Fans of Atlanta Botanical Garden swear by its soothing qualities, whether the grounds are brandishing the pumpkin-studded themes of autumn, the famed spectacular of Holiday lights, spring’s azalea-bedecked brilliance, or the floral myrtles of summer.
Coming soon: More of that, but with a backdrop of burbling water.
Construction is underway on a serpentine new water feature called the Mary Ellen Imlay Channel Garden that's set to navigate, splash, and pool through the Storza Woods section bordering Piedmont Park.
The project, designed by Spurlock Landscape Architects, is expected to be complete this fall, the Garden’s spokesperson, Danny Flanders, tells Urbanize Atlanta.
A $3.5-million gift from the Imlay Foundation, a private supporter of numerous Atlanta charities, is funding the new water feature's implementation. Previous contributions from the group helped create the Garden’s John Imlay Bridge and well-known Earth Goddess sculpture.
The Channel Garden marks the second phase of a Storza Woods project that debuted in 2015 with artist Dale Chihuly’s luminous Saffron Tower, an 80-foot mirror pool, and a cascade spilling down 12 steps into a ravine.
Designed to be “elegantly modern,” the more expansive water feature will flow southward through three new gardens—each bursting with white, yellow, purple, and chartreuse in spring and summer—and pool at the base of the water stairs, per Garden officials.
In between will be a 160-foot, V-shaped channel of raised concrete that spills water four feet into an upper-level pool. From there, water will flow under the Imlay Bridge and into three small rapids.
Lastly, the water will cascade into the Garden’s Lower Pool, located at the base of a knoll with a leafy island in the middle, before disappearing over a waterfall and being recirculated back to the top.
In announcing the donation and second-phase project in a newsletter, Mary Pat Matheson, the Garden’s CEO and president, said the addition will “bring the sweet music of water to Storza Woods and create a transformative new garden that will become a visitor destination.”
For a closer look, head to the gallery above—no admission required.
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