One of the gardens we visited was the home of Bernadine and Jena-Paul Richard, where I had been a couple of times before, and always love visiting. This time was different, as well, in that it was a group of about 75 of us (between two buses) rather than the hundreds that are often present on some tours.
The Richard home was built in 1929, from stone quarried on the site, and has beautiful oak doors and trim that were also created from trees growing on the site at the time. It is a big property (about 9 acres), with an enormous art collection, yet no pretense, which says a lot for the Richards' warmth and demeanor.
Mr. Richard is French, which explains the hybrid mix of European styling and Southern hospitality that this house and garden exudes.
The large house is beautifully nestled into the plantings, and the stone color adds a real element of warmth.
There are several art installations around the property. This is one that I particularly love, since it adds a whimsical note to an otherwise very formal building. I would love to go back when this wisteria is blooming!
This waterfall is truly massive, extending the length of the pool deck, above. The water slowly pours down the wall and adds that necessary cooling element needed in Atlanta in summer.
Another whimsical touch in the garden off the kitchen.
At first glance this front door seems a little "staged," until you realize that those incredible blooms were all picked that morning from existing plantings in the garden. No silk here!
As always, click to see them bigger! More gardens from this tour later.