by Bruce Myint | April 01, 2004

Greenhouse effect:
New York's
Enid A. Haupt Conservatory

Outdoor venues are in again, now that winter is over and flowers are back in bloom. And what’s a more natural stage for a springtime event than a botanical garden? The New York Botanical Garden (, for example, offers 250 acres of rolling hills covered with exotic flowers, wetlands, flowering trees and group space. The facility’s Enid A. Haupt Conservatory is the nation’s largest Victorian glasshouse, featuring a 90-foot dome, a reflecting pool and room for up to 500 people. Next door, visitors can gather in the Conservatory Tent, which offers ballroom space for up to 1,000.
    Themed gardens are the signature of the Chicago Botanic Garden (, where groups can stroll through 26 verdant landscapes sporting names like English Oak Meadow, Waterfall Garden and Midwestern Prairie. Nearly 2 million plants can be found throughout the collection. For events, the garden offers 11 venues, including a lakeside pavilion accommodating 340 guests.
    At the 30-acre Atlanta Botanical Garden (, found next to historical Piedmont Park, visitors can meander through fragrant herb gardens or catch a glimpse of the wildlife in a recreated mountain bog. Other highlights: a showcase of carnivorous plants and a 60-foot water-lily pool. A fragrant “orchid hall” hosts groups of up to 300. For parties of around 90 people, the garden offers an exhibit center with bamboo floors and Palladian doors leading to a fountained courtyard.