Alice in wonderland garden

Imaginary Worlds:Alice’s Wonderland

May 11 – Oct. 27, 2019: Follow Alice down the rabbit hole with new creations in the Skyline Garden and more.

The exhibition of giant topiary-like plant sculptures at both the Midtown and Gainesville gardens, is back by popular demand after last summer’s blockbuster show, Imaginary Worlds: Once Upon a Time. Many of last year’s crowd-favorite sculptures will make a comeback – but donning coats of different plant palettes.

Making encore appearances from 2018 are the Dragon, Mammoth, Mermaid, Phoenix, Camels and Pegasus – many sporting all-new plantings.

IMAGINARY WORLDS IN GAINESVILLE

Though works inspired by Alice in Wonderland are only at the Atlanta Garden, at the Gainesville Garden, look for a return of the friendly Ogre along with Rip van Winkle, Bears and Frogs.

See Imaginary Worlds in Gainesville

New in Atlanta, 2019

In Atlanta, a giant White Rabbit towers at more than 27 feet tall as it floats inside an upside-down umbrella in the Skyline Garden pond. That tops even the Garden’s resident Earth Goddess sculpture, at 22 feet. On the Skyline lawn is an expansive chess board bordered by nine heart “trees” each more than 12 feet tall, with a giant Cheshire Cat poised nearby. Alice herself is on hand – just elsewhere in the Garden. Who’s up for the challenge of finding her?

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‘I should see the garden far better,’ said Alice to herself, `if I could get to the top of that hill: and here’s a path that leads straight to it — at least, no, it doesn’t do that — ‘ (after going a few yards along the path, and turning several sharp corners), `but I suppose it will at last. But how curiously it twists! It’s more like a corkscrew than a path! Well, this turn goes to the hill, I suppose — no, it doesn’t! This goes straight back to the house! Well then, I’ll try it the other way.’
And so she did: wandering up and down, and trying turn after turn, but always coming back to the house, do what she would. Indeed, once, when she turned a corner rather more quickly than usual, she ran against it before she could stop herself.

`It’s no use talking about it,” Alice said, looking up at the house and pretending it was arguing with her. `I’m not going in again yet. I know I should have to get through the Looking-glass again — back into the old room — and there’d be an end of all my adventures!’

So, resolutely turning back upon the house, she set out once more down the path, determined to keep straight on till she got to the hill. For a few minutes all went on well, and she was just saying, `I really shall do it this time — ‘ when the path gave a sudden twist and shook itself (as she described it afterwards), and the next moment she found herself actually walking in at the door.

‘Oh, it’s too bad!’ she cried. `I never saw such a house for getting in the way! Never!’

However, there was the hill full in sight, so there was nothing to be done but start again. This time she came upon a large flower-bed, with a border of daisies, and a willow-tree growing in the middle.

`O Tiger-lily,’ said Alice, addressing herself to one that was waving gracefully about in the wind, `I wish you could talk!’

`We can talk,’ said the Tiger-lily: `when there’s anybody worth talking to.”

Alice was so astonished that she could not speak for a minute: it quite seemed to take her breath away. At length, as the Tiger-lily only went on waving about, she spoke again, in a timid voice — almost in a whisper. `And can all the flowers talk?’

`As well as all can,’ said the Tiger-lily. `And a great deal louder.’

`It isn’t manners for us to begin, you know,’ said the Rose, `and I really was wondering when you’d speak! Said I to myself, “Her face has got some sense in it, thought it’s not a clever one!” Still, you’re the right colour, and that goes a long way.’

`I don’t care about the colour,’ the Tiger-lily remarked. `If only her petals curled up a little more, she’d be all right.’

Alice didn’t like being criticised, so she began asking questions. `Aren’t you sometimes frightened at being planted out here, with nobody to take care of you?’

`There’s the tree in the middle,’ said the Rose: `what else is it good for?’

`But what could it do, if any danger came?’ Alice asked.

`It says “Bough-wough!” cried a Daisy: `that’s why its branches are called boughs!’

