Maybe my husband and I are a little odd. Some couples go out to dinner or a movie but most of the time my husband and I spend our special time together going out on an adventure. Today was an adventure day.
Though located just 20 minutes from my house we'd never visited Dunaway Gardens. I'd heard about the gardens about 10 years ago and it had been on my wish list of places to visit for a long time.
In some ways it is a very unusual garden in how it had it beginnings. Hettie Jane Dunaway was a famous actress and was part of a traveling troupe in the 20s. She ended up married to someone from Newnan, Georgia and settled down in the area on her husband's family property. Hettie went to work creating a magical garden and theater camp which took 18 years to complete. She called it a "theater garden" and the property included a grass amphitheater, stage, a tearoom, a honeymoon lodge, numerous spring fed pools with waterfalls, a Japanese garden, a granite outcropping and a natural swimming pool.
|Dunaway Gardens in its previous glory days|
For a period of time it was home for the Hollywood Ballet Troupe and numerous stars, performers, lecturers and dancers would visit the theater garden to rest, rejuvenate and train in the 20s, 30s and 40s.
But the glory days ended and over time the garden went untended and the garden and its history became overgrown. Hettie Jane Dunaway died in 1961 and the garden was somewhat forgotten. This was an old barn theater at Dunaway which was torn down in 1968.
|From Georgia Archives - 1968|
|A stone monument replaced the original wooden totem pole that Hetti Jane had in her garden|
When the current owners bought they land they begin to "discover" where the garden had once been and slowly began the excavation and renovation of Hettie Jane's beautiful theater garden.
Originally there would have been fewer trees but now many of the trees Hetti Jane planted have created a canopy over the garden areas. In many places there are beautiful shade gardens and of course lots of new plants have been added since Hettie Jane designed the garden but I'll let photos tell the rest of the story.
|I love that there is an honor system for admission|
|The former tearoom restored is now a bridal cottage|
|One garden room leads to another|
|Stone from the local area was used to create the garden path and walls|
|The amphitheater restored is now where weddings are often held|
|Waterfalls are in many areas of the garden|
|Who knew there was another stone mountain in Georgia|
|I told my husband that I was sure this was where the faeries were living|
|Entrance to the Japanese garden|
|So it really was a "PINK SATURDAY"|
If you love gardens you will really enjoy visiting Dunaway Gardens. Be sure to check their schedule as they aren't open every day but you are welcome to bring a picnic and spend some time enjoying the gardens and the tranquility.
I'll be joining The Tablescaper for this week's Seasonal Sunday.