Saturday, June 1, 2019

Atlanta Botanical Garden - Gainesville

I've been wanting to visit the Atlanta Botanical Garden, Gainesville since it opened and finally went recently...it's a magical place with lots of room to grow! I highly recommend a visit to explore...and be sure to bring your camera!


Atlanta Botanical Garden - Gainesville | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Atlanta Botanical Garden - Gainesville | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

Some of the programming at the Gainesville location mimics—not exactly though—what you might see at the Midtown location. Wonderful for visitors, they have their own "Imaginary Worlds" exhibition, with some sculptures that Atlantans have never seen—including TWO PANDAS!!!—and others that we've seen before but that have new plantings. 


Atlanta Botanical Garden - Gainesville | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Atlanta Botanical Garden - Gainesville | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

It's not as far away as you might think, either! Heading north on I-85 and I-985, it's only an hour from the Atlanta Botanical Garden in Midtown! There are more scenic routes that add only another 20 minutes. Did you know it was that close?! 

If you're a member, admission is free. Regular admission is only $8 for adults and $5 for kids...a fantastic deal considering the beauty within! It's smaller (for now) than Atlanta, but it's a wonderful place.


Atlanta Botanical Garden - Gainesville | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Atlanta Botanical Garden - Gainesville | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

I opened with the recommendation to bring your camera when you visit. I wasn't sure what to expect when I visited, whether or not they would have the same plantings as they do at the Atlanta location, but let me put that to rest right now...

The plantings here are beautiful, they're stunning, and you will definitely see plants, trees and flowers that you do not see at the Midtown location. I was delighted with every corner and path I turned.


Atlanta Botanical Garden - Gainesville | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Atlanta Botanical Garden - Gainesville | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor


Many of us know that the Midtown Atlanta location has 'Cocktails in the Garden' on Thursday evenings. The Gainesville location is hosting its first Flamingle in the Garden this coming Thursday, June 6, 2019!
Themed to the fabulous 50s, the Garden will be loaded with groovy fun: a mobile record shop by the local folks at Imperial Records, hula-hoop and limbo contests starting at 7 p.m. on the Terrace, games on the Event Lawn, DJ and live oldies music in the Ivester Amphitheater and more.
This inaugural event sounds like great fun!

Atlanta Botanical Garden - Gainesville | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Atlanta Botanical Garden - Gainesville | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

Also at the Gainesville location for "Imaginary Worlds" is The Ogre, which was one of my favorites during the 2013-2014 exhibit at the Atlanta location! 

When you check-in at the Visitor Center, be sure to ask about the location of the sculptures. The Ogre is off the beaten path—to the left when you first enter the Garden. The others are along the main path which makes a giant loop through the Garden.


Atlanta Botanical Garden - Gainesville | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Atlanta Botanical Garden - Gainesville | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

A super-popular program at the Midtown location, "Concerts in the Garden" also takes place at the Gainesville location. They have fewer concerts (so far), but they have a huge amphitheater perfect for this kind of entertaining! 

Concerts in the Garden performances in Gainesville will be in June and August, so you have plenty of time to get tickets. Actually, I'm assuming that....based on photos of other concerts there, they sell out, so maybe don't wait to long to get tickets if you know you want to go.


Atlanta Botanical Garden - Gainesville | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Atlanta Botanical Garden - Gainesville | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

Rumpelstiltskin is here for "Imaginary Worlds" and he's looking better than ever! You have to be careful though...as much as he makes you think it's a great idea to pick a tree and take a nap in this wholly delightful garden, you should keep to the path and perhaps find one of the many benches throughout the garden.  


Atlanta Botanical Garden - Gainesville | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Atlanta Botanical Garden - Gainesville | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

The Model Train Garden was a wonderful surprise and it's there year-round! 

At first I thought it was only running during special events, but the friend I went with, Wayne, connected the dots and pressed the giant red button—which I totally missed out of all the excitement—and the train emerged from the landscaped tunnel to begin its multi-run journey around the tracks. 

This special little garden made this train-lover very happy!

Atlanta Botanical Garden - Gainesville | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Atlanta Botanical Garden - Gainesville | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

Just to the right when entering the Garden there's a lovely Forest Pond that features flowering water lilies and other aquatic plants.


Atlanta Botanical Garden - Gainesville | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Atlanta Botanical Garden - Gainesville | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

There's so much more for me—and you!—to discover at the beautiful Atlanta Botanical Garden - Gainesville! Now under construction is a 2-acre Children's Garden, I believe slated to open later this year. 

This Garden has come a long way since opening and it's obvious they're going to become a major northeast Georgia destination! Enjoy your visit!

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