Once Upon a Time
Imaginary Worlds returns this spring with a menagerie of all new giant living plant sculptures sure to bring a smile as they take visitors on a fantasy journey throughout the Atlanta Botanical Garden, both at the Midtown and Gainesville locations. These living sculptures – ranging up to 25 feet tall and 20 feet wide – will include an enchanting Mermaid, a beautiful Peacock, a trio of gigantic Camels, and much more.
Throughout the exhibition, guests will be able to also enjoy the sculptures in a whole new light at night – illuminated on Thursday evenings during Cocktails in the Garden.
About The Exhibiton
Back by popular demand, the exhibition, presented May 5 – October 28, recaptures the magic of the original blockbuster show from 2013 and 2014 with larger-than-life, topiary-like whimsical sculptures – only this time they’re even bigger. And most of them have never been seen before.
Imaginary Worlds will wow visitors with a storybook-themed world of sculptures, both indoors and out – most custom made for the Garden by the exhibition’s creators, International Mosaiculture of Montreal®. This time, the sculptures – steel forms covered in soil-and-sphagnum moss and planted with thousands of meticulously groomed plants – will be staged in 14 installations.
This all-new cast of characters joins the Gardens’ permanent sculptures, Earth Goddess, Shaggy Dog and Frogs, which are legacies from the original exhibition.
New Sculpture in the Gardens
At the Midtown garden, look for a giant Phoenix looming over the Alston Overlook, a mermaid lounging beside Howell Fountain, a massive dragon and sleeping princess near the Great Lawn, a prancing peacock inside the Fuqua Orchid Center, and three towering camels lumbering through the Skyline Garden, to name a few.
At the Gainesville garden, the landscape will be adorned with a variety of characters, including a friendly ogre, panda bears and frolicking frogs.
The Mosaiculture Process
The process for creating the sculptures takes nearly half a year. It began last fall when conceptual drawings for the pieces were developed in Montreal, metal frames were fabricated, and plant palettes were chosen. The empty frames were shipped to Atlanta in January, and the Garden’s horticulturists began covering them with a mesh fabric and stuffing them with soil. Then the
planting commenced - inserting more than 200,000 plants, primarily annuals, one by one. Because Atlanta’s winters are too cold for the annuals to survive, the sculptures were built in sections that were planted inside a greenhouse just outside the city, then trucked to the Garden in spring for assembling on site. Intricate irrigation systems beneath the surface of the sculptures allow the plants to grow – and the creatures to flourish – in Atlanta’s summer heat.