these fellas being played by little boys and girls, making dump truck and screeching tire sounds as they plowed through the Georgia red clay! Ah! the good ole days of childhood in 1975!
The architect that designed the garden paid attention to artistic details. Our favorite was the “flower bed”, such a fantastic idea!
Before we knew it, we came to the end of our tour in the garden. A small potting shed acts as an exit. You enter through one door and leave the garden through another. Inside the shed are pots, spades, and signs that teach children how to plant flowers. We hated to leave the garden but we had other things to see and do so we parted ways with a, “bye Y’all!”
I sure hope you take a hour out of your drive to check out this town and garden. It is worth the trip down the back road.
Keep the Luster for Wandering Y’all!