For the 10th year, businesses, nonprofits, schools, individual artists and others created scarecrows of all kinds for Scarecrows in the Garden, which started last week and runs through Oct. 31.
“It has become a tradition. It’s not just all families and kids. A lot of adults come just for scarecrows because it is so clever,” said Danny Flanders, the garden’s public relations manager. “One big theme every year is nature, recycling and being green. … There are a lot of pop culture themes, like ‘50 Shades of Hay’ and a couple of political things, and lot of current events.”
Garden visitor Kathryn Trotter, of Buckhead, said she and her daughter Caroline, 17 months, come every week and see all of the exhibits.
“We’ve never been to this before,” Trotter said. “It’s so creative. I didn’t realize the scarecrows were going to have a theme, like the ‘Titanic.’”
Gail Wood, the garden’s exhibitions project manager, said this year’s scarecrow exhibit is different from previous years in that there was not one specific topic applicants had to stick to, such as “spooky.”
“We like to reflect different points of view and different artistic impressions. We work really hard not to censor,” Wood said. “We had someone express their political point of view since this is an election year.”
The political scarecrow, named “Something Wicked This Way Comes,” features both Barack Obama’s and Mitt Romney’s heads in a witch’s brewing pot.
“We don’t put these in the children’s area,” Wood said. “But kids just have the best time with found objects and a little bit of chicken wire. … Certain classes in school make scarecrows. Then you’ll see Brownie troops and Girl Scouts and that kind of stuff.”
The exhibit is open for viewing during the garden’s normal hours, but there are also children’s harvest-themed activities including “pumpkin bowling, making owl hats and hand painting,” Wood said. They are free with garden admission Saturdays and Sundays in October from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For adults, and beer lovers, the garden hosts Fest of Ale every October Thursday from 5 to 10 p.m. with local craft beer and bluegrass music.
The last Thursday, Oct. 25, is the Great Chefs of Atlanta Pumpkin Carving Contest, where local celebrity chefs compete to carve a giant pumpkin in 25 minutes. The pumpkins are sold in an auction afterwards to benefit the garden.
If you go:
o What: Scarecrows in the Garden
o When: Now through Oct. 31, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, and to 10 p.m. Thursday
o Where: Atlanta Botanical Garden, 1345 Piedmont Ave, Midtown
o Tickets: $18.95 for adults, $12.95 for children 3 to 12, free for children under 3 and garden members
o Information: (404) 876-5859 or www.atlantabotanicalgarden.org