Second Terrace


Down the steps from the GOD IS LOVE motto and in the center of the path on the east side of the 2nd terrace are three small beds edged in dwarf English boxwood that remain from Mrs. Ferrell’s original design—a cross, a butterfly, and a circle. Photographic evidence and written documentation show that similar beds were once located along the center of the southern and western sides as well, but only the circle in the southwest corner remains of those. Fuller Callaway Sr., in summation of the symbolism of these remaining beds, was quoted as saying, “The Cross, the instrument of our redemption by Jesus Christ, to be taken up daily and borne by the one who would be the Lord’s disciple; the circle, a symbol of the complete or well-rounded life; the butterfly, a symbol of the life to which there is no end.”

This terrace was referred to as the 2nd terrace by Alice Callaway but as Sentinel Avenue during the Ferrell years. That name was given by a pastor of the First Baptist Church of LaGrange, Rev. Martin B. Hardin, reportedly because it was bordered with tall, straight cedars that reminded him of sentinels. At some point, the cedars were all removed, but tree boxwood were planted on the western edge (we’ve surmised during the Ferrell years) and were kept trimmed into columns.  They subsequently were dubbed “Sentinel Box” as an effort to duplicate the effect of the clipped, columnar cedars. The tree boxwood were severely damaged in the cold winters of 1983 & ‘84 and although they survived for 20 years beyond this, their appearance never recovered. Cuttings were taken in the early 2000s, and they eventually replaced the old injured ones in 2010.

In this portion of the 1994 recorded interview of Alice Hand Callaway, she talks about the Italian influence on the garden benches and can be seen sitting on one of them on the 2nd Terrace.

Horticultural Specimens

  • Two Star magnolias (M. stellata), one planted in each of the boxwood-edged “circle beds” from Mrs. Ferrell’s original design. Blooms white, mid-winter through early spring. Planted by Alice Callaway in 1941.
  • Kurume azalea ‘Coral Bells’ (aka ‘Kirin’) (Rhododendron ‘Coral Bells’) blooms coral pink in late March or early April. Planted by Alice Callaway in 1942.
  • Kurume azalea ‘Hinodegiri’ (Rhododendron ‘Hinodegiri’) blooms magenta-red in late March or early April. Planted by Alice Callaway in 1942.
  • Tree box (Buxus sempervirens ‘Arborescens’), referred to by Ida & Alice Callaway as “Sentinel” boxwood on this terrace, because they were trimmed into columns after the fashion of the “Sentinel cedars” that Mrs. Ferrell grew along this terrace. Replaced in 2010 from cuttings taken from the original ones.

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