`Didn’t you know that?’ cried another Daisy, and here they all began shouting together, till the air seemed quite full of little shrill voices. `Silence, every one of you!’ cried the Tiger- lily, waving itself passionately from side to side, and trembling with excitement. `They know I can’t get at them!’ it panted, bending its quivering head towards Alice, `or they wouldn’t dare to do it!’

`Never mind!’ Alice said in a soothing tone, and stooping down to the daisies, who were just beginning again, she whispered, `If you don’t hold your tongues, I’ll pick you!’

There was silence in a moment, and several of the pink daisies turned white.

`That’s right!’ said the Tiger-lily. `The daisies are worst of all. When one speaks, they all begin together, and it’s enough to make one wither to hear the way they go on!’

`How is it you can all talk so nicely?’ Alice said, hoping to get it into a better temper by a compliment. `I’ve been in many gardens before, but none of the flowers could talk.’

`Put your hand down, and feel the ground,’ said the Tiger-lily.

`Then you’ll know why.’

Alice did so. `It’s very hard,’ she said, `but I don’t see what that has to do with it.’

`In most gardens,’ the Tiger-lily said, `they make the beds too soft — so that the flowers are always asleep.’

This sounded a very good reason, and Alice was quite pleased to know it. `I never thought of that before!’ she said.

`It’s my opinion that you never think at all,’ the Rose said in a rather severe tone.

`I never say anybody that looked stupider,’ a Violet said, so suddenly, that Alice quite jumped; for it hadn’t spoken before.

`Hold your tongue!’ cried the Tiger-lily. `As if you ever saw anybody! You keep your head under the leaves, and snore away there, till you know no more what’s going on in the world, that if you were a bud!’

`Are there any more people in the garden besides me?’ Alice said, not choosing to notice the Rose’s last remark.

`There’s one other flower in the garden that can move about like you,’ said the Rose. `I wonder how you do it — ‘ (`You’re always wondering,’ said the Tiger-lily), `but she’s more bushy than you are.’

`Is she like me?’ Alice asked eagerly, for the thought crossed her mind, `There’s another little girl in the garden, somewhere!’

`Well, she has the same awkward shape as you,’ the Rose said, `but she’s redder — and her petals are shorter, I think.’

`Her petals are done up close, almost like a dahlia,’ the Tiger-lily interrupted: `not tumbled about anyhow, like yours.’

`But that’s not your fault,’ the Rose added kindly: `you’re beginning to fade, you know — and then one can’t help one’s petals getting a little untidy.’

Alice didn’t like this idea at all: so, to change the subject, she asked `Does she ever come out here?’

`I daresay you’ll see her soon,’ said the Rose. `She’s one of the thorny kind.’

`Where does she wear the thorns?’ Alice asked with some curiosity.

`Why all round her head, of course,’ the Rose replied. `I was wondering you hadn’t got some too. I thought it was the regular rule.’

`She’s coming!’ cried the Larkspur. `I hear her footstep, thump, thump, thump, along the gravel-walk!’

Alice looked round eagerly, and found that it was the Red Queen. `She’s grown a good deal!’ was her first remark. She had indeed: when Alice first found her in the ashes, she had been only three inches high — and here she was, half a head taller than Alice herself!

`It’s the fresh air that does it,’ said the Rose: `wonderfully fine air it is, out here.’

“I think I’ll go and meet her,’ said Alice, for, though the flowers were interesting enough, she felt that it would be far grander to have a talk with a real Queen.

`You can’t possibly do that,’ said the Rose: `I should advise you to walk the other way.’

This sounded nonsense to Alice, so she said nothing, but set off at once towards the Red Queen. To her surprise, she lost sight of her in a moment, and found herself walking in at the front-door again.

A little provoked, she drew back, and after looking everywhere for the queen (whom she spied out at last, a long way off), she thought she would try the plan, this time, of walking in the opposite direction.

It succeeded beautifully. She had not been walking a minute before she found herself face to face with the Red Queen, and full in sight of the hill she had been so long aiming at.

