Olbrich Botanical Gardens – Madison Wisconsin

G A R D E N S, Garden Tours, Gravel, Landscape Design | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Back in August, we made a family road trip out of attending the Perennial Plant Association (PPA) conference in Minneapolis, MN. On the drive up to the conference we made a stopover in Chicago at the Lurie Garden (See post HERE), and on the way home we stopped at Olbrich Botanical Gardens in Madison, WI and the Chicago Botanical Garden (I am lucky that the kids still enjoy visiting gardens as a vacation).

Olbrich Botanical Gardens, gravel garden - Madison Wisconsin, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

Olbrich was a planned stop on the way home, however after hearing Jeff Epping, the Director of Horticulture at Olbrich, speak at the PPA conference, we left Minneapolis early to ensure we got ample time in the gardens. Our time was a little more compressed than planned with a Midwest storm approaching, but hands down one of the best botanical gardens I have visited.  The 16 acres features amazing rooms that transition you from different spaces almost disorientating your direction and allowing you be in awe of each different experience.

Jeff’s talk at the PPA conference was about the gravel gardens they have installed at Olbrich. The method involves planting hardy plants in a base of 3-5 inches of gravel to fend of weeds and provide a low-water lifelong solution. The plants will grow into soil below the gravel for water and nutrients, and the inches of gravel will prohibit weeds from growing. Overtime the plants will grow to cover the gravel for a dense planting. The requirements of the planting method require attentive watering while the roots mature to the soil level and vigilant removal of plant debris at cutback and while establishing. My first few photos here are of one of the four gravel gardens at Olbrich.

I have known of Olbrich for a few years and it was always on my list of place to visit and I am so happy my travels to me there.  Olbrich is a garden destination that needs to be high on your list.  For a plant nerd, design nerd, or just looking for a stroll in a beautful garden- it will not disappoint.  I hope you enojoy my photo journal!

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I am going to The Netherlands and Belgium!

G A R D E N S, Personal, Uncategorized | Tagged , ,

I thought next week would never get here, but after such a busy summer it came faster than expected. I am going to The Netherlands and Belgium with the Perennial Plant Association (PPA) for a 14 day tour of 25 gardens, nurseries and flower shows. It is what my wife is calling the ultimate plant geek tour, but I am the ultimate plant geek so could not be more excited.

Here is a sample of the places we will be visiting during the tour, but expect for me to be posting crazy my recaps images.

The Brussels Flower Carpet, created from 750,000 tuerous begonia blossoms – Image from here.

The Castle Keukenhof, peak season is March – May to see the blooming blubs. Image from here.

The Garden of Dina Deferme, Image from here.

Mien Ruys Garden – 70 years of personal experimenting and designing by garden architect Mien Ruys. Image from here.

I will attempt to keep the blog fresh with a few pre-planned posts while I am gone, but will have access to email the whole time if you have any questions etc.