DeWitt Boyd’s longtime hobby is making tiny houses out of pebbles and clay to decorate his yard in Calhoun, Georgia. He started off doing it for his children, but the hobby has evolved into a true passion project.
DeWitt prefers to be called by the nickname “Old Dog.” In 2007, the creative retiree decided to take his pebble house game to the next level. He approached his church, Calhoun Seventh Day Adventist Church, with a dream of building an entire pebble village on their land.
Luckily for the world, the church said yes! Old Dog and his wife, Joyce Maples, got to work creating an elaborate village of pebble cottages, castles, bridges, sidewalks, and moats. With more room to expand, they tackled bigger projects, erecting famous buildings like Notre-Dam and even the walled city of Bethlehem.
Soon, the Calhoun Rock Garden, or simply “The Garden,” was born. It’s now a tourist destination that draws visitors from miles around to experience its ethereal beauty and serenity.
Don’t just take our word for it! Check out 10 of our favorite scenes from The Garden below.
1. The Garden is filled with over 50 miniature churches, houses, and castles.
2. The attention to detail is incredible, right down to the stained glass windows, tiny figurines, and intricate plantings.
3. The Garden started off as “The Town Game,” which Old Dog played with his eight children as they were growing up.
4. It takes Old Dog a long time to build each piece. It took 27 months to build this stunning Notre-Dame replica.
5. Old Dog used to rely on clay to bind the pebbles together, but he discovered that cement works better in Calhoun’s cold winters.
6. The sculptures are now made out of cement, reinforced with wire, and adorned with pebbles, shells, broken glass, and bits of broken china.
7. The Colosseum is just one of the famous buildings that graces The Garden.
8. The Garden is a beautiful, spiritual place to visit in every season, and admission is always free.
9. During non-pandemic years, The Garden hosts an annual lighting ceremony each October.
10. People even book The Garden for their weddings! In fact, Old Dog and Joyce tied the knot there themselves.
We’re adding this place to our bucket list in case we’re ever nearby in Georgia! What a beautiful, relaxing hobby that provides a real respite from everyday life.
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