`Where do you come from?’ said the Red Queen. `And where are you going? Look up, speak nicely, and don’t twiddle your fingers all the time.’

Alice attended to all these directions, and explained, as well as she could, that she had lost her way.

`I don’t know what you mean by your way,’ said the Queen: `all the ways about here belong to me — but why did you come out here at all?’ she added in a kinder tone. `Curtsey while you`re thinking what to say, it saves time.’

Alice wondered a little at this, but she was too much in awe of the Queen to disbelieve it. `I’ll try it when I go home,’ she thought to herself. `the next time I’m a little late for dinner.’

`It’s time for you to answer now,’ the Queen said, looking at her watch: `open your mouth a little wider when you speak, and always say “your Majesty.”‘

`I only wanted to see what the garden was like, your Majesty–‘

`That’s right,’ said the Queen, patting her on the head, which Alice didn’t like at all, `though, when you say “garden,” — I’ve seen gardens, compare with which this would be a wilderness.’

Alice didn’t dare to argue the point, but went on: `– and I thought I’d try and find my way to the top of that hill — ‘

`When you say “hill,”‘ the Queen interrupted, `I could show you hills, in comparison with which you’d call that a valley.’

`No, I shouldn’t,’ said Alice, surprised into contradicting her at last: `a hill can’t be a valley, you know. That would be nonsense — ‘

The Red Queen shook her head, `You may call it “nonsense” if you like,’ she said, ` but I’ve heard nonsense, compared with which that would be as sensible as a dictionary!’

Alice curtseyed again, as she was afraid from the Queen’s tone that she was a little offended: and they walked on in silence till they got to the top of the little hill.

For some minutes Alice stood without speaking, looking out in all directions over the country — and a most curious country it was. There were a number of tiny little brooks running straight across it from side to side, and the ground between was divided up into squares by a number of little green hedges, that reached from brook to brook.

`I declare it’s marked out just like a large chessboard!’ Alice said at last. `There ought to be some men moving about somewhere — and so there are!’ She added in a tone of delight, and her heart began to beat quick with excitement as she went on. `It’s a great huge game of chess that’s being played — all over the world — if this is the world at all, you know. Oh, what fun it is! How I wish I was one of them! I wouldn’t mind being a Pawn, if only I might join — though of course I should like to be a Queen, best.’

She glanced rather shyly at the real Queen as she said this, but her companion only smiled pleasantly, and said, `That’s easily managed. You can be the White Queen’s Pawn, if you like, as Lily’s too young to play; and you’re in the Second Square to began with: when you get to the Eighth Square you’ll be a Queen — ‘ Just at this moment, somehow or other, they began to run.

Alice never could quite make out, in thinking it over afterwards, how it was that they began: all she remembers is, that they were running hand in hand, and the Queen went so fast that it was all she could do to keep up with her: and still the Queen kept crying `Faster! Faster!’ but Alice felt she could not go faster, thought she had not breath left to say so.

The most curious part of the thing was, that the trees and the other things round them never changed their places at all: however fast they went, they never seemed to pass anything. `I wonder if all the things move along with us?’ thought poor puzzled Alice. And the Queen seemed to guess her thoughts, for she cried, `Faster! Don’t try to talk!’

Not that Alice had any idea of doing that. She felt as if she would never be able to talk again, she was getting so much out of breath: and still the Queen cried `Faster! Faster!’ and dragged her along. `Are we nearly there?’ Alice managed to pant out at last.

`Nearly there!’ the Queen repeated. `Why, we passed it ten minutes ago! Faster! And they ran on for a time in silence, with the wind whistling in Alice’s ears, and almost blowing her hair off her head, she fancied.

`Now! Now!’ cried the Queen. `Faster! Faster!’ And they went so fast that at last they seemed to skim through the air, hardly touching the ground with their feet, till suddenly, just as Alice was getting quite exhausted, they stopped, and she found herself sitting on the ground, breathless and giddy.

