Sunday, July 22, 2012

Cocktails & Chihuly & Tai Chi!

My favorite place in all of Atlanta is the Atlanta Botanical Garden. I love it there so much, I've been a regular visitor since 1987 (and a member for many of those years). And, I started volunteering there two years ago this fall and as of last September, I am an Atlanta Botanical Garden docent.

Chihuly Sculpture, during Cocktails in the Garden
Parterre Garden, Atlanta Botanical Garden
Professionally I'm a techie, but I have a strong love for the peace and serenity the outdoors offers. That sometimes takes the form of biking or hiking, but there's no tranquility like that a garden gives. Our Garden is an incredible respite from city life, without having to take a day-trip or hop a plane...a respite that I often look forward to.

And the Atlanta Botanical Garden has become an Atlanta social destination.

Garden Light, Holiday Nights Atlanta Botanical Garden
Garden Light, Holiday Nights
Atlanta Botanical Garden
The Garden a "social destination" you ask? Yes, absolutely so!

Now in its 10th year, "Cocktails in the Garden" is a wonderful outing for friends, family, and it's also a romantic setting for date night. I love that visitors "dress" for Cocktails. Not everyone does and no one should feel like they have to dress...the event is for any and every person. But...I love that the ladies wear their cute summer dresses—usually longer on women closer to my age and shorter on the younger generation; and the gentlemen look quite dapper in the Garden with their khakis and collared shirts.

Orchid Daze Atlanta Botanical Garden
Orchid Daze
Atlanta Botanical Garden
But Cocktails isn't the only social event at the Garden. There are classes, including Tai Chi and cooking classes, and there's Science Cafe and members only events.

And then there are the seasonal events and exhibitions. A new Atlanta tradition: Garden Lights, Holiday Nights is insanely popular! Last year, the inaugural year, there were approximately 105,000 visitors...just for the lights! It's an immediate Atlanta tradition...and it's only going to get better!

There's also Orchid Daze and Atlanta Blooms in the spring, and Scarecrows in the Garden in the fall.

Orchid Daze, which I've written about times before, is spectacular. It's plenty that our city's Garden has one of the largest collections of orchids in the United States, but of course we have to take it up a notch at least once a year.

Scarecrows in the Garden Atlanta Botanical Garden
Scarecrows in the Garden
Atlanta Botanical Garden
There are approximately 25,000 species of orchids on the planet (and well over a quarter million hybrids!), and of those, the Garden has approximately 2,000 species of orchids in its collection. For this year's Orchid Daze, they bought in 917 additional orchid plants...that's THOUSANDS of orchid blooms! In one word...spectacular!

And they do orchid conservation and research. The place is so much more than just pretty plants and flowers!

I've only been to Scarecrows in the Garden once...that was this past year. I have to tell you, I will be back every year. This was so much fun! They put up approximately 100 scarecrows that have been made by clubs, individuals, families, companies...anyone can submit a scarecrow! And their diversity runs the scope of Cruella de Ville to scarecrow robots!

Atlanta Blooms! Atlanta Botanical Garden
Atlanta Blooms!
Atlanta Botanical Garden
So, as you can see in this brief rave of my favorite place in the city, the Atlanta Botanical Garden has so much to offer...and I've barely scraped my rake across the surface! Check it'll be glad you did.

By the way, the first image on this post is a pre-sized Facebook Cover Photo for you to use and enjoy. When you're done here, head over to the wanderlust ATLANTA Facebook Page for more Cover Photos and be sure to "Like" the Page while you're there. Thanks!

No comments: