When you first get into the gardens you have a million directions to go and this may be overwhelming.
But don’t worry, you can hop on a seat next to a curiously wondering fellow who’s there to help you think through your adventure. We decided to work our way counter clockwise around the park, starting with some butterfly spotting. Next we ran to the Dorothy Chapman Fuqua Conservatory. I strongly advise going to the Botanical Garden on a Sunday, you practically have the run of the place for yourself.
The Conservatory acts as a world tour of different ecosystems, plants and climates that you can experience in a couple of hours. You start by catching some sun in the front left rotunda surrounded by ferns and fauna. And through the door adjacent you’re transported into the dry desert climates found in the Southwest US. I particularly enjoyed this room. The heat with the lack of humidity was actually quite comfortable in contrast to the humidity we had that weekend. As you pass through another door you find yourself in a Jurassic Jungle with Banana Palm leaves as tall as you hanging from 30 foot trees and large ferns peeking out around every corner. I half expected the Jurassic Park theme to play upon entering, but the only sound you could here were the chirping crickets and occasional quail call. The Jungle room was very much a climate I do not think I would enjoy. It was warm and humid; the humidity was so thick it was hard for your skin to breathe. Luckily I dressed light that day.
Although the room’s air is already fragrant with Orchids, it never hurts to get up close and personal for a quick whiff.
In the center grew a pool of succulents. An impressive collection of sage green and dusty blue beauties! Now if only I could get them to teach me their tips and tricks on keeping them alive.. As we wound through the remaining annexes of the Conservatory, we found ourselves ready for a pit stop next to a lily pool in the edible garden.
Reflecting on the day’s successes we decided to escape the blaring sun and grab a seat in the shade. But wait, look up!
There was easily a mile of paved path left unexplored with glowing fiberoptic bulbs that were ready to put on a show for that evening’s guests. The Atlanta Botanical Garden turns into a fiberoptic dreamscape at night with installations from local artists and music to accompany the fluorescent scene.
And by following that paved path we came upon the Lady of the Garden. A giant living installation of the Mother of the grounds who affectionately holds her hand out in bounty bringing good will to the garden itself. She’s got the most rigid job in the Garden but has the most beauty about her. She is not to be missed in the garden, and standing at over 2 stories high you really can’t miss her if you can find her. It was a day of dreams and wandering, and my heart couldn’t have been happier to cross this adventure off of our list.
Now I just need to plan a night to experience it in Neon!