Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden’s annual holiday display has become a tradition for thousands each year, but the display is anything but traditional.
Preparations for Holidays at the Garden are in full swing at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden with opening night set for Nov.18. Staff and volunteers have been stringing lights, assembling decor, and installing the seasonal horticulture displays since Labor Day. Planning for the massive display with more than 600,000 LED lights begins a full year in advance as the Garden assembles teams to execute each year’s theme.
“We really strive for something new and unique every year,” said Katy Widrich, the garden’s director of events. “We also look for trends and themes that will set the stage inside the Visitor Pavilion and lead the guest through an experience they won’t find anywhere else.”
This year’s theme that will accent the outdoor light display is Balsam & Blue. Guests will discover driftwood, eucalyptus, and navy decor throughout the Visitor Pavilion, Orchid Conservatory and seasonal horticulture displays.
“Natural materials such as stone, driftwood and cut cedar branches harvested locally create context and a connection to place that build relevance and inherent familiarity,” said Peter Grimaldi, the Garden’s director of horticulture, who leads light installations as well as development of horticultural displays.
With the guidance of staff, the Garden’s creative team of volunteers carefully assembles, paints and prepares wreaths, centerpieces and so much more. Together the team meticulously and strategically hangs each string of lights to create the twinkling winter wonderland guests have come to love. Staff members are also busy booking entertainment, vendors and horse-drawn carriages along with coordinating the visits of Santa and Mrs. Claus. And don’t forget about the model railroads, developed and installed in partnership with volunteers from the Metrolina Model Railroaders club or the spectacular orchid tree, composed of more than 300 white orchids.
“We’re excited about a new color combination and custom light forms featured at the center of the display in the Scroll Garden,” said Grimaldi. “Structural elements in the horticultural display also lend themselves naturally a festive punctuation with holiday lights.”
For those who want to learn more the Garden’s holiday team will give a behind the scenes look at the holiday preparations during the upcoming First Tuesday discussion on Dec. 6 from noon to 1 p.m. Monthly First Tuesdays are free for members or free with general admission.
Holidays at the Garden will be open Nov. 18, 2016 through Jan. 1, 2017. The Garden will be open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily with the exception of Thanksgiving (5 to 9 p.m.) and Christmas Day (closed). The lights illuminate at 5 p.m. nightly. Holiday admission begins at 4 p.m. and is $14.95 per adult, $13.95 per senior 60+, $8.95 per child 2-12 and free for children under age two. Garden members receive a 30% discount and also receive 30% off the purchase of up to four guest passes. Guests are encouraged to purchase tickets online in advance at www.dsbg.org or 704-829-1252. Tickets are also available at the door.
To learn more about classes, Holiday Tea, Holiday Wine Pairing, Capture the Magic with Santa, and other events visit www.dsbg.org or call 704-825-4490.