Get a Glimpse Through the Looking Glass Alice’s Wonderland

Alice, tired from her adventures, is peacefully sleeping in the Perennial Garden, under the watchful eye of the ever-grinning Cheshire Cat. Imaginary Worlds: Alice’s Wonderland will run from May through October 27, 2019.

 

Lewis Carroll’s beloved tale of a young girl’s adventures in a strange land is vividly brought to life at the new Imaginary World’s exhibit, Alice’s Wonderland, at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. You will feel you have tumbled down the rabbit hole with Alice as you explore 31 fantastical creatures in 11 vignettes, featured throughout the garden.

Although he always seemed “late for a very important date,” the white rabbit has learned to chill out, while floating in the Skyline Garden pond. The display utilizes stonecrop (Sedum), Joseph’s Coat (Alternathera), and wax begonia.

As you wander through Alice’s whimsical world, the exhibits get “curiouser and curiouser.” You will be captivated by the 27-foot tall white rabbit and his clock, floating serenely in the Skyline Garden pond as if he is not really late at all for a very important date! Nearby on the Skyline lawn, the Red Queen’s Army stalks a huge chessboard of evergreen chess pieces. In the perennial garden, the ever-grinning Cheshire cat hovers over the sleeping Alice.

The iconic chessboard from Alice in Wonderland is beautifully portrayed on the Skyline Lawn.

Returning for an encore engagement from last summer’s show, Imaginary Worlds: Once Upon a Time, are a few favorite and awe-inspiring creatures that will astound you – Dragon, Mermaid, Wooly Mammoth, Phoenix, Camels, and Pegasus – all vividly re-imagined in new plant combinations. Game of Thrones fans will be particularly captivated by the dragon, measuring over 20 feet tall and 25 feet wide, and incorporating almost 25,000 plants into its frame!

The exhibition is a partnership between the garden and the International Mosaiculture of Montreal®. Mosaiculture uses plants as the artistic medium to create amazing and magical living garden art. The technique dates back to the 16th century when European landowners commissioned “embroidery beds” – elaborately designed flower beds that had visual impact when viewed up close or at a distance. At first, simple geometric patterns were used, but over the years the designs became more complex and three-dimensional, taking on the appearance of an intricate mosaic.

Standing 20 feet high and 25 feet wide, this visually stunning dragon takes center stage at the Rock Garden, near the reflecting pond.

More than 200,000 plants have been used to create the living sculptures featured at Atlanta Botanical Gardens. The whimsical creatures are reminiscent of topiary forms or the flower creations on floats at

The scales of the dragon are designed using stone crop (Sedum), Echeveria, Hens and Chicks (Sempervivum), Joseph’s Coat (Alternathera), and Pilea glauca.

the Rose Bowl Parade. The sculptures are assembled with steel frames, covered in landscape fabric and packed with a potting mixture and an internal irrigation system. Thousands of small plant plugs, in a variety of textures and colors, are then inserted into the planting medium. The smaller creatures may take only a few days to assemble, but the larger ones take weeks or months!

The 25-foot tall Earth Goddess, lounging near the waterfall at the Cascade Garden, and Shaggy Dog, in the Garden House courtyard, were purchased by the garden after the first Imaginary Worlds exhibit in 2013, and remain permanent focal points to be replanted and enjoyed each year.

The signature piece in the garden, the Earth Goddess was purchased after the 2013 exhibition and continues to inspire visitors to the Cascades Garden.

If you enjoy the displays at Atlanta Botanical Garden and want to see more of Imaginary Worlds, take a drive north to Gainesville to the botanical garden’s newest site and see the Ogre, Rip Van Winkle, Bear, and Frogs.

Imaginary Worlds: Alice’s Wonderland will run from May through October 27. For ticket information, go to atlantabg.org.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bonnie Helander

I am a writer and blogger with a specialty in gardening and a proud graduate of the University Of Georgia. I live in Peachtree City with husband, Dan, and enjoy hiking, gardening, being a member of the Peachtree City Garden Club and rooting for the Georgia Bulldogs!

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