Public Gardens

Visiting local public gardens is a great way to learn more about plants and get ideas for garden design and planting companions. It's also one of my favorite ways to spend a day! I am fortunate to have several fantastic public gardens in my area. Here are photo tours of some of the gardens I've visited:

Lilacs and Crabapples blooming at the UW-Madison Arboretum

University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum
  • Lilacs - there are hundreds of different lilacs at the Arboretum. This is just a tiny sampling!
  • Flowering Crabapples - the Arboretum's crowning glory is its extensive crabapple collection. This is the midwest's answer to flowering cherries.
  • Azaleas - the 'Lights' series deciduous azaleas are fabulous in bloom.
  • Finnish Rhododendrons - the Arboretum has a gorgeous stand of very large, mature rhododendrons from the super-hardy Helsinki University series. They are quite stunning!
  • Dwarf Pines - one of my favorite areas of the Arboretum is the dwarf conifer collection, which is vast. Here are some of the many dwarf pines they have.
  • Fall Afternoon - naturally, the Arboretum is a great place to see shrubs and trees with fantastic fall color.

Rose Garden at Olbrich Botanical Gardens

Olbrich Botanical Gardens
  • Explorer Roses - Olbrich has quite a few of the ultra-hardy Canadian Explorer series roses in their lovely rose garden
  • Woodland Wildflowers - Olbrich does a fabulous job with naturalistic woodland plantings in their shade gardens
  • Spring Foliage Combos - this set of photos focuses on combinations of plants with good textural and color contrasts. 
  • Japanese Tree Peonies - a few of the many Japanese and American hybrid tree peonies they have
  • Tree Peony 'Toichi Ruby' - my favorite of Olbrich's tree peonies!
  • Mid-season Peonies - some of the unique varieties from their herbaceous peony collection. Mid-season (early June) bloomers. 

Irises by a pond with gazebo at the Allen Centennial Garden

Allen Centennial Garden

My favorite area in the Allen Garden is their splendid rock garden, filled with artfully arranged alpines and dwarf conifers. They also have some other areas including a shady woodland path, an English perennial border, and a formal Italian garden.

Tree peonies and lupins at the UW-Madison Botanical Garden

University of Wisconsin-Madison Botanical Garden
This teaching garden has the plants arranged by taxonomy. My favorite spot is the peony area, which has numerous tree peonies and some herbaceous species.

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