Dateline: November 19, 2020
One of the best benefits of living in the Chattanooga, Tennessee area is having easy access to places like the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Ocoee River area, and many waterfalls. Another benefit is to be within a couple of hours of driving time to places in Alabama, Georgia, and North Carolina. The hardest part is always trying to decide where to go during each season of the year.
On November 19th, the three "Phototeers" who consist of Jim P., Nick S., and myself, decided to go to Gibbs Gardens which is located near Ball Grounds, Georgia. Gibbs Gardens covers 220 acres, making it one of the nation's largest residential estate gardens. I won't go into details on the gardens, but here is a link you can read all about it for yourself. Link to Gibbs Garden: https://www.gibbsgardens.com/
Gibbs Garden is about a 1-3/4 hr. drive from Chattanooga, so it's an easy drive for us. We all met at the Cracker Barrel restaurant which is about 1/4 mile from the US-41 & I-75 exit in East Ridge, Tn. We had a great breakfast then loaded into Jim's SUV and headed south.
We arrived shortly before 10 am (EST) and entered the gardens. When we arrived there were very few cars in the parking lot and a small crowd of people inside the gardens. For the most part, everyone was practicing social distancing very well. We were somewhat worried that there would be a much larger crowd and no one practicing social distancing.
After we got inside, the three of us separated and went our way after choosing which direction we wanted to go in. I chose to head to the Japanese gardens area but managed to get waylaid as there were just too many beautiful trees and scenes to photograph. However, I did finally manage to reach the Japanese gardens after an hour or so and l then worked my way through it.
While in the various parts of the gardens, I encountered many people who were photographing the gardens themselves. Several were hobbyist photographers like me and many were just people who loved to take pictures with their cell phones. I talked with several of the people about where they were from and if they'd ever been to Gibbs Gardens before. Several of the people I spoke with had approached me about how and why I was shooting certain things. These conversations we fun and informative from both sides.
Jim and Nick both had decided to go to the open area sitting and rest awhile. They finally called me and asked where I was at the time. I was about 1/3 mile from where they were so I headed on back toward the exit but managed to take a few shots on the way.
It was a good day of shooting with friends and hopefully, after Thanksgiving, we'll be able to get out for another day of taking fun photos. In the meantime, check out the images below that I took while at Gibbs Garden.