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‘Imaginary World’ plant giants grow on Atlanta Botanical Garden visitors

The giant cobras are back at the Atlanta Botanical Garden for the summer sequel to the "Imaginary Worlds" exhibit. HYSOUB  SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

The giant cobras are back at the Atlanta Botanical Garden for the summer sequel to the "Imaginary Worlds" exhibit. HYSOUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

BY HOWARD POUSNER / AJC

Heavy downpours and high winds temporarily left the Atlanta Botanical Garden looking a little less than its usually pristine self last week. Delayed by the weather, employees scurried to put final touches on the sequel to last spring and summer’s hit exhibition “Imaginary Worlds: Plants Larger Than Life.”

Checking out the progress, garden president and CEO Mary Pat Matheson stepped carefully along still-damp walkways punctuated with fallen leaves and small branches pruned by Mother Nature.

“The one thing about rain, it makes lush gardens,” Matheson said, trying to look on the sunny side even as towering trees in Storza Woods did the hula. “I feel like I’m in ‘Jurassic Park.’”

While the garden may have seemed particularly jungle-like at that moment, there were no rampaging dinos to be found. There were, however, gorillas in its midst — three of them — as part of the just-opened “Imaginary Worlds: A New Kingdom of Plant Giants.” A pair of orangutans and four frogs are the other new supersized beasties.

They have joined 19 “mosaiculture” creatures returning from last year, including 25-foot-tall Earth Goddess, still sporting her enigmatic Mona Lisa smile as she overlooks the Cascades Garden waterfalls;

Read the complete story on our subscriber site, myajc.com.

EXHIBIT PREVIEW

“Imaginary Worlds: A New Kingdom of Plant Giants” and “The Four Seasons”

Atlanta Botanical Garden. 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesdays-Sundays (until 10 p.m. Thursdays for Cocktails in the Garden). Through October. $18.95, $12.95 ages 3-12, free under 3. 1345 Piedmont Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-876-5859, www.atlantabotanicalgarden.org.

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