white rabbit atlanta botanical garden
Journey

Exploring Wonderland at the Atlanta Botanical Garden

It was a hot summer day, but that didn’t keep us from falling down the rabbit hole to experience Imaginary Worlds: Alice’s Wonderland at the Atlanta Botanical Garden.

This exhibition features larger-than-life living sculptures inspired by Alice in Wonderland. Wander throughout the gardens in search of Alice, the Cheshire Cat, and the White Rabbit. There were fun discoveries to be made around every corner!

Overview

Into the Gardens

The garden sprawls across 30 acres in Midtown Atlanta, right next to Piedmont Park. Once you pass through the Chihuly-decorated lobby and enter the garden, you will soon forget you are smack dab in the beating heart of a major city.

great lawn with the atlanta botanical garden in the back
The Great Lawn of the Atlanta Botanical Garden, with the Midtown Atlanta skyline in the background.

But first…

can of garden beer with white flowers in the background
Garden Beer

So long as you are 21+, grab a Garden Beer golden ale. It is will cool you down on a hot Atlanta day. The beer is a collaboration between Atlanta Botanical Garden and local brewery, Wild Heaven Beer.

Pro-Tip: Bring a reusable water bottle with you. There are refillable water bottle stations throughout the park. Stay hydrated!

Alice’s Wonderland

Not all of the Alice’s Wonderland sculptures are in one place. You will have to explore to find Alice and the Cheshire Cat.

alice in wonderland plant sculpture at atlanta botanical garden
Alice may have had too many Garden Beers!

I loved the red and white mushrooms scattered around her. The attention to detail and love of the plants is evident throughout the whole park. And who is that lurking in the bushes?

magical door topiary plant sculpture atlanta botanical garden
Enter if you dare!

I am definitely the person who would be the one to enter a magical portal if one so whimsical as this presented itself.

alice in wonderland chess set topiary plant sculptures atlanta botanical garden
Checkmate!

This huge chessboard featured plant sculptures of the knights, pawns, and the Queen of Hearts’ playing-card guards. Luckily, the queen was nowhere around so I was able to keep my head!

white rabbit topiary plant sculpture with atlanta skyline in background
The White Rabbit

The White Rabbit seems to have arrived at the place he was running late to, as he relaxes in an upside-down umbrella. This incredible sculpture clocks in at about 27 feet tall. It is truly a sight.

Imaginary Worlds’ Giant Plant Sculptures

In addition to the Alice in Wonderland exhibition, the Atlanta Botanical Garden brought back some fan-favorite giant plant sculptures from last year, revamped them, and placed them throughout the gardens.

mermaid topiary at atlanta botanical garden with atlanta skyline in background
The mermaid
atlanta botanical garden pegasus topiary plant sculpture
Pretty pegasus

I loved the fluffy hair and the finesse of the wings. It’s hard to believe these are made of plants!

wooly mammoth topiary plant sculpture at the atlanta botanical garden
Wooly mammoth

A wooly mammoth sculpture peacefully lurks in the woods.

dragon topiary plant sculpture atlanta botanical garden
The dragon

This picture does not do the dragon any justice. The dragon plant sculpture is 20 feet tall, 25 feet long, and is made up of over 24,000 individual plants.

phoenix topiary plant sculpture
Phoenix

The phoenix is an impressive, stately plant sculpture.

There are a few other giant topiaries you can seek out, but I won’t spoil all of the fun!

Throughout the Rest of the Garden

In addition to this exhibition, there are thousands and thousands of other plants and sights to see.

hydrangeas at atlanta botanical garden
Lush hydrangeas in the hydrangea garden
chameleon gate detail at the atlanta botanical garden
Chameleon decor on a garden gate
germination lab at the atlanta botanical garden
The germination lab that grows regular, rare, and endangered plants
atlanta botantical garden skyway
Skyway

Walk amongst the treetops to find the iconic Earth Goddess fountain.

The Fuqua Conservatory and Orchid Center

We spent a lot of time in the Fuqua Conservatory and Orchid Center. It was peaceful and awe-inspiring. I saw exotic plants I had never seen before in my life. It was a nice place to find a seat, and take it all in.

root systems overtaking wood in the greenhouse at atlanta botanical garden
A new take on air plants.
moss consuming a plant pot at the atlanta botanical garden greenhouse
The moss consumes the plant
pink and white spotted leaf plants atlanta botanical garden
Exotic orchid
long skinny roots cascade down from the ceiling of the greenhouse
Looking up at all of the root systems
high elevation house informational sign at the atlanta botanical garden
High elevation house informational placard

The high elevation house was cool and humid, something I had never experienced before. A lot of the plants in this area were almost otherworldly. It seemed evident that this climate and the plants that flourish in it were the inspiration for some fantasy/sci-fi worlds we’ve seen in books and films.

pitcher plant at the atlanta botanical garden
Pitcher plants
skylights of the greenhouse
Moody greenhouse ceiling.

Exiting the Rabbit Hole

Whether the Imaginary Worlds exhibition is going on or not, the Atlanta Botanical Garden is a worth a trip whether you have a few hours or a full day. Bring the kids, bring a date, either way you can have a special day outside and connect with the natural world.

If you end being further north, visit the ABG’s Gainesville Garden. This intimate garden offers a lot, and is worth popping by whenever you are in the area and need a family-friendly outdoor activity.

Thanks for reading the Digital Molt Blog, Jenna. @DigitalMolt

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