Botanical Gardens create local wonderland

Photo courtesy of Atlanta Botanical Gardens

Remember a time when there were things more beautiful than a perfectly written piece of code, a miraculous ‘A’ on a test or a day to sleep until noon? If not, maybe it is time to sit back and remember there is a world outside campus, and in that world, beauty and wonderment are plentiful.

Just ten minutes from campus lies an exhibit of unreal proportions at the Atlanta Botanical Garden.

The Atlanta Botanical Garden is displaying its latest exhibit: “Imaginary Worlds”, subtitled “A New Kingdom of Plant Giants”.

These “mosaiculture” sculptures are elaborate, natural monuments of many different creatures in the animal kingdom.

Each extraordinary masterpiece begins with wire mesh molded over a steel frame. Seeds, embedded in moss and dirt, are added as each creation begins to take shape.

These colossal creations, scattered throughout the garden, are given meticulous care. All the sculptures include an internal irrigation system and the staff has a daily watering schedule.

Each visitor’s adventure begins across the Canopy Walk: a modern walking bridge suspended 40 feet in the air trailing through the Storza Woods—a mature forest of native hardwood, pines and wildflowers. There is nothing else like it in the U.S. Its minimal metallic design shows how man and nature were meant to work together in harmony.

The benches have frames of smooth flowing metal but are topped with smooth oak.

Located in the Cascade Gardens, the Earth Goddess, the first installment, is a 25-foot bust of a woman cloaked in flowers and leaves. Water, the symbol of life, pours from her hands.

As spectators venture forward to get a close up view of the goddess, three gorillas can be seen on the path. Each piece of art portrays a different personality and towers overhead as one looks on with an incredulous expression.

A pair of gigantic cobras can be found near the cafe. It is easy to imagine a queen wearing a dress of their flowery skin.

Closer to the observatories, gargantuan butterflies can be found. Each one is an intricate sculpture that blends with its surroundings much like a real butterfly would: a hidden beauty waiting to be discovered.

In the Garden, everything natural and manmade is an art piece that speaks of pulchritude and life. The metalwork brings more essence to a place that is already a thriving metropolis of vines and natural beauty.

There are many more living sculptures waiting to be discovered nestled throughout the gardens. When visiting the Garden and seeing the featured exhibit, also take time to see the other allures the garden has to offer.

There are several collections to explore: the outdoors, which include the Japanese garden and Children’s Garden, the Orchid Daze, and the Fuqua Conservatory with the tropical rotunda and animals to see. The Four Seasons and the Italian Renaissance-inspired 15-foot busts alone make the experience worth the trip.

The exhibit will be on display through the end of October along with special events like the  Garden Chef demos and Cocktails in the Garden.

The garden provides something for every type of person: the plant enthusiast, the architect, the artist, the food guru and the child at heart.