Native Son: December 21, 2023
I got a Christmas gift a little early this year … a trip to the Atlanta Botanical Garden! So in the spirit of the season, I thought I might share a bit of it with you … or at least part of it, as I can only share 86 of the 946 photos I took.
The only purpose of this paragraph is to let Gretchen know that there really aren’t that many photos. Ha. She’s laughin’ already…
I first visited this garden in June of 1995, when I was performing a case study at nearby Zoo Atlanta for my thesis. I was blown away by the Fuqua Conservatory then, and even more so today.
Before we head inside, let’s take a peek at a few of the most noteworthy things outside. The Earth Goddess is a 25-foot-tall topiary that changes colors with the seasons. It is framed beautifully from many different angles.
Top photo: The Kendeda Canopy Walk is an engineering marvel. This 600 foot-long, 12 foot-wide boardwalk soars more than 40 feet tall through a forest of towering trees. Bottom photo: Mixing palm trees with evergreen conifers is difficult, but they’ve done it beautifully.
As we head into the conservatories, we find this lovely tropical wreath, festooned with bromeliads and orchids, is built entirely of epiphytes; plants that normally grow on other plants. Personally, I love how the wreath itself is so strongly symmetrical yet is harmoniously balanced by a few perfectly-placed orchids. At right: Whimsy done right! You’ll find all sorts of colorful characters around the ABG….or should it be the “ATLBG?”
Waves of colorful bromeliads and pink-blushed white poinsettias celebrate the holiday season. Delicate touches of yellow accent magnificent white orchids.
It was fun to see the holiday display playfully interwoven with the concurrent orchid display.
Usually I am careful to try and identify exact plant names when taking photos, but this time, well, I turned into a photo-snapping fool, just clicking away at all the pretty babies. Perhaps Shakespeare was right about this, too, for “…that which we call an orchid by any other name would smell as sweet.” Close enough…
From amazing curtains of dangling aerial roots to exotic blossoms from across the globe, this conservatory complex rocks!
More amazing flowers! More plant names I don’t know!
Just outside the conservatories, colonies of Sarracenia pitcher plants thrive. I can easily imagine plant breeders putting the magic touch on the red and white variety and someday producing pitcher plants that will rival the brilliant colors of poinsettias.
The golden autumn color of Amsonia herbrichtii shines in a small courtyard. And yes, on top of everything else, they have Chihuly glass in the garden!
And finally … nothing says greatness like a Kitty-Puppy Christmas tree in the ABG gift shop!
Hope you enjoyed your quick tour! Merry Christmas … and to all, a good night!
I need a road trip! Let me know if you’d like me to come and speak to your group sometime. I’m low maintenance, flexible, and you know I like to go just about anywhere. No city too big; no town too small. Just send me an e-mail at email@example.com and we’ll work something out.