About the Exhibition in Atlanta
May 11 – Oct. 27, 2019: Follow Alice down the rabbit hole with new creations in the Skyline Garden and more.
The exhibition of giant topiary-like plant sculptures at both the Midtown and Gainesville gardens, is back by popular demand after last summer’s blockbuster show, Imaginary Worlds: Once Upon a Time. Many of last year’s crowd-favorite sculptures will make a comeback – but donning coats of different plant palettes.
Making encore appearances from 2018 are the Dragon, Mammoth, Mermaid, Phoenix, Camels and Pegasus – many sporting all-new plantings.
IMAGINARY WORLDS IN GAINESVILLE
Though works inspired by Alice in Wonderland are only at the Atlanta Garden, at the Gainesville Garden, look for a return of the friendly Ogre along with Rip van Winkle, Bears and Frogs.
New in Atlanta, 2019
In Atlanta, a giant White Rabbit towers at more than 27 feet tall as it floats inside an upside-down umbrella in the Skyline Garden pond. That tops even the Garden’s resident Earth Goddess sculpture, at 22 feet. On the Skyline lawn is an expansive chess board bordered by nine heart “trees” each more than 12 feet tall, with a giant Cheshire Cat poised nearby. Alice herself is on hand – just elsewhere in the Garden. Who’s up for the challenge of finding her?
The Planting Process
Artisan welders, working from sketches and photos, weld thin rods with sheet steel to create a framework for the plants. The large armatures are then divided into smaller pieces for fitting into a greenhouse where horticulturists can begin their work.
Once positioned in the greenhouse to receive the most sunlight, the frames are stuffed with a planting medium,
an internal irrigation system is attached and thousands of plants are “plugged.”
It takes several weeks for the growth to yield colorful, living textures. Most of the color comes more from foliage and less from blooms.
Large semi-trucks, cranes and smaller equipment are used to move the sculptures from the greenhouse to their positions in the Garden. Several weeks are required to install the exhibition including all sculptures and plantings around them.
The living sculptures are maintained daily by the horticulture team to keep them thriving and healthy. Visitors may observe staff at work meticulously shearing the pieces, as constant grooming is needed to maintain the sculptures’ artistic lines.