This post is brought to you in partnership with Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden. All opinions are our own.
Let your mind wander for a minute and imagine yourself in a tropical forest. You’re walking along a lush path with air plants and showy orchids growing overhead and bromeliads blooming at your feet. A waterfall can be heard in the distance as you pass the large leaves of monstera, fiscus, cocoa and citrus trees, palms of all shapes and sizes and a plethora of exotic flowering plants.
But the most stunning of all you realize upon rounding the bend, is a bold orchid towering over you at 10 feet tall. The enlarged details take you by surprise and you turn to realize you’re standing among grand botanicals like you’ve never seen them before. An energetic Venus flytrap grins in your direction, vivid four-foot pitcher plants wait with cupped leaves agape for their next meal, and oversized orchid blossoms pop with color around you.
While this sounds like an experience from a science fiction novel, it can actually be found close to home this summer. Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden is hosting an awe-inspiring, larger-than-life botanical glass exhibit, Grandiflora: Gamrath Glass at the Garden, by day and select nights through Sept. 29.
Guests will be mesmerized by dozens of vibrant installations made up of hundreds of pieces of glass by Seattle-based artist Jason Gamrath, including gigantic orchids, pitcher plants, columbine flowers, a corpse flower and more scattered throughout the Visitor Pavilion, tropical Orchid Conservatory and outdoor garden spaces.
The immensity of Gamrath’s botanical works captivates audiences and calls attention to the beauty of normally tiny details within the natural world.
“The most beautiful, extravagant man-made object could never creatively equal the simplest and smallest naturally occurring life form,” said Gamrath. “The purpose of creating this series on a macro scale is to bring to light the beauty that exists within the micro scale of nature.”
A Seattle area native, Gamrath began studying glass sculpting at the young age of 15 and has worked and trained with many renowned artists. He studied at the world’s most comprehensive center for glass art education, Pilchuck Glass School in Washington, which was co-founded by world-famous glass artist Dale Chihuly.
The gardens feature big, bold, beautiful plants with large flowers and leaves to complement Gamrath’s sculptures. In addition, during the day guests can explore the Butterfly Bungalow abundant in fluttering butterflies native to NC. The Beer Garden will feature local craft brews, wine and live music on Thursday and Friday evenings as well as weekend afternoons and evenings.
The Garden, which opened the doors of its Visitor Pavilion in 1999, celebrates 20 years just 30 minutes from uptown Charlotte in Belmont. Through Sept. 29 the Garden is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and also in the Thursday through Sunday evenings from 6 to 10 p.m. For more information, call (704) 825-4490 or visit DSBG.org.