Hamilton Gardens at Lake Chatuge is a breathtaking jewel in the North Georgia Mountains. The only public botanical garden in the area, this paradise bursts with dogwood, native azaleas, wildflowers, trillium, and rhododendron – over 3,000 plants in all. Peak viewing season usually occurs early April through late May, when guests can experience fragrant flowers, stunning views of Lake Chatuge, and the majestic rise of Brasstown Bald, Georgia’s highest peak. This year, be sure to check out the Hamilton Gardens Festival to experience the beauty of North Georgia like never before!
Whether you’re planning a romantic getaway or a relaxing afternoon with friends, the Hamilton Gardens Festival is ideal. Plus, when you stay at Glen-Ella Springs Inn in Clarkesville, you’ll be just an hour drive from this spectacular showcase of nature. Here are some things you’ll see at the gardens.
Back in the 1950s, Fred Hamilton, a Sears company executive, bought a home in the Atlanta area and discovered tons of wonderful native plants on the grounds. Mr. Hamilton began creating a lush garden and incorporated many other varieties of flowers, especially rhododendrons, from all over the world. For years, the Hamiltons happily shared the beauty of their gardens with visitors from far and wide and invited guests to tour the grounds.
As the gardens continued to grow, Mr. Hamilton realized he could no longer take care of his extensive collection. In 1982, he donated his rhododendrons to the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds, and they were transported to their current location to be cared for and appreciated by thousands of visitors each year.
Each spring, guests are invited to spend their weekends strolling through the magnificent and rare beauty of over 400+ rhododendrons at the Hamilton Gardens Festival. The explosion of colors and varieties are a breathtaking sight, and there will be hot drinks and warm sweets to help inspire your hike through the nature trails.
Specially selected vendors will be offering a variety of handcrafted garden art and crafts, and Fred Hamilton’s greenhouse will be open to the public for the garden’s annual Spring Plant Sale. Locally-grown native perennials, native azalea, and rare rhododendron will be featured.
Master gardeners will also be on hand to answer any and all of your gardening questions, as well as give personal and group tours. All proceeds from this event help to fund Hamilton Gardens’ yearly upkeep, so you can enjoy a fun-filled day that you’ll feel good about!
The Hamilton Botanical Gardens are open daily during the bloom season, so you’ll have plenty of chances to experience the natural beauty of the flowers. After a wonderful afternoon out in the North Georgia sun, head back to our gorgeous bed and breakfast and enjoy a gourmet meal at our onsite restaurant, a stroll through our inn’s picturesque grounds, and a peaceful sleep in one of our elegant rooms or suites. It’s the perfect ending to a day at the Hamilton Gardens Festival!
For more information on Hamilton Gardens events and other area attractions, download our free vacation guide.
Photo Credit: ShaunWilkinson | Thinkstock