The Conservation Gardens are an important educational component of the Atlanta Botanical Garden's Native Plant Conservation Program. One of the main focuses of the garden is the pitcher plant bogs. The Conservation Gardens are comprised of six themed bogs designed to showcase the characteristics of different bog habitats in nature: Georgia Bog, Coastal Plain Bog, Fall-line Bog, Hybrid Bog, Alabama Bog, and Western Gulf Coast Bog. Habitat themed paintings that display rare habitats in Georgia complement the bog gardens. Each of the paintings showcase unique plant communities found in the Southeastern United States, as well as some of the threatened and rare species of plants that are natively found in those habitats. The number of bog habitats have been decreasing dramatically and are becoming difficult to find in nature. There three plant community zones visitors will come across as they enter the Conservation Gardens from the Robinson Gazebo: Granite Outcrop, Fall-line Sandhill, and Longleaf Pine/Wiregrass.
A typical rock garden often features Alpine plants, however, these plants don't thrive well in the Atlanta area. The Atlanta Botanical Garden's unusual "Southern Rock Garden" uses look-alikes that are more suitable for a southern climate instead of the alpine plants. The garden is exceptionally spectacular to visit in March and April.
Anne Cox Chambers Southern Seasons Garden
The Anne Cox Chambers Southern Seasons Garden, located just outside of the Hardin Visitor Center, is a brilliant combination of continuous bloom and woodlands. Guests can explore the wide assortment of plants throughout the garden, including trillium, camellias, hydrangeas, native ferns and orchids huddled around the base of native oak trees, beeches, and tulip poplars. The shady garden offers a view of flowers year-round, as well as a retreat from the heat during the summer with the garden being ten degrees cooler during summer than the rest of the Atlanta Botanical Garden.
The Atlanta Botanical Gardens is home to several species of animals in addition to plants. The tropical conservatory demonstrates horticultural practices that maintain a balanced, healthy ecosystem with the successful cohabitation of animals and plants. Guests can hear the mating call of geckos and the trilling of dart frogs, and watch as the dazzling yellow saffron finches fly overhead in the canopy. Visitors might also find tropical wood turtles and tortoises basking or several species of quail strolling among the understory brush. A dense waterfall, home to numerous tree frogs and dart frogs, flows over mossy stone into the pool below, home to alligator snapping turtles.
There is a vast variety of educational programs, classes, and workshops at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. For adults, there are plenty of different classes, from cooking to art to gardening. There are also classes and workshops in beekeeping, yoga, amphibians, and more. There are several programs for children to participate in as well. Kids can listen to stories during Storybook Time, or dance along to music with Garden Grooves. The Atlanta Botanical Garden also offers Garden Playtime, Homeschool Days, Amphitheater Programs, and newly renovated Children's Garden. Guided school tours are also offered, each one focused on specific areas of interest and are tailored based on the age of students, from preschool to Grade 12.
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Contact: 1345 Piedmont Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30309, Phone: 404-876-5859
Photo: Earl Robbins/Fotolia