Monday, April 11, 2011

Jasmine Hill Gardens



It would be well worth the 50 mile drive south of Petals from the Past in Jemison to Wetumpka, Alabama to visit Jasmine Hill Gardens.  Wetumpka may be home to the women's prison in Alabama and a shooting location for the Tim Burton film Big Fish, but Jasmine Hill is a little gem that no one seems to have heard of, even people who live there! They really need a better PR person because this is truly a unique experience.


Known as "The Little Corner of Greece", it was once home to Benjamin and Mary Fitzpatrick, who started a chain of stores in the South. They sold their businesses in 1927 right before the big stock market crash and spent the rest of their lives turning their home into a showcase for Greek statuary. They made over 20 trips to Greece to purchase art objects to display in their expansive garden. And what a garden it is! Stone pathways, terraces and water features gracefully accompany the statuary which is intermingled with azaleas, camellias and other perennials, shrubs and trees.


We first fell in love with Jasmine Hill almost twenty years ago when we took a vacation to Callway Gardens and Bellingrath and stopped by Jasmine Hill after a friend told us about it. Words can't really do it justice so I'll just let the photos speak for themselves. These were taken this past Saturday.





















Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy

26 comments:

  1. Phillip,
    These are some really cool photos. The gardens are amazing, all the broken Greek Columns are really eye catching.

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  2. I have heard of Jasmine Hill! I have thought of visiting but never made the effort. Your photos have made me push a visit up on my priority list. It looks wonderful!

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  3. Just incredible! I went to Petals from the Past for the first time yesterday! This one is definitely now on my "to do" list!

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  4. what fascinating sculptures! nope, never heard of this place when I lived in AL for 3 years for law school. I'd like to visit it when I come that way for work sometime, though!

    re: tomatoes. for less sweet and more acid flavor, y'all should definitely get some yellow tomatoes. Tasteful Garden had a huge selection of them with thorough descriptions. I know they sell out of some varieties quickly though, so you may want to go on and check out their website!

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  5. Thank you for posting about this beautiful garden. Your pictures are lovely, wonderful compositions with classic statues and lush azaleas and rhododendrons. Thank you for such a well-written and illustrated virtual tour!

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  6. That looks stunning and your great photography skills showcases it well. The creators did have a great sense of taste and greek art - I am a fan of it too.

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  7. What a beautiful classical garden. Your photographs are gorgeous. Those flagstone pathways are to die for.

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  8. It must be a huge garden with all that statuary fitting in along with those huge pillars. WOW. Beautiful. One of these days I hope to go through the south and see some of these gardens.

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  9. Phillip, It's fantastic! There are several areas that remind me of Cheekwood~The classic pillars are incredible. I love Southern gardens and azaleas. gail

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  10. How marvelous! Your photography is as wonderful as the place... thanks for sharing! Larry

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  11. Thanks for the tour, I have never heard of this garden either...just stunning at every turn.

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  12. So beautiful Phillip. Thank you for taking us there.~~Dee

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  13. A while back our fellow Alabama Bloggers Jamie and Randy visited Jasmine Hill and I had never heard of it!!! It is beautiful!!!! I really need to pick a weekend and go. Your pictures are amazing. i can only imagine how beautiful it must be in person. Hopefully I will find out soon.

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  14. I think virtual garden tours are one of the most fun aspects of garden blogs! Thank you loved this tour! We don't have the soil for azaleas here so I LOVE seeing them on display. I loved all of the rock work as well! Thanks!

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  15. Hi Phillip,
    I love your blog, and especially the pictures of your garden. My garden club was wondering if you ever do private tours.

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  16. Peggy, yes I do. May is the best time. Just send me an e-mail - oliver@hiwaay.net

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  17. Wow, what a great place, and I have never heard of it. I love the full and broken columns.

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  18. Cool looking garden. I will expect the tour when I come visit one of these days!

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  19. Very impressive place.

    Beautifully illustrated tour, courtesy of your wonderful photographs.

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    BlogFront.org
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  21. Very interesting and beautiful post. The Fitzpatricks created a spectacular garden.

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  22. What a place! Someday I hope to get there to visit.

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  23. My Master Gardener class chose this as our field trip. I was not enthused - I'd rather see plants than statuary. Then I saw your pictures - just in time since our trip was April 15. Because of the weather threats, only 3 of us made the 2.5 hour trip, along with 3 guests.

    It was beautiful even though many things were between bloom time. We had a beautiful sunny morning for the tour and I made it back home without any weather incidents, though things deteriorated rapidly after that. Thank you so much for helping to reveal this "best kept secret". I WILL be returning one of these days to see again this magical place.

    Barbara H.

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  24. Next time I head to Montgomery, I will make a visit there. Thanks for bringing this garden to my attention. Mary

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  25. What a wonderful place! I'll just have to get there one day. So much like home after all the Florida gardens I've been visiting this month!

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  26. Incredible. Gorgeous. And I'm not into this style for myself, but I sure do appreciate the history that's in that space, how it's workign together, the narrative of plants and human culture.

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