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I'm Ellen, a photographer that loves capturing your most precious moments and is currently trying to convince her husband to get a golden-doodle - because life with two small kids isn't crazy enough. 

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Things to Do in Auburn-Opelika

Botanic in Opelika is a delightful sanctuary and plant lover’s dream.

How long have you lived in the Auburn-Opelika area?

Have you been here long enough to remember Blooming Colors?

Blooming Colors was a plant nursery situated not too far from Downtown Auburn. A quaint oasis on the corner of South College and Donahue.

Matt and I used to casually stroll around Blooming Colors in the years before we got married and bought our home. My husband has a deep love of all things horticulture and would point out the plants he would get for our yard when we bought a home. Sadly, Blooming Colors (and the accompanying cafe) closed that location a while back.

This week, a new venture from King Braswell, the owner of Blooming Colors, and his wife, Stacy, founder of Chicken Salad Chick, opened in Opelika.

Y’all. Meet Botanic

I don’t even have the words to describe this beautiful space – so I will say it is a lush, delightful, sprawling oasis.

There is The Market, stocked with gifts and curated local goods, as well as freshly harvested produce. Around the corner, you will find The Garden Shoppe, with pottery, tools, and all the things that make a plant lover’s heart go pitter-patter.

Botanic offers several dining options – The Market, The Grille, The Patio Bar (with live entertainment!), and The Garden (coming soon). Matt and I haven’t had a chance to try the dining options yet, but we will certainly be back for our next date night!

The Greenhouse

My favorite part of Botanic is The Greenhouse.

Our family (aka Matt), is always mulling over what updates and improvements he can make to our home’s landscaping. If I didn’t keep a close eye on him, Matt would have our entire yard overflowing with azaleas, hydrangeas, and lush greenery. I’m not mad about it, but…we have to be able to see out the windows haha.

As Matt and I walked through the delightful indoor greenhouse space and outdoor nursery, he had to hold me back from buying every plant I’ve had on my ‘plant-lady wish list’ for the past three years. Seriously though, the nursery at Botanic in Opelika has a beautiful variety of plant options, and a kind, helpful staff ready to share their expertise…or help your kids find the chickens – whatever you need.

Speaking of Chickens

There is a flock of chickens inhabiting the Botanic. I mean, do you really need any other reason to go for a visit? That big guy standing tall with the whitetail has been named “Bucky” by my girls because he says “buck” according to my four and six-year-old girls.

a brown rooster standing next to a raised bed of plants
‘Bucky’ deserves his own spot in this post.

Botanic Opelika Details:

You can visit the Botanic at 1702 Frederick Rd, Opelika, AL 36801.

Read more about Botanic and its current hours on its website.

Love the photos you see here? I have been candidly photographing my girls and creating content for small businesses and children’s brands since 2018. Recently, I’ve started offering family sessions for local clients. I would love to capture meaningful images of your family. Send me a message here, I would love to chat with you about my process!


Fall is family photo season – if you haven’t booked your session yet, reach out to your favorite photographer now! My friend Rachel is a Madison Family Photographer and is sharing tips on how to prepare for your family session. She’s got advice on what to wear, selecting a location, and more!

  1. Samantha says:

    I love this! What a magical little spot–and with CHICKENS too?? I wish I lived closer, I’d be there all the time!

  2. Nicole says:

    What a beautiful location to visit! And you captured some really adorable photos here too! It looks like the little girls had so much fun adventuring through there.

  3. That location is everything. I did a farm session with a two year old the other day and the amount of genuine smiles and interactions is simply priceless. I bet your littlest clients love the chickens there.

  4. I love that you have taken us along on a sweet family outing while also sharing some wonderful local small businesses in the area! Any place with chickens is a good place by my book!

  5. Julianna says:

    Oh my i love this so much!! Not only is it absolutely gorgeous but so sweet and great memories!

  6. Oh what a beautiful spot. Just looking at your images make me feel calm and happy! Thank you for sharing!

  7. jasmyn says:

    I love this! My local botanical garden has turkeys, so this must be a theme! Lol Beautiful photos and such a cute location!

  8. Beth says:

    What an amazing location! Looks like a wonderful place to spend an afternoon or host an event!!

  9. Kate says:

    This place sounds like the perfect location! Food, plants, shopping, and roaming chickens? What more could you ask for?! You have beautifully captured Botanic Opelika and I’m sure everyone is going to have this stunning location on the top of their photo session wish list!

  10. Becky says:

    What a gorgeous spot to visit! I would want to buy all the plants too!

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Images copyright  Ellen Wagner Photo, LLC

maternity, newborn, and family photographer serving Auburn ALabama

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