Monday, May 3, 2010
Finding tea ... at the ABG
It's been a few years since I last visited the Atlanta Botanical Garden, so when my friend Katherine asked if I'd like to meet her there one day last week I was only too happy to say yes. She is our magazine's (wonderful!) gardening columnist, so while she spent a few hours in the research library I wandered around in the sunny, breezy weather and enjoyed a heart-gladdening display of flowers. The visitor center has completely changed since I was last there, and I loved looking down on everything from the second story entrance. You'll have to trust me that it's much more impressive in real life, but this enormous Dale Chihuly glass chandelier is absolutely amazing.
The ABG played host to a special Chihuly exhibition in 2004, and several pieces remain at the gardens, including this bright blue sculpture installed in a fountain.
Of course my first stop at the gardens was the rose garden, which always makes me feel I've landed smack dab in the middle of some magical English cottage garden tended by someone who loves roses as much as I do.
China roses, tea roses, spray roses -- there was something for every rose lover, and the scent wafting through the air was just heavenly!
I also came across this lovely plant with frilly white blossoms, Lily of the Nile.
And this sunny yellow Jerusalem Sage is a plant I'd never heard of, but I was quite smitten with the unique shape of the flowers.
It's always educational to visit the ABG, and I was delighted to see a fully grown heuchera. This 'Mocha' heuchera is similar to my new 'Sweet Tea' heucherella, recently planted in my shade garden. It was helpful to be able to see what the flowers will look like one day.
The Green Man Fountain greets visitors to the children's section of the gardens. I can't speak for the kids, but he sure made me smile!
After a while my friend and I met in the outdoor garden cafe for lunch. I was quite famished by that time, and if I hadn't already seen that the special of the day was crab quiche (which was quite tasty), I might have noticed this sign advertising their tea offerings, which include scones! Beverage-wise, they offer only iced tea (sweetened and unsweetened), but perhaps they'll consider adding pots of hot tea to the menu as well. If you haven't been to the garden (ever, or lately), I would highly recommend a visit capped off by a sweet treat in the out of doors. Tomorrow, I'll tell you about some of the tea goodies I found in their gift shop!