May – October
A menagerie of magical creatures casts an enchanting spell over the Garden with 19 monumental living sculptures of fantasy and delight.
The sculptures – ranging up to 25 feet tall and 20 feet wide – include a gazing 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, greets visitors in the Cascades Garden.
“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 Garden’s president and CEO.
Light Up Your Imagination Contest
Share your imagination for a chance to win tickets to see Earth Goddess at Garden Lights!
Post your original photos, thoughts, poems, drawings, or anything else inspired by Imaginary Worlds on the Garden Facebook page. A Grand Prize winner will receive two tickets to come back for Garden Lights, Holiday Nights.
Each sculpture is a living, sophisticated evolution of the traditional “stuffed topiary” technique. Thousands of meticulously groomed 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. The larger than life sculptures are transported in climate-controlled trucks.
The exhibition of mosaiculture – the horticultural art of creating giant topiary-like sculptures using thousands of annual bedding plants to carpet steel armature 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 showing will be the first major exhibition of its kind in the U.S.
Cocktails in the Garden
May - September
Explore the fantasy world of Imaginary Worlds lit under the night sky during Cocktails in the Garden. Monthly themes highlight the fantasy sculptures:
MAY Social Butterflies
JUNE Snake Juice
JULY Drink Like a Fish
AUG Hair of the Dog
SEPT Magic Martinis
I hope that one million visitors come to see what a magical work of art this is. -Cesare Matrundola
Awesome fairy tale design! -Indie Underwood Bowman
Getting super excited for this exhibit. As we have come to appreciate, another lovely offering of the Atlanta Botanical Garden. Thanks for bringing this to Atlanta. -Dennis R. Kemp
Do visit and enjoy this magical garden. I want to go back and enjoy this again and brings my friends that love gardens and creativity. -Marina Alden Bryant
Know Before You Go
- The figures in Imaginary Worlds are delicate works of art. Thank you for not touching the living sculptures.
- The Fuqua Orchid Center Art Gallery is the perfect place to cool off and learn more about the exhibition. Read about the history of mosaiculture and this exhibition, and see images of the design and installation process.
- Hidden treasure awaits youngsters! Plan to take part in an Imaginary Worlds Treasure Hunt on the last Thursday of each month at 10:30 a.m. Suggested ages: 3 - 5
- Parents and caregivers are invited to take a Garden Stroller Strut every Friday at 10:30 a.m. Suggested ages: 1 - 2