all the fleurs

as i sit here this afternoon, enjoying another beautiful (but hot) atlanta day, the breeze wraps around me and the shade offers comfort.  folks on their sunday drives are passing by in their cars, the music from disco starbucks is setting the mood, and i get to work.

i spent the entire afternoon yesterday at the atlanta botanical gardens, and i’ve got a lot to share!

after gaining admittance and refilling my water bottle, i stepped outside to begin my journey.  what a beautiful day for a leisurely stroll around the garden!  you know what’s even better?  this fuzzy fellow was the first spectacle to greet me.

shaggy dog.

shaggy dog.

seeing as how i was in no hurry, which i hardly ever am, i began my trek through the canopy walk on the reverse suspension bridge.  the bridge was designed with the art of balance in mind, rising 40 feet above the terrain and stretching 600 feet  long.  getting to be above the forest floor was quite a treat, and walking across the only tree canopy-level walkway of its kind in america was pretty neat, too.

as i wound through the wood, i came upon more sculptures from the imaginary worlds display.  here are the gorillas…

…and then here is the earth goddess, perhaps the most majestic of them all.  her colored tresses are created from a multitude of low-lying shrubs that flow onto and into the ground surrounding her.  she wonderfully embodies the art of mosaiculture, a form of gardening and horticulture that first became popular in 16th century europe.  although it originally referred to simple geometric forms, mosaiculture has become more complex as it creates a mosaic-like appearance of the planted sculptures’ surfaces.

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walking along the pathways, i couldn’t stop the childhood memories that rushed back to me.  i closed my eyes as i pictured after-school days in the backyard with my neighborhood friends.  the smells and sounds all around me were comforting and nostalgic.  i couldn’t help but smile as i remembered the outdoors full of imagination and joy.  ah, those were the days!

as the breeze whirled around me, i allowed it to carry me on.  i found all the color as i entered the parterre garden.  i easily could have gotten lost, so i stuck to the right side of the path and moseyed along.  oh, and in case you were wondering, since i am almost never in a true hurry, when i say i “moseyed” somewhere, i mean it.  i am usually the last one of the pack, which has rightfully earned me the nickname “kelsey caboose.”

at this point, i’ll leave you with all the photos to enjoy.  thank goodness my phone camera didn’t act up too much!

the great lawn.

the great lawn

the edible garden was fun and lighthearted.

more creations from the imaginary world installment.

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the fuqua orchid center offered a brief respite from the day’s heat, so i welcomed some time indoors.  of course there were orchids, but my goodness, there must have been hundreds of plants in this space!

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i liked these tall flowers very much, although i could not tell you at all what they are.

tall flowers

as i found myself back at the great lawn, just before my grand exit, the philip haas sculptures were impossible to miss.  upon first look, they may seem familiar, and not surprisingly so.  these sculptures are references to giuseppe arcimboldo’s 16th century paintings that “personify the art and sculpture of horticulture.”  haas’ creations take things to the next level by becoming “whimsical embodiment(s)” of each season that “feature oversized twigs, fruits, vegetables, leaves, and other natural elements indicative of their respective months of origin.”  the spring sculpture, of course, was my favorite.

something i made sure to savor while i roamed around was that although atlanta is a large and sprawling city, we have a lush space like the botanical garden smack dab in the middle of it.  even though i could see the cityscape peeking through in the background, i couldn’t help but think how lucky we are and how beautiful this place is.

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