A Saturday in Paradise

What do you envision when you think of paradise?  I always think of lush green valleys, vibrant colors, exotic birds…the warm dry heat.  I envision something perfect in it’s entirety . Beautiful order with the right amount of chaos.

Well, this weekend my ideal paradise and paradise in Summerville, Georgia turned out to be a little different… You heard me right! We spent Saturday (After purchasing new tires at the most “interesting” establishment) walking Paradise Gardens.

Howard Finster was the creator of Paradise Gardens.  He was a preacher turned folk artist.  A man who said he received a direct vision from God to spread his work through “sacred” art.  So, he embarked on his mission…a garden full of unique art and bible verses. His folk art has been featured in the Smithsonian and the High Museum of Art.  He has been featured in Time Magazine, Rolling Stone, the New York Times, People, etc.  He was a guest on different TV shows.   Howard Finster died in 2001…but  his vision lives on as his gardens continue to be toured and is now being maintained by a non-profit organization.  Justin and I agreed, although a very strange man with a strange concept…he definitely exposed more people to the bible then I will in a life time!

Every building was built with by his own hands.  Like the chapel…with a Coca-Cola bottle.

I lost Justin and Cora for a minute but found them…

Mosaic walks went winding throughout the gardens.  If you looked closely you would see all sorts of items in the pathway…chains, porcelain plates, even Star Wars figurines.

Broken jugs and cement made towers.

Apparently he considered himself the modern Noah…a visitor from another planet.

We followed the path to the mosaic house…it really was a beautiful work of art.

See Cora making her ugly face???? Silly.

Cora standing outside the doorway.

Walls of mosaics lined the back of the garden.

We walked through a tunnel…full of different artists work.

Our little family.

Elvis was next to some bible verses. (?)

I really loved these tin flowers.

We really enjoyed our time walking the gardens.  It was an interesting experience…although I said “weird” about a hundred times I must say, the amount of time this man spent building his garden is amazing. His garden has its own unique beauty. We would have to walk them over and over again in order to see all that we missed.  If you ever happen to be in Summerville, Georgia stop by Paradise Gardens.  It is worth the trip!

8 Responses to A Saturday in Paradise

  1. Susanna says:

    Wow…incredible garden! I’ve never seen anything like it before but it is so whimsical and beautiful! I love Cora’s outfit too…the dress and shoes are so cute!:)

  2. bchallies says:

    I am going to do exactly that – visit Paradise Gardens asap!

  3. sherene says:

    Beautiful Family…been reading ur blog for a long time but just had the courage to leave a comment. ( shyness factor) :) )
    I heart your Cora, she’s so beautiful and lovable , why not she has beautiful parents. Did you notice I mentioned the word ” beautiful 3 times?
    And oops I’m all the way from the Philippines and you look like our local actress Iza Calzado, and if ur curious enough google darling, you can be sisters.:))

  4. admin says:

    Thank you Sherene:) I hope you feel free to leave a comment any time now! The Philippines…how cool! I will google her.

  5. paulyD says:

    Fascinating! Do you know what those blue glass items are in pictures 8 and 11? Those things lining the side of the mosaic walkway? Those are old glass insulators from electrical poles. My Father in law collects them and has hundreds of them, all different shapes and sizes around his house. He’s well insulated if lightening ever strikes his house! lol.

    great blog. Good to know another Challies is on the web! :)

  6. I have never been to Paradise Gardens and I live in the next town south of Summerville, Rome. My wife has been though, and she thought it was a really neat place. Good to see our neck of the woods getting some visitors!

  7. [...] A Saturday in Paradise – My sister visited a bizarre little place in Somerville, Georgia and took some amusing photos. “This weekend my ideal paradise and paradise in Summerville, Georgia turned out to be a little different… You heard me right! We spent Saturday (After purchasing new tires at the most “interesting” establishment) walking Paradise Gardens.” [...]

  8. The most difficult thing is to find a blog with unique and fresh content but your posts are not alike. Bravo.

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