The Queen propped her up against a tree, and said kindly, `You may rest a little now.’

Alice looked round her in great surprise. `Why, I do believe we’ve been under this tree the whole time! Everything’s just as it was!’

`Of course it is,’ said the Queen, `what would you have it?’

`Well, in our country,’ said Alice, still panting a little, `you’d generally get to somewhere else — if you ran very fast for a long time, as we’ve been doing.’

`A slow sort of country!’ said the Queen. `Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!’

`I’d rather not try, please!’ said Alice. `I’m quite content to stay here — only I am so hot and thirsty!’

`I know what you’d like!’ the Queen said good-naturedly, taking a little box out of her pocket. `Have a biscuit?’

Alice thought it would not be civil to say `No,’ though it wasn’t at all what she wanted. So she took it, and ate it as well as she could: and it was very dry; and she thought she had never been so nearly choked in all her life.

`While you’re refreshing yourself,’ said the Queen, `I’ll just take the measurements.’ And she took a ribbon out of her pocket, marked in inches, and began measuring the ground, and sticking little pegs in here and there.

`At the end of two yards,’ she said, putting in a peg to mark the distance, `I shall give you your directions — have another biscuit?’

`No, thank you,’ said Alice: ‘one’s quite enough!’

`Thirst quenched, I hope?’ said the Queen.

Alice did not know what to say to this, but luckily the Queen did not wait for an answer, but went on. `At the end of three yards I shall repeat them — for fear of your forgetting them. At then end of four, I shall say good-bye. And at then end of five, I shall go!’

She had got all the pegs put in by this time, and Alice looked on with great interest as she returned to the tree, and then began slowly walking down the row.

At the two-yard peg she faced round, and said, `A pawn goes two squares in its first move, you know. So you’ll go very quickly through the Third Square — by railway, I should think — and you’ll find yourself in the Fourth Square in no time. Well, that square belongs to Tweedledum and Tweedledee — the Fifth is mostly water — the Sixth belongs to Humpty Dumpty — But you make no remark?’

`I — I didn’t know I had to make one — just then,’ Alice faltered out.

`You should have said,’ `”It’s extremely kind of you to tell me all this” — however, we’ll suppose it said — the Seventh Square is all forest — however, one of the Knights will show you the way — and in the Eighth Square we shall be Queens together, and it’s all feasting and fun!’ Alice got up and curtseyed, and sat down again.

At the next peg the Queen turned again, and this time she said, `Speak in French when you can’t think of the English for a thing — turn out your toes as you walk — and remember who you are!’ She did not wait for Alice to curtsey this time, but walked on quickly to the next peg, where she turned for a moment to say `good-bye,’ and then hurried on to the last.

How it happened, Alice never knew, but exactly as she came to the last peg, she was gone. Whether she vanished into the air, or whether she ran quickly into the wood (`and she can run very fast!’ thought Alice), there was no way of guessing, but she was gone, and Alice began to remember that she was a Pawn, and that it would soon be time for her to move.

<< Chapter 1 Chapter 3 >>

They’re painting the roses red down at the Atlanta Botanical Garden.

The Red Queen’s troops, the Cheshire Cat, a ridiculous chess game, a White Rabbit (and his pocket watch) and yes, Alice, are part of this Wonderland that opens May 11 at the Midtown attraction.

Called “Imaginary Worlds: Alice in Wonderland,” the exhibit brings 31 enormous topiary-like sculptures to the Atlanta garden and seven to the Gainesville Botanical Garden.

“”RELATED: Get a peek inside Atlanta’s private gardens

The creations are composed of metal frames, stuffed with soil and covered with living plants. Using such tools as oversized sheep shears and tiny thread cutters, the garden’s horticulturalists closely clip the plants — such as stonecrop and cedum — so that they resemble sheets of living color. The result is both organic and unearthly.

