Thursday, February 13, 2020

Orchid Daze 2020

It's that time of year again! If you've never been to Orchid Daze at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, know that it's the most beautiful thing you can do in the dead of winter in Atlanta! It's stunning! This year's exhibition, on display through Sunday, April 12, is inspired by award-winning architect Luis Barragán from Mexico.


Orchid Daze 2020 | Atlanta Botanical Garden | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Orchid Daze 2020 | Atlanta Botanical Garden | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

Luis Barragán (1902-1988) was an engineer and architect from Mexico whose serene and evocative houses, gardens, plazas, and fountains won him the Pritzker Prize in 1980, an international award given annually to recognize the contributions of a living architect. It's often been called the Nobel Prize of architecture.


Orchid Daze 2020 | Atlanta Botanical Garden | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Orchid Daze 2020 | Atlanta Botanical Garden | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

As soon as you turn the corner to enter the Fuqua Orchid Center from the Conservatory, you'll immediately see the bright colors, smooth surfaces, and water features inspired by Barragán, who became one of the most influential modernist architects of the 20th century. You'll find yourself enveloped in the vibrant presence of orchids in a contemporary Latin America-inspired garden.


Orchid Daze 2020 | Atlanta Botanical Garden | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Orchid Daze 2020 | Atlanta Botanical Garden | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

You can enter the Orchid Center via the Skyline Garden, but Orchid Daze begins in the lobby of the Conservatory, its entrance at the Great Lawn. The lobby has some stunning orchids that you might not see elsewhere in the Center, including the ones immediately above and below here.


Orchid Daze 2020 | Atlanta Botanical Garden | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Orchid Daze 2020 | Atlanta Botanical Garden | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

Want the most concentrated orchid experience? Plan your visit around one of the Orchid Market Weekends, but I recommend attending an early one, because you'll likely want to see this exhibition more than once! The Market is in the Hardin Visitor Center (the main entrance) on select weekends, 10am-4pm, during Orchid Daze: 
  • March 7-8
  • April 4-5


Orchid Daze 2020 | Atlanta Botanical Garden | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Orchid Daze 2020 | Atlanta Botanical Garden | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

If you've never been to the Garden's Fuqua Orchid Center, you're in for a real treat! It has one of the largest orchid collections of any public garden in the world! This collection features more than 200 genera and 2,000 species of orchids as well as a variety of other tropical plants.


Orchid Daze 2020 | Atlanta Botanical Garden | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Orchid Daze 2020 | Atlanta Botanical Garden | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

The Orchid Center, connected to the Conservatory, is comprised of four main parts:
  • The Orchid Center "Lobby" - where you'll find most of Orchid Daze displayed;
  • Conservation greenhouses and laboratories - not open to the public, but there are windows so you can see what's happening;
  • Tropical High-Elevation House - representing three distinct areas where orchids grow at 6,000 to 10,000 feet elevation; and
  • The Orchid Display Room - where you'll find even more fascinating orchid species, including a few surprises!

Orchid Daze 2020 | Atlanta Botanical Garden | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Orchid Daze 2020 | Atlanta Botanical Garden | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

This brightly colored entrance to the Luis Barragán-inspired Orchid Daze 2020 beautifully represents some of the beautiful contemporary gardens of Mexico. Influenced by European architects, Barragán primarily worked in Guadalajara and Mexico City.


Orchid Daze 2020 | Atlanta Botanical Garden | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Orchid Daze 2020 | Atlanta Botanical Garden | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

On select Saturdays during Orchid Daze you can attend one of the Garden's "Orchid Care Clinics" where you can get expert orchid advice from Orchid Center staff. Drop in 10am-12noon with questions and a maximum of two orchid plants!

  • March 7
  • April 4

Orchid Daze 2020 | Atlanta Botanical Garden | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Orchid Daze 2020 | Atlanta Botanical Garden | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

If you like this exhibition, mark your calendars for the Atlanta Orchid Society's annual Orchid Show & Sale, the last weekend of September at the Atlanta Botanical Garden!


Orchid Daze 2020 | Atlanta Botanical Garden | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Orchid Daze 2020 | Atlanta Botanical Garden | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

If you're an orchid enthusiast and you're not already subscribed to The Orchid Column, written and photographed by the Orchid Center's manager Becky Brinkman, bookmark and subscribe now...you'll be so glad you did!

Orchid Daze is free with Garden admission—and admission is free with membership—and on display through Sunday, April 12. As the weather gets warmer, if you'd like to enjoy brunch, lunch or dinner at Longleaf, I recommend reservations, but walk-ins are welcome, too.

1 comment:

Teresa Halminton said...

This place is so stunning~ Wow!
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