Atlanta's Urban Oasis

Explore the Garden's history and collections.

Atlanta Botanical Garden

Nestled in the heart of Midtown Atlanta is a vibrant urban oasis dedicated to connecting people with plants through informative programs, inspiring exhibitions and entertaining activities. For 45 years, the Atlanta Botanical Garden has blossomed into a major Southeastern attraction of constantly changing offerings that draw guests back time and again for a look at what’s new.

Horticulturists work to prepare the Garden (1976) by Atlanta Botanical GardenAtlanta Botanical Garden

Dig, Plant, Grow

The Garden has a rich history and strong foundation on which its plant displays, educational programs and conservation research have been built since the mid-1970s.

Envisioned by a group of tenacious volunteers, bonded together through the love of plants and gardens, the botanical garden grew far beyond the hopes and expectations of those early dreamers. Though plants brought many of them together, it was also a strong belief that all great cities have great gardens that compelled the early dreamers to embark on a quest to secure the land in the city’s Piedmont Park for a new 30-acre botanical garden.

Like any great enterprise, securing the site for the garden was a challenge and an opportunity; fortunately, the timing was good to ask the city to dedicate land for the project. Piedmont Park had fallen into disrepair, and the board members of the newly formed garden convinced Mayor Maynard Jackson that Midtown was the perfect location. He shared their vision and approved the lease between the new garden non-profit and the City of Atlanta, laying the groundwork for all future success.

A trailer first served as a visitor center and gift shop at Atlanta Botanical Garden (1977) by Atlanta Botanical GardenAtlanta Botanical Garden

Seeds of Success

In 1977, the Garden's first visitor center, gift shop and administration offices were housed in a modest trailer.

The early dreamers loved Piedmont Park and believed that the new garden would be well placed within the city because of Midtown’s central location. Who would have imagined that more than 40 years later, Midtown would become a national model for planned urban growth and the hub of business and residential activity in the city?

Fuqua Conservatory groundbreaking, Atlanta Botanical Garden, 1987, From the collection of: Atlanta Botanical Garden
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Dorothy Fuqua, right, with Lady Bird Johnson at the opening of the Fuqua Conservatory at Atlanta Botanical Garden, Atlanta Botanical Garden, 1989, From the collection of: Atlanta Botanical Garden
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Fueling the biggest spurt of growth in the 1980s was a gift of $5.5 million from Atlanta businessman J.B Fuqua to build a conservatory in honor of his wife, Dottie, a Garden trustee and avid gardener. In 2002, a major addition was made to the conservatory with construction of the $4.8 million Fuqua Orchid Center and Center for Conservation and Education, thanks to a gift from the Fuquas.

Mershon Hall, a private events and programming space, in the Parterre at Atlanta Botanical Garden (2016) by Atlanta Botanical GardenAtlanta Botanical Garden

A Garden Blossoms

As the community of botanical gardens around the world evolved, so did Atlanta’s. Plants and beauty remained top of mind, but the importance of connecting people to plants became more pressing as urbanization spread across the world and our own community. 

Today, the Garden has grown into a beautiful living tapestry that is robust with families and visitors from all parts of our community and the world. Its renowned plant collections, floral displays and spectacular art exhibitions make the Garden an emerald jewel in Atlanta's crown.

Atlanta Botanical Garden Visitor Orientation Video by Atlanta Botanical GardenAtlanta Botanical Garden

Atlanta's Urban Oasis

The Garden includes more than 30 acres of outdoor gardens, an award-winning Children’s Garden, the serene Storza Woods with its unique Canopy Walk, the innovative Edible Garden and the Skyline Garden, with its breathtaking views of the city.

Lou Glenn Children's Garden at Atlanta Botanical Garden, Atlanta Botanical Garden, 2015, From the collection of: Atlanta Botanical Garden
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Storza Woods, Atlanta Botanical Garden, 2005, From the collection of: Atlanta Botanical Garden
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Kendeda Canopy Walk at Atlanta Botanical Garden, Atlanta Botanical Garden, 2015, From the collection of: Atlanta Botanical Garden
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Metasequoia glyptostroboides, or dawn redwood, stands tall over the entrance to the Edible Garden at Atlanta Botanical Garden., Atlanta Botanical Garden, 2015, From the collection of: Atlanta Botanical Garden
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Atlanta Botanical Garden Skyline Garden from above, Atlanta Botanical Garden, 2015, From the collection of: Atlanta Botanical Garden
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The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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