So today was a wonderful day. Full of life and wonder as I discovered something hidden in Atlanta. Well….not quite as hidden as I thought. The Atlanta Botanical Gardens that rests off of Piedmont Rd. In Midtown, Atlanta is home to quite a few glorious scenes. The noise of the city quiets and you feel like your are in somewhere completely different than that of what is just a block around the corner.
These gardens open up and joggers can be seen making their way across Piedmont Park as you turn the corner into the gardens. The city that had just a few seconds ago surrounded you with tall buildings and one-way roads now holds trees and forest-type plants all around.
After paying admission and walking through the doors, different plants just surround you. Like a giant forest trail, the first sight on our maps was something called the “Canopy walk”. Walking along this large bridge, we looked down to see we were high above the plants and the few people walking along the trails.
The canopy walk ended with the scene of a small man-made waterfall that scattered itself over rocks and into a small pond. Dragonflies and other insects buzzed along the water as they too seemed to enjoy the scene.
Making our way around the curving trail and to the indoor part of the botanical gardens, home plants like herbs and tomatoes. A sign rested in the dirt reading something like “Don’t pick the vegetables. They are for classes and the Atlanta Food Bank”. This along with LEED certification, the plants they use to insulate the roof, and the thousand gallon rain barrels they use to catch rain run-off and feed the plants is one of the many things I love about this place.
Walking into the indoor section of the gardens, I found my favorite parts of the gardens. Exotic plants from the well-known to the rarest of things grew within the climate-controlled forests. Some of my favorite food-bearing plants like coffee, cocoa, or even agave grew tall and proud. A single room even held plants with the thorniest of branches. I attempted to hug a very thorny tree just for the fun of it, but it turned out not to be as friendly as I thought.
This beautiful environment is something I would never expect from Atlanta. Though I had seen many signs for it during my culinary adventures to different restaurants, I had not thought it would be even close to what it is. Whether you are looking for a good family trip or somewhere you can just get away from the city within the city, I would absolutely recommend checking this place out.
Tree-Hugging Health Freax Unite!!
-Andrew “VegMuffinMan” Morrison-
Some of my favorite photos from the trip: