Lover's Lane


This narrow, boxwood-lined path is known as Lovers’ Lane. At the architect’s suggestion, Fuller Sr. and Ida placed classical statuary and also added new benches at each end of the shady walk. It was also given the name of “Lover’s Lane” during their tenure. A total of four statues were purchased from The Erkin’s Studio in 1915 for the garden, and one was placed at both the east (Socrates) and west (Plato) ends of the lane. We believe this is the pathway called “Bower Avenue” by Mrs. Ferrell and it was, by several accounts, a favorite trysting spot with couples even back then. Walk to the west end and you will get a sense of the romance of the path and how courting couples of earlier eras would enjoy its seclusion.

The “Lover’s Benches” are at the west end of the path. Guests of the Callaways were often told a story of how the benches were used by couples at particular stages of their courtship. The long bench was for early courting, perhaps when the presence of a chaperone was appropriate and would accommodate several people; the middle bench was for later on in the relationship, with enough room for just two; and the short (smallest) bench facilitated a marriage proposal, being wide enough for only one and thus allowing the woman to sit and her courter to kneel in front of her to “pop the question.” The statue that is at this end has his head turned away from this little bench, a fact that the family used to embellish their tale by saying that it was turned so to give the couple privacy for this intimate moment.

In this portion of Alice Hand Callaway’s 1994 recorded interview, she tells a story of Fuller E. Callaway Sr. on Lover’s Lane.



Horticultural Specimens

  • Camellias (Camellia japonica) growing behind the bench on the east end of Lover’s Lane that is closest to the house. These were placed here by Alice Callaway, and each cultivar was labeled.
  • Gardenia (G. jasminoides) growing behind the bench on the east end of Lover’s Lane on the south (4th T) side. Blooms white in late spring to early summer.  Planted by AHC
  • Magnolia ‘Lennei’ (Magnolia x soulangeana ‘Lennei’), a saucer magnolia on the east end of Lover’s Lane on the wall above the 4th terrace. Blooms pink in late February to early March. Planted by Alice Callaway, 1968.
  • Magnolia ‘Dark Shadow(Magnolia x ‘Dark Shadow’), a saucer magnolia planted on the west end of Lover’s Lane on the wall above the 4th terrace. Blooms dark pink/purple, in early March. Planted by Alice Callaway, 1991.
  • Azaleas (Rhododendron sp.) purchased by AHC in the 1940s grow along the wall that separates Lovers’ Lane from the terrace above, the 2nd Terrace. Most of the row is comprised of the cultivar ‘Coral Bells’, with a cherry red ‘Hinodegiri’ flanking each side of the steps bisecting the lane that leads up to the 2nd Terrace. Both varieties are Kurume Hybrids.

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