Experience Imaginary Worlds at Atlanta Botanical Garden

Despite the gorgeous weather, one of the best things about Atlanta during the spring and summer season are the beautiful flowers, plants and trees that populate our fair city. If you love to indulge in the overwhelming yet understated beauty of the seasonal blooms, then Atlanta Botanical Garden has something you are sure to love, as the Imaginary Worlds exhibition arrives just in time! A menagerie of magical creatures casts an enchanting spell over the Atlanta Botanical Garden during May through October with Imaginary Worlds: Plants Larger Than Life - 19 monumental living sculptures of fantasy and delight.

The exhibition of mosaiculture - the horticultural art of creating giant topiary-like sculptures using thousands of living plants to carpet steel forms - is the creative genius of International Mosaiculture of Montreal. The nonprofit group has staged wildly successful exhibitions of its work around the world, and the Atlanta Botanical Garden showing will be the first major exhibition of its kind in the United States. "The scale of this work, the imagination, and the excitement knowing we will be the first-ever U.S. botanical garden to host one of their exhibitions stands to place this event on par with our blockbuster showing in 2004 of Dale Chihuly's glass sculptures," said Mary Pat Matheson, the Atlanta Botanical Garden's president and CEO.

The sculptures - ranging up to 25 feet tall and 20 feet wide - include a grazing unicorn, a friendly ogre, a pair of gigantic cobras, a group of enchanting rabbits, and a couple of flighty butterflies. The largest piece, a 25-foot-tall representation of a goddess emerging from the earth, will greet visitors in the Cascades Garden. Each sculpture is a living, sophisticated evolution of the traditional "stuffed topiary" technique. Thousands of meticulously groomed plants (mostly annuals) are planted into soil-and-sphagnum moss filled netting covering the steel forms - hidden works of artisanship themselves - to carpet the skeletons in colorful patterns.

Complex irrigation systems beneath the surface of the sculptures allow the plants to grow - and the creatures to flourish - in Atlanta's summer heat. During the international exhibition in Montreal, Atlanta will join 50 other cities in supporting a mosaiculture display representing the Garden and its conservation work. "The synergy between Montreal and Atlanta in bringing this acclaimed sculpture to the United States further highlights our continued commitment in showcasing the marriage of art and nature in the Garden," Matheson said. For more information about the Atlanta Botanical Garden, visit www.atlantabotanicalgarden.org . Garden hours are Tuesday-Sunday, April-October from 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. (Thursdays till 10 p.m.) and November-March from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is $18.95 adults, $12.95 children 3-12, free to children under 3 and Garden members. For more information about the author, Danielle Jennings, please visit my Google+ profile page.