Saturday, December 4, 2010

On my wish list

Under the sea at Bellingrath Gardens, December 2009
For the first time in three years we will miss the Christmas lights at Callaway Gardens at Pine Mountain, GA. There is still hope, however, that we will make the trip to Bellingrath Gardens closer to home.

Tonight may be the night, with youngest offspring and family arriving for a Christmas gathering of the extended Skupien family tomorrow. Bellingrath’s “Magic Christmas in Lights” features more than 3 million lights in 928 displays throughout the 65-acre garden estate.  There are two facts that make a visit to this Christmas lighting display extra special: All the light features are “homegrown”-- designed, built and maintained by the Bellingrath staff. I like that go-local connection. They are also designed with the garden’s history and location in mind.

View from the Asian garden December 2009
These local artisans’ inspired use of the varied natural features of rolling hills, lake and river, as well as the meticulously planned gardens, serves up delightful experience after delightful experience. Go here for a behind the scenes video of how they produce the seasonal display.
Okay, there are really a bunch of other reasons I like it. Our 2009 walk was like being part of a huge, friendly family, sharing my reactions throughout the colorful extravaganza: an enthusiastic return to childhood, awe at the ingenuity of the displays, quiet thoughts of the meaning of Christmas.

Then there were the spontaneous, and admittedly inelegant, guffaws (Is there any other Christmas light show out there that includes a family of armadillos, the scourge of southern gardens . . . at least mine!).

More Christmas lights:

Bellingrath: A garden of lights ( My Dec. 6, 2009 post)
Callaway Gardens, a holiday delight (Husband’s Nov. 30, 2010 post)


  1. we have two of these type light gardens here and i have never been. Selby gardens does it and so does Jungle Gardens. i might have to try it

  2. How wonderful! I hope you are able to go again! This is like the place we go, the botanical garden, and it takes all year to set up the lights. I had to click on your pictures to get a better look, I love Under The Sea!! How many pictures do you have, I would love to see lots more!

  3. Oh, I'd love to see this display. As pretty as the photos are, I can imagine how beautiful it is in person!