A worker makes last minute pruning adjustments to the Atlanta Botanical Garden’s new plant sculpture exhibit “Alice in Wonderland. RYON HORNE / [email protected] Photo: Ryon Horne

This week, as members of the garden’s crew put the finishing touches on the oversized knights and pawns of a gargantuan chess board set up near the Skyland Garden, Linda Lindeborg, and her friend, Linda Fowble, both from Suwanee, gazed at the familiar characters.

“It takes me back,” said Lindeborg. Placed among 12-foot-tall chess pieces were heart-shaped trees featuring white blossoms that the Red Queen insists should be painted red.

“”RELATED: Where to see May flowers bloom in Georgia

“We all knew it when we were children, but like a lot of classics, you tend to forget parts of it, some of the details,” said Lindeborg. “This brings it all back.” Dressed in hats and sunglasses for the sunny weather, the two Lindas said they are looking forward to returning with a few family members. “I can’t wait to bring my grandson,” said Fowble.

The White Rabbit at the Atlanta Botanical Garden’s “Alice in Wonderland.” RYON HORNE / [email protected] Photo: Ryon Horne

Nearby, posed in the middle of the Skyline Garden pond, was the installation’s most impressive piece, the 27-foot-tall White Rabbit. This rabbit may have been late for an important date, but he looked relaxed, as he floated in an upside down umbrella. The rabbit, the umbrella, and the rabbit’s top hat, all were clad in colorful, living plants.

The older figures returning from last summer, including the Dragon, Pegasus, the Goddess, the Mermaid, the Woolly Mammoth and the Camels, have been updated with new color schemes composed of different plants, said exhibitions manager Emily Saccenti.

The sculptures are designed by Mosaiculture International of Montreal, where the metal frames were fabricated. Gardeners began stuffing and planting sections of the sculptures back in January, working inside Buford greenhouses, before trucking the sections to the Midtown garden in April.

The dragon sculpture, returning from last summer, is one of the oversized sculptures created of metal frames and living plants. RYON HORNE / [email protected] Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“We have to water these every day, sometimes twice a day, sometimes more,” said Christina Newton, as she trimmed the silver falls dichondra growing on the chest of one of the Red Queen’s playing-card soldiers. Newton is a horticulturalist who is part of the six-person team that installs and maintains these creations.

The densely planted, closely cropped plants become patches of color — brushstrokes — in the hands of these artists. Some are so finely woven they appear to be made of fabric.

But there are some colors that nature doesn’t provide on a regular basis, namely: blue. In the Disney cartoon version of the Lewis Carroll story, Alice is dressed in a blue pinafore. In this tableau you will find Alice sleeping near the Cheshire cat. Though the artists fashioned her white blouse from dichondra and her blonde hair from creeping Jenny, her blue pinafore was a challenge, finally resolved only by dyeing some moss.

“It’s still a living thing!” said Saccenti.

EXHIBIT PREVIEW

“Imaginary Worlds: Alice in Wonderland”

Atlanta Botanical Garden

9 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday, May 11-Oct. 27. $18.95-$21.95. 1345 Piedmont Ave. NE, Atlanta. 404-876-5859. atlantabg.org.

Gainesville Garden

9 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday, May 11-Oct. 27. $5-$8. 1911 Sweetbay Drive, Gainesville. 404-888-4760. atlantabg.org.

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Storybook Garden Tips For Kids: How To Create An Alice In Wonderland Garden

Whether you’re a big kid or have children of your own, creating an Alice in Wonderland garden is a fun, whimsical way to landscape the garden. If unsure about how to create an Alice in Wonderland garden begin by rereading the book in its entirety to get your creative juices flowing and your head dancing with Alice in Wonderland garden ideas. Call it pleasurable research.

Alice in Wonderland Storybook Garden Tips

There’s a lot of ground to cover in Alice in Wonderland, all of it more fantastical than the previous. Things that stand out are the various sizes Alice goes through, one minute little and the next enormous. And then there’s the Mad Hatter’s tea party and guests, the white rabbit and his obsession with time, and the landscape within the story – sometimes English garden pretty and sometimes loud with bold colors and quirky shapes.

When considering Alice in Wonderland garden ideas, you may want to compare both plants and unusual garden art reminiscent of Alice’s world. For instance, pathways, doors or archways lead one off into secret gardens that mirror scenes from the beloved story. Lighting to highlight certain plants or areas also keeps the garden feeling dreamy.

How to Create an Alice in Wonderland Garden

Choose plants that have radically different sizes and brilliant colors when creating an Alice in Wonderland garden. Dinner-plate hibiscus or dahlia flowers with blossoms that can be 10-12 inches across are perfect and come in brilliant colors. Some clematis varieties also have blooms that are inordinately large and make quite a statement, as well as making for a lovely bower.

No English garden would be complete without roses and with their wide array of colors and sizes to choose from, making perfect additions to Alice’s garden. If roses are a little tame and you want something that is more out of this world, add prickly caterpillar beans with their purple and white striping punctuated by spines. Maypop or passion flower is another bloom worthy of a fantasy garden.

Parrot tulips with their ruffled petals and myriad colors work well in a storybook garden, as does the brilliantly blue honeywort. Purple allium with large puffy, purple heads is another quirky plant to add to the storybook garden.

Snakes head fritillaria not only has a fabulous name but its unique flowers, with their checkerboard pattern, fit in beautifully in the fantasy garden. If you live in a warm region, try adding some tropical flora like pink banana to your surrealistic garden. The only limits to creating Alice’s garden are your imagination and USDA zone.

As mentioned above regarding storybook garden tips, add some garden art, lighting, doors, paths and even water features. Scour secondhand shops, garage sales and swap meets and find something that tickles your fancy. It doesn’t have to be in perfect shape and a little paint always goes a long way. Keep in mind some of the key elements of the story when selecting. For example, all of the following are major players in Alice’s story:

  • Tea cups and tea pots
  • Mushrooms
  • Caterpillars
  • Rabbits
  • Pink flamingos
  • Clocks
  • Playing cards

It wouldn’t be surprising that once you dive into the rabbit hole with Alice, you will become so enchanted that you may never stop adding to your storybook garden.

  • Play lawn croquet: with hedgehog plush toys as balls, or perhaps hedgehogs painted on the balls. Attach colored and stuffed socks to the end of the mallets and sew on eyes, to represent flamingos, or use a lawn flamingo. Create large cardboard playing cards for the arches.
  • Play chess. You can do this on a normal sized chessboard, or you can make a huge chessboard in your garden and have your guests play the pieces!
  • Play “pin the grin on the Cheshire Cat“
  • Buy white tea pots and tea cups, and paint your own tea set.
  • Do the Caucus race. Make your guests run around in a circle, and when you shout ‘stop’ the last one to sit down/run to the middle is out. Or make a caucus version of the game musical chairs, where you remove one of the chairs each round and people have to find a chair to sit on when the music (the caucus race song from the Disney movie) stops.
  • Make up silly riddles
  • Play ‘Paint the roses red’. Buy some fake white roses and red paint (or markers). The person (or team) who finishes painting his rose first wins. You could give time penalties for sloppy painting or spilled drops. You could also set a general time limit and have someone dressed as the Queen of Hearts storm into the room when the time is up.
  • Buy some basic top hats and let your guests decorate them
  • Hide a small golden key or a White Rabbit plush and have your guests find it
  • Do a quiz with trivia questions based on the Alice stories
  • Play games with a ‘Contrariwise’ theme: make people wear name stickers, where you write their names on backwards. Everyone must call everyone else by their backwards name, or risk a forfeit. You could invent a game where names must
    be called, or you could just have this going on throughout the party. Also, you could ask people questions and they must give the opposite answer. Or, say the answer, but backwards. For most of these games, some kind of time pressure is essential to make it more difficult and to make people make mistakes and have to do forfeits. The more adult the party, the more adult the questions. ‘Have you ever done xyz?’ would be interesting if people have to say the opposite. It becomes more like a truth or dare game then.
  • Make a game of Clean Cup: have guests assemble at table. They fill their plates with food and make their tea (or other drink) as they like for a certain amount of time. When the time is up, say “Clean cup. Clean cup. Move down. Move down.” The guests move to the next place and put more food on the plate and change the tea however they wish. This goes on and on until everyone returns to their own place setting. Now, everyone must eat and drink what the others have put. Prizes can be awarded to the most weird concoction.
  • Make coloring pages for children so they can paint the roses red
  • Make teams, put a bucket (or large teapot) with tea on one side and an empty one on the other side of a course. Your guests have to fill a teacup, run to the other side (with the cup in their hands, balancing the cup on a saucer, or even balancing them on their heads…), and empty the cup there. The team that has filled the bucket first wins.
  • Paint some unboiled eggs to resemble Humpty Dumpty. Form teams. Lay each of the eggs on a spoon – one egg per team. Your guests have to put the other end of the spoon into their mouths, and run to the other side of the field as fast as they can without dropping the egg (and without using their hands to keep it from falling). Then they have to hand over the spoon with the egg to their teammates, who have to run back. Repeat this until all team members have run the course. The team that finishes first without dropping the egg, wins. If you drop the egg and it is still in one piece, you may continue. If the egg breaks, you’re out!
  • Have an “I’m late!” potato sack race, in which everyone has to hop to the finish like the White Rabbit. Contestants should all wear rabbit ears!
  • Gather a lot of teacups and put them upside down on a table. Under one of them, you hide a Dormouse (or White Rabbit). Your guests take turns and may lift one cup per turn to see whether something is underneath it. The one who finds the Dormouse wins. You can make the game harder by inventing extra rules, like shuffling the cups after each turn.
  • Get a hookah and attach a bubble blower to the end (or create one by bending a wire), so you can blow soap bubbles. Who makes the largest?
  • Dance the Lobster Quadrille. Everyone has to make up a silly move and teach it to the other. Then, all moves have to be performed in a row.
  • Make a Jabberwock piñata and use a (plastic or wooden) sword to beat it. Who slays the Jabberwock and becomes the beamish boy?
  • And of course, don’t forget: EVERYBODY has won, and all must have prizes!

The Live Flowers in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass

The Live Flowers

Characters in: Looking-Glass World
The first strange looking-glass creatures that Alice meets after she leaves the house are living flowers, including a Rose, a Tiger-Lily, Daisies, a Violet, and a Larkspur. Alice converses mostly with the Tiger-Lily and the Rose, who explain to her that all flowers can talk, but most of them are asleep because their beds are too soft. (This is a pun on “bed,” the thing you sleep in, and “bed,” the dirt patch in your garden where you plant stuff.) The flowers assume that Alice and the Red Queen are also flowers, just somehow able to walk around. Instead of recognizing that the Red Queen is wearing a crown, the flowers think she has thorns around her head. Instead of recognizing that Alice is wearing a dress, the flowers think her petals are fading and falling down around her ankles. This humorous misidentification reminds us of the narrowness of our own perspectives as humans, and the ways in which they limit how we see the world.

Pretty garden ideas are always fun to look at and be inspired by, even if you can’t grow gardens very well (like me!) All the pretty colors of the flowers or quirky fun ways to decorate… an interesting idea can bring gardening to a whole new level. I might only choose low maintenance plants – aka stuff I can’t kill – any of these ideas would definitely be a way to up the garden game to a whole new level.

photo credit: Pinterest

We’ll start our journey into garden ideas with a colorful option that’s sure to add a little more whimsy – an artists palette garden display. Complete with a rake and shovel “brush” of course!

Grab a couple of dollar store lights & some thrift shop glass shades to make these pretty garden lights. (click photo for tutorial)

photo credit: Gardens of Petaluma

If you want a little whimsy in your garden, these pillow stepping stones are the right way to go! They look like something from Alice in Wonderland!

source unknown

This is one of those garden ideas that is so simple and super cheap! Stop by the dollar store, grab a few tiki torches and a few solar lights, then put the lights inside the torches. No oil, no fire, no mess – so it’s much safer for the kids. Put them with bug repellent plants and you get the best of both worlds!

Find a bunch of metal headboards, paint them all white & mount them for this unique trellis idea.

via Stone Art Blog

This truck rocks! (Sorry, couldn’t help myself!) But seriously, it’s pretty awesome to see it all put together.

via Good Home Design

This cute little shed would be perfect for a playhouse or a garden shed!

photo credit: Play Trains!

Carve out some space for the littles to play while giving them a love of gardening with this DIY garden train table.

photo credit

I’d never cry over this version of spilled milk! A simple milk can tilted onto its side with white flowers flowing out into a simply gorgeous garden.

photo credit: HGTV

Don’t toss out those paint cans – turn them into pretty planters!

source: killer b designs

My little grandsons would love to have their own space to play outside in this teepee made from pallets.

photo credit: DIY Joy

Try your hand at making these pretty planters with the help of some gloves and concrete for another of the great garden ideas! It looks like it would work best for small flowers, but imagine them spilling out over the hands as summer went on.

What garden doesn’t need a sweet little mascot? This guy is so adorable – and he’s sure to bring a little more fun into any outdoor area. And he sure does melt your heart a bit, right?

photo credit: The Garden Glove

Looking for another Oz inspired idea? Take a few thrift store vases & bottles plus some dollar store glass gems and create your own castle for fairy wizards. I’d love to do a take on this version of the Emerald City!

photo credit: Salvage + Selvedge

If you’re on the path to find more whimsical garden ideas… these bricks painted to look like books are a seriously great idea!

If you enjoyed these garden ideas, you might also like:

  • Seven Upcycled Garden Ideas – my favorite ways to repurpose things for a beautiful outdoor space!

Sue has turned her new front garden into a mini Wonderland (Picture: Archant)

Charles L. Dodgson, the man who would grow up to become Lewis Carroll, creator of the Alice in Wonderland stories, was believed to have suffered from periods of depression and, for him, disappearing down Alice’s rabbit hole was perhaps a form of therapy.

151 years on from the publication of the first book, one brave mum has taken inspiration from the topsy turvy world inhabited by Mad Hatters, Cheshire Cats and March Hares to recover from her own bout of depression.

Sue Smith, 50, from Dagenham, has turned her new garden into a mini Wonderland, setting up tree stumps, signposts, stepping stones, peach trees and rabbit holes.

(Picture: Archant)

It’s the first garden Sue has ever had and she says the project has helped her overcome two years of depression, which left her unable to get out of bed.

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‘It was terrible, it was the worst time,’ said Sue, who has bipolar disorder. ‘It’s been quite something creating this – it’s an absolutely perfect and calm retreat.’

(Picture: Archant)

The garden pays special tribute to the Mad Hatter, the character she most identifies with from the stories. ‘It’s the idea of questioning what or who is normal,’ she explained.

At the entrance, her signpost features Alice’s famous response to the Mad Hatter’s question: ‘Have I gone mad?’

Alice replied:

I’m afraid so. You’re entirely bonkers. But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are

‘I’m actually getting out of bed every day now,’ Sue said. I’m still not leaving the house but I’m up and I’m in my garden.

‘Having depression is certainly not a walk in the park, but the garden is a huge respite for me.’

(Picture: Archant)

Her husband Ronnie Smith, 49, divides his time between cab driving and working with Sue on their fantastical garden.

‘I don’t know what I’d do without him, he’s my saviour,’ Sue admits.

As well as plenty of rabbit holes and confusing signposts, Sue and Ronnie have planted three different types of lilies and lavender to entice people to look a little closer.

‘Nobody really talks to their neighbours any more, unfortunately, but people have already started commenting on how nice our garden is,’ said Sue.

‘We’re going to invite some elderly neighbours over and have a real Mad Hatter’s tea party!’

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MORE: Luxury ‘Alice in Wonderland’ home on sale has a secret feature you’ll LOVE

MORE: London’s first dessert restaurant has an Alice In Wonderland themed menu

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