Jim Scott's Alabama Wonderland Garden

Southern Living

I very nearly fell off my chair when I saw this garden...if you can really call it that. Dreamworld may be more appropriate. Making the most of its lush lakeside setting, Jim Scott's oasis is a mix of wilderness, whimsy, and plain fun— complete with a life-size chess set and natural stone-walled al fresco dining room. Oh yeah, and a waterfall.

Despite all its amenities and interesting man-made touches, part of the appeal of Jim's garden is its naturalness. Even the more manicured sections don't appear to upset or outdo nature:

Moss and natural elements mix with man-made forms like the sculpture busts.
A series of raised bridges traverse the garden. Southern Living explains that Jim created them so that "his late wife, Vivian, who was no longer ambulatory, could still tour the grounds."
Waterfalls and streams flowing through the garden set the dreamy tone.
A life size chess set provides a whimsical twist to a favorite pastime.
The huge natural stones enclose one of the many spots suited to enjoying a family meal.

I think any romantic visions I've held about secret gardens have just been blown out of the water.

Be sure to check out the full slideshow at: Southern Living

Images: Southern Living

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