Learn about our signature plants here at Hills & Dales
Dwarf English Boxwood
(Buxus sempervirens ‘Suffruticosa’ )
The most notable signature plant at Hills & Dales Estate is dwarf English boxwood. Ferrell Gardens contains 2 ½ acres of formal boxwood parterres. The boxwoods are primarily dwarf English boxwood, but there are also species of American boxwood, tree boxwood, Spanish boxwood and curly leaf boxwood.
This China fir was planted in the mid-1800’s by Sarah Coleman Ferrell. This majestic evergreen conifer towers over the Church Garden at Hills & Dales Estate.
The greenhouse was used extensively by both Ida and Alice. Alice grew plants for the garden and also had several collections of plants here, including maidenhair ferns. From 1974 to 1979, Alice listed as many as 33 different maidenhair ferns growing here and we are working from her notes to reintroduce many of those species.
Banana shrub was introduced to America in 1789 and grown in Georgia by 1820. The two banana shrubs in Ferrell Gardens were planted by Alice Callaway in 1965. They flank steps in the west end of the garden, and on warm afternoons in late spring, the garden is scented with a delicious banana-like aroma.
The native Southern Magnolia was introduced into cultivation in about 1760. A common garden feature of the mid-nineteenth century was an elaborate boxwood garden with pathways flanked by crepe myrtles, southern magnolias or red cedars. The Fifth Terrace fits this description with its entire length edged with boxwood and towering southern magnolias planted by Sarah Ferrell during the War Between the States.
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