Visitors to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens through the spring season are greeted by blooming tulips, daffodils, and most prominently, orchids. With February and March come the Gardens’ Orchid Daze, a festival of orchids celebrated in what is boasted as the “largest orchid center in the United States.” The festival was first held in 2002, the same year that the Fuqua Orchid Center/Center for Conservation was opened. This year’s festival began on February 10 and lasts until April 8, making it a perfect spring break activity.
The Dorothy Chapman Fuqua Conservatory was opened in 1989 as one of the first buildings owned by the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. (Sloane Warner/The RamPage)
Visitors are welcomed to the Fuqua Orchid Center by a wall of fragrant and vivid orchids. (Sloane Warner/The RamPage)
Orchids are expertly placed with wires and vines in intricate patterns and shapes, such as the arches over the entrance hallway. (Sloane Warner/The RamPage)
The orchids are of different varieties, such as the Phalaenopsis hieroglyphica (from the Philippines) and Lycomormium (from Latin America), placing visitors in a “daze,” as is advertised. (Sloane Warner/The RamPage)
Taking care of orchids is a large undertaking; the orchids must be kept at a certain temperature and watered throughout the day. Mistings are common in the Fuqua Orchid Center, which may surprise guests as they venture through the exhibition. (Sloane Warner/The RamPage)
Many of the flowers look different than traditional orchids, as they are brought to Atlanta from across the country to be revived and displayed. (Sloane Warner/The RamPage)
Back outside the Conservatory, tulips are blooming in every color, shape and size imaginable. They surround many of the walkways around the Gardens and are this season’s other main attraction. (Sloane Warner/The RamPage)
The vibrant flowers are a sign that spring is coming. These daisies are a big part of the Atlanta Botanical Garden’s mission, which is to “develop and maintain plant collections for display, education, research, conservation and enjoyment.” (Sloane Warner/The RamPage)
The Atlanta Botanical Gardens have a spectacular view of Piedmont Park and downtown Atlanta. On a beautiful day, visitors can be seen lounging around the Chihuly installment, which was first brought to the Gardens in 2004. In the winter, the Levy Parterre fountain is the center of the s’mores snack area, a part of the Garden Lights, Holiday Nights programming. Visitors can come and see the Gardens bedecked with lights that cover the majority of the plants and walkways. (Sloane Warner/The RamPage)
Other activities this season include events to learn about birds, orchids and amphibians, which are also featured in the Fuqua Conservatory. Visit the Atlanta Botanical Garden’s website for more information and ticket pricing.