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The wonder and magic of Imaginary Worlds returns bigger and better with more sculptures and new imagination. Through October, explore a Garden enchanted by 28 fantastic living sculptures.
Frogs, Gorillas and Orangutans join returning favorites like the Unicorn, Ogre, Cobras, Rabbits, and Butterflies. The sculptures have been re-imagined with new plant designs and are located in different areas throughout the Garden. Earth Goddess, the largest sculpture at 25-feet-tall, dones dramatic new tresses flowing above the Cascades Garden.
“This exhibition will be the largest ever presented in the U.S. and promises to be another ‘wildly’ successful one,” says Mary Pat Matheson, the Garden’s president and CEO.
Monumental sculptures by artist Philip Haas visit the Garden this summer as reigning monarchs of the Great Lawn. Enjoy studying the intricate details of these compositions while marveling at the creative and surprising juxtaposition of recognizable plants employed in unexpected relationships.
Each gigantic bust, towering at more than 15 feet, is a whimsical embodiment of spring, summer, autumn and winter. The three-dimensional sculptures, made of painted fiberglass, feature oversized twigs, fruits, vegetables, leaves, and other natural elements indicative of their respective months of origin.
Every October the Garden is stuffed with nearly 100 scarecrows handcrafted by businesses, individuals, schools and organizations, and this year the creative scarecrows share the stage with the giant plant creatures of Imaginary Worlds during its final weeks.
Visit the Children's Garden for fun fall themed activities! Pumpkin bowling, craft activities and a plush pumpkin toss will delight youngsters of all ages.
Free with Admission
Saturdays and Sundays
10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Drop by the Fuqua Conservatory lobby to watch the conservation team tend to the rare and endangered amphibians on display at the Garden. The frogs jump into action when presented with their meal, and the amphibian specialist is available to answer questions about these captivating creatures.
On Saturday mornings a public frog feeding allows visitors the opportunity to observe one of the most interesting aspects of these amphibians - their feeding behavior. Most frogs have long sticky tongues that shoot out from their mouths at food. Some, like Poison Frogs, are able to do this with such incredible speed and accuracy that all visitors notice are flies disappearing. Others, like the Splendid Leaf Frog, are dramatic feeders and hardly use their tongues at all, but rather grab the cricket with their large hands and stuff it right in their mouths.
Each weekend in the Edible Garden Outdoor Kitchen, the Garden Chef showcases fresh seasonal fruits, vegetables and herbs in simple and mouthwatering recipes. Be inspired to try something new the next time you cook.
Saturdays & Sundays
May - October
noon, 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.
Celebrate the harvest season with a selection of seasonal brews and live music. Bring a flashlight to explore Scarecrows in the Garden, and this is the final month to see the living sculptures of Imaginary Worlds.
A variety of fall-themed ales are available for purchase:
Ace Pumpkin Cider
Bell's Best Brown Ale
Fall Hornin' Pumpkin Ale
Innis & Gunn Scottish Porter
Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale
Please note: The Children's Garden closes at dusk.
Thursdays in October
5 - 10 p.m.
Herbalist, author, and photographer Steven Foster discusses how more than 400 native and naturalized medicinal plants and other botanical resources gained new focus in the South during the Civil War. With ports blockaded and foreign imports difficult to obtain, experts were called upon to rapidly inventory and develop information on the practical uses of wild-growing plants of all kinds. That information is still relevant today, providing intrigue and interest for gardeners, herbalists, historians and scientists.
Steven Foster celebrates 40 years of work in the medicinal plant field. He has published more than 900 photo-illustrated articles in a wide range of media and serves as and is a longtime contributor to HerbalGram. Foster is the co-author of 18 books.
The Philip and Elkin Alston Lecture series is made possible by the generous support of the Charles Loridans Foundation. Admission is free and no reservations are required.
Free Alston Lecture
Thursday, November 6
Garden Members are invited to explore Garden Lights with friends and family before it opens to the public!
Tickets On Sale Now!
Select November 13 on the ticket purchase page. Have your member number ready or become a member at time of ticket purchase.
Member tickets required for all attendees including children with free admission.
Tickets must be purchased by a member.
Advanced tickets recommended.
Non-peak admission applies.
Guest passes not accepted.
Limited $10 event parking is available. $5 for cars with more than 3 people.
Take a journey around the holiday model train garden!
G-scale choo choo trains and a holiday trolley chug along six tracks in an imaginary, beautifully planted mountain landscape. They emerge from tunnels, cross bridges over rippling water, and soar across trestles. Small towns, train stops, and other structures dot the landscape. Keep an eye out for whimsical surprises such as the Grinch, reindeer playing reindeer games, North Pole City, Santa’s workshop, a logging village, an ice house village, and a farm town.
The trains depart during regular daytime hours and at night during Garden Lights. Trains may not run during inclement weather.
November 15 - January 3
Garden Lights flips on with hot new colors to warm up the season!
The fourth annual electrical extravaganza features spectacular light displays throughout the Garden. Come back to explore all new color schemes and the one-time-only appearance of giant Butterflies, a Unicorn, and Frogs from Imaginary Worlds.
Favorites such as the Orchestral Orbs, Glittering Galaxy, Radiant Rainforest, and Model Trains continue to make the exhibition a must-see holiday tradition.
All aboard The Botanical Express! The popular children's ride-on-train is set to depart on a journey through the Garden.
$3 per passenger | Tickets sold in the Hardin Visitor Center (Children under 3 must be accompanied by a ticketed adult)
Saturday - Sunday, November 22 -23
Saturday - Sunday, November 29 - 30
Saturday - Sunday, December 6 - 7
Saturday - Sunday, December 13 - 14
Saturday - Tuesday, December 20 - 21
Daily, December 22, 23, 24, 26, 27, 28
Visit the Holiday Model Train Show and see choo choo trains and a holiday trolley chug along six tracks in an imaginary, beautifully planted landscape.
Please note: The Ride-on-Train does not run during inclement weather.
Weekends & Select Weekdays
November 22 - December 28
10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Meet Saint Nick clad in his dark green robe and botanical head wreath. Bring a camera to take your own photos.
Free with Garden Admission | Members Free
Saturdays, November 29 - December 20
10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Join the once-a-year fun of dogs in the Garden. Dress your pooch in holiday finery to compete for prizes with celebrity judges or to just show off. Enjoy Pup Tent refreshments, Photos with Saint Nick, and connect with local canine enthusiasts and businesses in the Doggie Expo. The first 100 pre-registered participants to arrive receive a special Wag-Bag of gifts.
Don't have a dog? Come enjoy the show!
Dogs compete in the following categories:
Best Dog Pack
Best Dog-Owner Dress-a-Like
Not competing – just showing off!
Registration Opens November 3. The cost, in addition to regular human entry, is $15 per dog in advance or $18 per dog at the door. Walk-up dogs cannot compete for prizes or participate in the parade. Regular Garden Admission applies for humans and handlers. Guest passes and membership cards are accepted for human entry.