Imaginary Worlds Exhibit at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens

This grass menagerie is the world's largest of its kind and can be seen through October.

Photo courtesy Atlanta Botanical Garden Located in Midtown, these unique forms of topiary will be on display through October. On Thursdays the garden stays open till 10 p.m. and serves themed cocktails. 

If you live in Atlanta, the world's largest exhibit of topiary is currently right in your backyard. The wildly popular sculptures, called “mosaiculture,” will stand tall until October 31, 2014 at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens

The grass menagerie includes enormous cobras, a grazing pink unicorn, a happy ogre, dancing fruit, frogs, rabbits, orangutans and gorillas. The enchanting 25-foot-tall Earth Goddess is now a permanent installation adjacent to the fountain at the Cascades Garden’s entrance. Believe it or not, they're all alive.

To create the living structures, a unique “stuffed topiary” technique is used. After they are painstakingly groomed, thousands of annuals are planted into a mixture of soil and sphagnum moss filled netting that then covers steel formations. It’s like a living carpet of dirt, greenery and flowering plants. The complex irrigation system beneath the surface of the sculptures allows the plants to grow, even in Atlanta’s summer heat. 

And speaking of cooling off, on Thursday nights the garden stays open late for a surreal cocktail party. Sip an adult beverage as you stroll past the eerily illuminated cobras or hang out by the romantic giant butterflies. Using the topiary as inspiration, mixologists created theme libations: The I'll Have What She's Having is a nod to the Earth Goddess; the Go Bananas pays homage to the visiting primates with the Gettin’ Fuzzy celebrates the resident rabbits. We personally can’t wait to try the Fruit Looped, a tip of the cap to the parade of giant berries. 

Every last Thursday of the month there’s a treasure hunt in the garden for the kids. And while you’re there, be sure and check out the Four Seasons by Phillip Haas. The artist and filmmaker created 15-foot-high sculptures depicting winter, spring, summer and fall. Enjoy the seasons while we got ‘em. 

Be sure and check out the gallery above for a preview as well as this behind the scenes look. Admission prices and times are listed on the Gardens' web site

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