Saturday, 13 May 2017

Atlanta Icons


Once David had finished work yesterday in Atlanta we decided to take a walk (rather a warm one as it turned out) to visit two locations which are quite famous - one locally and one nationally and internationally.


Varsity is a single storey fast food restaurant and Drive-In which opened its doors in 1928 and is still operating very close to its original sight.  It has seating for 800 inside plus drive up spaces for perhaps 20-30 cars outside.


We have seen it before from the outside but this time we decided to join the queue at the very busy and noisy counter inside.  


It was really more of a throng than a queue - maybe we hit a busy time.  Varsity is popular with students at Georgia Tech University and with spectators at the adjacent stadium.  Its signature fare is hot dogs and hamburgers with either chili or slaw; fries or hand cut onion rings.  Not exactly health food but tasty enough.  No photos of the food I am afraid!


In need of walking off our indulgence we set off on a 30 minute and 30C walk to Centennial Park and beyond to have a look at the CNN building.


This is the global headquarters of the CNN news agency, although with crowds of people and multiple food outlets on the ground floor, you could be forgiven for thinking that it was a shopping mall.


Our original plan was to take a guided 'Behind the Scenes' tour but we were pipped to the post by swarms of school children on summer term trips and there were no slots available in the time that we had prior to returning to the airport.  

So, after watching the daily White House News Briefing and some lively discussion to follow on an improbably large TV screen, it was out into the heat again for another 30 minute walk back to the hotel!  

Friday, 12 May 2017

Orchids in Atlanta


As well as the orchids growing alongside the airplants in the Curious Garden exhibit, Atlanta Botanical Garden has two very impressive orchid houses.  


One is warm and humid and features mostly large and quite 'showy' blooms - as seen behind the Curious Garden 'Chalices' exhibit..


The other is a cooler house, featuring a collection of orchids collected from high altitudes, mostly rather smaller - and very few of these were in flower...this is the only one that I spotted...


In the warm house there were almost too many to take in.  Here are just a few that caught my eye..






Not all of them were 'typical' orchid colours...



A beautiful and unusual collection anyway and just one Georgia native wild orchid in flower outside..


Thursday, 11 May 2017

'The Curious Garden'


My annual visit to the Atlanta Botanical Garden and the first visit since the extraordinary Chihuly Glass exhibit last Spring.  In some areas of the garden it was hard not to feel that there was something 'missing', remembering the amazing glass sculptures that had been there.


However, the gardens are beautiful in their own right and currently there is a new exhibition 'The Curious Garden' - featuring 11 installations each created for a specific site in the gardens using altered natural materials (such as these painted trees) and man made materials, such as these huge red discs, high in the trees over the canopy boardwalk.


Entitled 'dilated pupils' these discs are intended to draw the eye to the tops of these very tall and ancient forest trees.


Elsewhere in the forest, some more painted trees..


These trees are young maples which are cut from plantations to thin out the crop - hence they are all very similar in shape.
(The exception, of course, being the painted tree at the top of this post which is an old cherry tree which had died over the winter and was given a 'last Spring hurrah' with bright pink paint.


In the formal part of the garden, the beds around the Chihuly fountain (which is a permanent fixture since the first exhibition in the garden in 2005), were all planted with white flowers..


Many different white flowers were featured - some flagging a little in the heat..


Probably my favourite white flower - though not in the 'White Garden' exhibit - was this Deciduous Camellia, which I don't ever remember seeing before..


Another exhibit was the 'Floating Fiddlehead'..


This was in the new and aptly named Skyline Garden..


Inside the conservatory, an exhibit called 'Antebellum Aerophyte', which was lovely to see but awkward to capture well in a photograph..




In the tropical house, and exhibit 'chains' was self explanatory..


It called to mind and reflected the natural hangings in the same glasshouse..


These are roots of a trailing plant, reaching to the ground from the top of the conservatory.


This is part of a colourful exhibit called 'Floralab'.


In the Orchid House (more of that another day), this exhibit was 'Chalices'.


Back outside and another exhibit in the woods - on a stream bed and under a bridge 'the mountain flows, the river sits'.


Certainly some thought-provoking exhibits in an already lovely garden.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017



We arrived in Atlanta this evening as the sun was setting.  We are staying in a historic Georgian hotel but it has a rather striking 18 storey central atrium, with balconies from each floor.


Looking down was not my favourite view..


Opposite the hotel is the Fox Theatre - this time last year I went to a Paul Simon concert there.


After dinner we went up to look st the rooftop pool and view..


The very tall crane didn't improve the view very much!


Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Attracting Hummingbirds


We have had just a couple of tantalizing glimpses of Hummingbirds this year and are keen to attract more and to encourage them to stay around during the summer.

The feeder is filled with nectar and ready for their visits.  They love to feed on flowers really, especially red flowers but if we put those out then the deer will eat them.  

So, when we read that they are attracted to droplets of water, David ordered this rather neat solar-powered mini fountain for the bird bath.

As long as there is reasonably strong sunshine it works pretty well - though no new Hummingbird sightings as yet..

Monday, 8 May 2017



The azaleas are going over very quickly but there are lots of rhododendrons coming into flower.


This colour seems to be very popular and, in this morning's sunshine, it looked very beautiful.


Close up the pattern in the petals is very distinctive.