Co-founder of Home Depot, and owner of the Atlanta Falcons, Arthur Blank, has a very nice garden, as you might guess. A couple weeks ago, while at the GWA | Association of Garden Writers Conference in Atlanta, he opened it up for attendees as part of our garden tour expeditions.
The only stipulation was that he requested no one photograph the actual home and other buildings. He was gracious enough to let us tour, so I obliged. It killed me though. Imagine a French chateau. With dozens of security cameras. It's a truly beautiful home. But anyone with a net worth of $3.2 billion should have nice digs.
And the gardens? Mr. Blank obvious has good taste and was able to give a virtual "blank" check to some landscape designers. It encompasses a large lot in a very nice suburb of Atlanta. The garden was divided into sections that ranged from expansive, estate-like, to intimate sitting areas for two – to a golf putting green.
The lead photo evokes (in my mind anyway) Monet's Giverny pond garden. Other parts were more mini-Versailles-like. All gardens were impressive.
I'm a brand-spankin' new member of the GWA | Association of Garden Writers. This conference was my first. I met lots of new folks in the garden world – writers, photographers, growers, bloggers, book authors, publishers, columnists, landscape designers, TV and radio personalities, consultants, videographers, magazine scouts, educators, and many more. The number of disciplines represented was staggering. The one thing in common? Each communicators to the general public in some way.
I also got to see some of my blogging friends and acquaintances I've met over the years from attending blogger meet-ups in Asheville, Toronto, Chicago – and we brought them all here to Buffalo in 2010.
Next year, we're bringing the GWA to Buffalo for their annual conference August 4-7. That will be 300-400 garden writers and influences all visiting Buffalo at the same time. Thank god we have a year to get ready!
|For as formal as other sections of the gardens were, the intimate fire pit area was a feature looked like it was "lived in."|
|A "river" ran through one side of the garden, ending in this naturalistic pond.|
|The statues throughout the garden there were maybe four or five that I saw, all seemed to interact somewhat with each other. This one looked longingly toward another.|
|Garden author Felder Rushing.|
|The greenhouse was used mostly as an alternate dining room.|
|The back yard's central fountain overlooking the expansive grass yard (mowed impeccably in a cross pattern I might add).|
|Path alongside the house from front to back.|
|The circular driveway at the front of the house. This fountain mirrors the fountain from the back yard.|
|The street entrance to the driveway. I wonder if he shops for plants at the Home Depot?|
|Behind the garage was a large putting green, not seen from the house or driveway.|
|Magazine and newspaper garden columnist, TV garden personality, and horticulturalist Sally Cunningham toured the gardens with me. It helps to have someone along that knows the plants!|