Absolutely stunning! Fascinating history.
"Just to think, I realized, both this tree and the garden had witnessed a great swath of southern history. They had lived through the Civil War, the harsh era of Reconstruction, the death of the Barrows, who had been laid to rest just yards away from the oak itself in the family cemetery. Through the subsequent years, the oak and the garden had endured the days of the Depression, oftentimes neglect, the coming and going of different owners, the impacts of seasonal weather, and, finally, fire itself that demolished completely the great house, reducing it to a pile of ruins, the seeming end of Afton Villa.
But through it all, the old oak and it's surrounding gardens still stood - a symbol of endurance and a triumph of nature to overcome all disasters that would befall. Wasn't this, I thought with sudden clarity, exactly what had drawn Bud and me here in the first place? It was Afton Villa's miraculous ability to have risen, phoenix like, out of the ashes of tragedy. " - Genevieve Munson Trimble
The Victorian Gothic plantation, Afton Villa, before fire destroyed the great house in 1963.
Genevieve Munson Trimble, author and owner of Afton Villa Gardens.