A serpentine new water feature has infused one of Atlanta’s top attractions for tourists and locals alike with the “sweet music of water,” as designers intended.
Called the Mary Ellen Imlay Channel Garden, the latest addition to Atlanta Botanical Garden sluices, splashes, and pools through the Storza Woods section bordering Piedmont Park, adding a new dimension for visitors to explore.
The Channel Garden finished construction in the fall, but spring blooms are bringing the Spurlock Landscape Architects project to its more leafy and floral state now.
Designed to be “elegantly modern,” the Channel Garden marks the second phase of Storza Woods, which 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.
The latest project was funded with a $3.5-million gift from the Imlay Foundation, a private supporter of numerous Atlanta charities, whose previous contributions helped create the Garden’s John Imlay Bridge and well-known Earth Goddess sculpture.
The Channel Garden flows southward through three new gardens—each to be dotted with white, yellow, purple, and chartreuse in spring and summer—and pools at the base of the water stairs.
In between is a 160-foot, V-shaped channel of raised concrete that spills water four feet into an upper-level pool. From there, water flows under the Imlay Bridge and into three small rapids.
Lastly, water cascades 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.
Garden officials have described the project as “transformative.” Mosey up to the gallery for a closer look.
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