May was an exciting month, starting with Garden2Blog, where I met up with fellow garden writers from all over the country. It was extra special to spend time with a few of my closest friends, Shawna Coronado, Christopher Tidrick and Michael Nolan. We have been communicating for a couple of years, but for me at least, it was my first time meeting these generous, talented and comedic garden pros in person. Connected by our passion for gardening, writing and photography, we wanted to collaborate on a project, thus our visits to the Chicago Botanic Garden (Shawna and Christopher) and the Atlanta Botanical Garden (Michael and I) were planned and executed in short order. The following is my synopsis of our visit to the Atlanta Botanical Garden.
Visiting the Atlanta Botanical Garden has been on my bucket list for a number of years—and like meeting my friends for the first time—it didn’t disappoint. It takes hours to stroll through the entire garden. Although we were there for four or five hours, I know we didn’t make it to every area. I look forward to another visit to see the rest of the garden.
Highlights of the visit were the Edible Garden and outdoor demo kitchen, where a cooking class was taking place. Nearby, heirloom tomatoes were interplanted with marigolds, artichokes and pomegranates bloomed, and lots of other vegetables and fruits were planted in ornamental fashion. The Edible Garden is chockfull of ideas to take home and try in your own garden, like the awesome vertical wall of herbs. I would love to have one of these on the farm.
The Fuqua Conservatory and Orchid Center should not be missed. The Fuqua Orchid Center is home to the largest collection of orchids in the United States, and I inhaled my way through the rare and delicately scented orchids. The Kendeda Canopy Walk offers an opportunity to stroll amongst cool, leafy treetops—quite an unusual experience. It is the only tree canopy-level walkway of its kind in the United States, and it leads to the gorgeous Cascades Garden with its mesmerizing moving sculptures and graduated waterfalls. I admit I dipped my toes in the water.
Photo opportunities abounded in the Rose Garden and Southern Season Garden, and there is excellent people-watching on the Great Lawn. The border gardens along the Great Lawn are stunning as well. I loved it all, but I think my absolute favorite was the little gem of a Japanese garden, tucked away behind Day Hall. The garden displays many of the principles of Japanese garden design that I have always admired.
If you live near a botanical garden, think about putting it on your bucket list, too. Sign up a fellow gardener or two, and make it a memorable day.
For my friends’ perspectives on our garden visits, check out the following posts: