In a through-the-looking-glass twist, the Midtown attraction is assembling some strange foliage, painted in the kind of ice cream colors not seen in nature.
The pink, lavender, chartreuse and blue-green trees are part of an installation opening May 6 called “The Curious Garden,” created, in part, to get people to stop and smell the roses.
Or, more accurately, to stop and gape at the maples.
Adam Schwerner, 53, creator of “The Curious Garden,” is director of horticulture at Disneyland and prior to that was in charge of parks in Chicago. That was when he first painted trees.
Adam Schwerner, director of horticulture at Disneyland, is taking a vacation in Atlanta and doing what he likes to do best, which is create art. His installation at the Atlanta Botanical Garden hangs orchids from chandeliers, paints a few thousand gourds bright red and dots the grounds with trees painted in ice cream colors. CONTRIBUTED BY ATLANTA BOTANICAL GARDEN The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“I was responsible for 200,000 trees in Chicago, and I felt like they were invisible,” said the energetic former New Yorker, striding around the Botanical Garden on a sunny Thursday. “So I painted them. And they weren’t invisible anymore.”
Why paint trees? First of all, the Chicago trees that he painted were dying. He picked out a handful that were going to come down anyway, and gave them a bright funeral suit. The result: People ran into each other on Lakeshore Drive as they gazed up at the strange creatures. And they talked.
Not everything they said was complimentary. “Some people got (ticked) off,” said Schwerner, stepping into the Fuqua Conservatory, “but they talked. When you put the artificial next to the natural, conversation happens.”
“It’s a little lipstick on nature,” joked Mary Pat Matheson, the garden’s director and CEO.
These 130-or-so pastel-painted maple trees at the Atlanta…