When the wind starts to pick up and the leaves start to turn, it is time for another trip to my favorite escape in Madison, Olbrich Botanical Gardens.
This managably-sized garden is free to the public and wheelchair accessible and conveniently less than 10 miles from my house (I know, because I’ve run there and back.)
To me, Chicago Botanic is where you go to see some truly awesome things, but Olbrich is much more realistic— its borders look like something you really could do at home (given unlimited time and money). Also, given its urban setting, it uses space well, without a lot of research area that other, larger gardens use… basically it is a series of well-planned herbaceous borders of every stripe.
Some of my favorite gardens include–
And then there is its magnificent setting, on the shores of Lake Monona.
And there is the unforgettable Thai Pavillion, which is somewhat anachronistic, but has excellent tropical displays- many of which are actually hardy plants that have a tropical flavor.
After visiting the Thai pavillion, make time for a visit to my favorite of the garden areas- the productive/herb garden is especially nice and includes a rotating display of herbs and flowers.
Last but not least, make sure to stop by the formal border with its gorgeous reflecting pool and lake view.
If you are doing a midwestern garden tour, or are looking for a place to visit while you are in Madison (or even if you live here and haven’t been to visit in a decade) make some time to go visit the extraordinary gardens– it’s a perfect trip.
One final note, thank you www.blotanical.com for nominating this blog as one of the five Best Wisconsin Blogs, it really is an honor to be nominated.