Georgia’s Hamilton Rhododendron Garden will blossom into full spring bloom soon

Tue, 03/06/2007 - 3:54pm
By: Michael Boylan

The beautiful Hamilton Rhododendron Garden that lie sprawled on the shore of Lake Chatuge on the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds will soon be in full spring bloom. The garden, which boasts more than 400 varieties and 3,000 plants, is in full bloom from early April to late May. The Hamilton Rhododendron Garden is open daily from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. There is no admission charge, but a donation of $3 is requested.

While the Garden is open year-round, the plants reach their full glory between April and May. More information on the Garden is available at Hamilton Rhododendron Garden is home to the largest collection of hybrid rhododendrons in the state of Georgia and has been a part of the state for over 50 years. A plant breeder and former Sears, Roebuck and Company executive, the late Fred Hamilton and his wife Hazel’s long-standing love affair with rhododendrons began in 1952 when they bought their first home in the Atlanta area and found native azaleas and rhododendrons on their property. Their interest grew after moving to Towns County, Ga., and finding the woods full of azaleas, rhododendrons and other wildflowers. Fred even developed the yellow azalea, the only domestic yellow azalea in existence, which he named after his wife. The Hamiltons planted additional hybrids and generously opened their private garden to the public.

In 1982 the Hamiltons donated their garden to the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds, and more than 1,000 plants were relocated from the Hamilton’s Atlanta home to their present site. Now that the Hamilton Rhododendron Garden has a permanent locale in Hiawassee, the Fairgrounds has added 100 new plants each year.

Thanks to Fred and Hazel’s passion and vision, the botanical paradise is now bursting with dogwoods, tulip magnolias, native azaleas, lady slippers, trillium and hundreds of rhododendron.
The Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds is home to several popular events throughout the year including the Georgia Mountain Fair, the Georgia Mountain Roots & Music Festival, the Georgia Mountain Fall Festival and Georgia’s Official State Fiddlers’ Convention. The Fairgrounds is located along the shores of beautiful Lake Chatuge in the north Georgia mountain community of Hiawassee and offers 189 beautiful camp and RV sites, most with lake views. Sites are equipped with modern conveniences and are available year round.

For more information on the property and campsites as well as a complete listing of events, visit

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Submitted by Mcdaddy on Tue, 03/17/2009 - 3:41am.

Many garden clubs visit the park while the rhododendrons are in bloom. The easy walk meanders through gorgeous displays of vibrant colorful flowers.
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