Middle Georgia Family Attraction
Beautiful Massee Lane Gardens is home to thousands of camellias and other flowers. This tranquil botanical garden is a great family attraction in Georgia.
The American Camellia Garden’s headquarters is tucked away between pecan and peach orchards in the beautiful Georgia countryside – for good reason! The headquarters building is surrounded by a 9 acre botanical garden with over 1,000 varieties of camellia. David Strother originally created the Massee Lane Gardens within his property starting in the 1930s. In 1966, he donated the land—and its amazing collection of flowers– to the American Camellia Society.
The main exhibit, a labyrinth of camellia bushes shaded beneath tall evergreens, features brick pathways with occasional millstones and mile markers that the original owner collected. But while camellias are certainly the highlight of the place, they are only the beginning of what there is to see at Massee Lane Gardens. Reasonably priced, beautiful, and tranquil even when busy, this botanical garden is a definite must-see for families looking for attractions in Georgia. Be sure to bring a camera!
- Stevens-Taylor Porcelein Galleries: Within the main building are two galleries containing the world’s largest display of figurines from E.M. Boehm. Other porcelain makers are also included in the collection. The artistry is breath-taking.
- Abendroth Japanese Garden: Tucked away in a corner of the camellia exhibit is a shaded tea house with a small waterfall and pond full of koi fish and frogs. This quiet, reflective area features different blooms throughout the year.
- Scheibert Rose Garden: Completed in memory of David Scheibert’s wife, the garden contains over 150 stunning roses.
- Brown & Hall Environmental Garden: This 15-acre area features plants native to Georgia and the Southeast US. The garden’s Education Pavilion, which can host classes, sits on the lip of a 2.4-acre lake. While the garden is still a work in progress, visitors can follow the walking path to examine the progression of habitats being planted in the area.
- T. J. Smith Memorial Greenhouse: Constructed in 1969, the building currently houses around 200 camellia plants.
- Daylily Garden: This area contains a dazzling area of showy daylily hybrids. Definitely worth making the visit to see them bloom in June.
- Massee Lane Gardens also boast azaleas, chrysanthemums, daffodils, daphnes, sasanquas, tea olives, longleaf and other pines, and more. Visitors can find a gift shop and restrooms in the main building.
When to Go
One of the best things about the Massee Lane Gardens is that plants are blooming at times when other botanical gardens are having lulls:
- Camellia’s peak from January to March.
- Sasanquan peak in November.
- Azalias peak in March.
- Daylilies peak in June.
- 100 Massee Lane (off of GA Highway 49)
- 5.5 miles sout of Fort Valley, Georgia
- Senior citizen and AAA discounts
- Free for ACS members, military, and children under 12
- Guided tours are available to groups for free with advanced reservations.
- 10 am – 4:30 pm Tuesday – Saturday
- 1:00 pm – 4:30 pm Sunday
- Closed Mondays except in February and June