5 Star Stories: Alice’s Adventures at the Garden

Published: Oct. 18, 2022 at 10:25 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Since May, the Memphis Botanic Garden has been home to a larger-than-life exhibit celebrating Alice in Wonderland, and if you haven’t taken in the tea party for yourself, there’s still time!

It’s curiouser and curiouser at the Memphis Botanic Garden, where Alice is having quite the adventurous pardon.

“Alice’s Adventures at the Garden was originally designed and developed by Atlanta Botanical Garden,” Director of Marketing Olivia Wall said. “But, Memphis and the Memphis Botanic Garden is the 1st place to have them after Atlanta.”

The Atlanta Botanical Garden may have been the first to display, but now this “un-birthday party” holds Memphis in sway.

“They were planted earlier this year in Atlanta and shipped via four climate-controlled trucks here in pieces and then were assembled onsite via cranes,” Wall said.

Alice knew three inches is such a wretched height, which might be why some of the sculptures are such a massive sight.

“Alice behind us is actually composed of 7 planted pieces and she contains more than 15,000 indivisible plants and stands about 19 feet tall,” Wall said.

There’s the Red Queen playing her strange game of croquet, a well-guarded chess set, and a Cheshire Cat on display.

“It’s just been tremendous. We’ve had so many folks come out. Our favorite is seeing folks in costumes, and we see lots of Alices and Mad Hatters out here.”

White rabbits abound with each blink of your eye.

“We have an outdoor art exhibit that features local artists and their interpretations of the white rabbit around the 96 acres.”

Enough fur and whiskers to make a doe rabbit cry, and all of it kept up for optimal viewing...with plenty of daily shearing and pruning.

“We actually have dedicated full-time staff that every single day is out here caring for these wonderful sculptures, every single day needs to be watered, some parts have to be twice a day if it’s too hot if it’s humid if it hasn’t rained in a while.”

The excitement of wonderland runs throughout the garden, and surprise encounters that surely will hearten.

“Our Idea Garden in our Big Back Yard, our children’s garden is Alice in Wonderland themed right now, so the kids can have an interactive Alice in Wonderland play.”

But don’t be late for this very important date, as flora and fauna will disappear and lights will take weight.

“And then starting in November, we actually take all the plants out and we’ll replace them with lights for our Holiday Wonders at the Garden which opens for Thanksgiving.”

Though some of the exhibits will go this way and will go that some things for sure will always stay pat.

“But we have 30 specialty gardens, over 96 acres, so year-round we have things blooming. We also have our koi fish to feed in the Japanese Garden. We have the chicken coop and Urban Farm Garden. One of my favorite spots is the Pollinator Garden in our lowlands.”

You can view the garden version of Alice’s Adventures in the Garden through Oct.31.

This is the Memphis Botanic Garden’s third large-scale seasonal exhibit and there are plans for another one coming in the spring of 2023, so stay tuned.

For more information about the Alice exhibit or the Memphis Botanic Garden, click here.

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