By Kate Bast | Photos courtesy of Janesville Rotary Botanical Gardens
In Madison we’ve got the lovely Allen Centennial gardens blooming in summer atop the UW Campus at Observatory Drive, and the Olbrich Botanical Gardens—the tropical Thai pavilion gardens, rose garden, wonderful programming and more—at our disposal year-round. As you’re out and about this summer, add these other flora gems around the state to your must-see list.
Rotary Botanical Gardens, Janesville
This lovely 20-acre landscape bursts with over 4,000 plant varieties in more than 24 gardens, whose styles range from minimalist Japanese, symmetrical French formal to the cheerfully abundant English cottage garden, an heirloom garden features species grown prior to 1900, and a hummingbird-attracting garden that’s in peak bloom July to August— among others. The botanical garden also offers several workshops and tours, including Asian brush painting, nurturing bonsai, garden photography for beginners and evening lectures that feature UW scientists and other experts.
Green Bay Botanical Garden, Green Bay
A former orchard transformed into a beautiful landscape, this 47-plus-acre garden features woodland, American perennial, color and foliage, rose, English, xeriscape and other gardens. If you’re traveling in this area, don’t miss the tours, workshops and other cultural and educational events. Check the website for what’s blooming, and tips for touring the gardens based on interests, time and travel companions.
Boerner Botanical Gardens, Milwaukee
Located in Hales Corners, in the Milwaukee County Park System, this historical, botanical showcase features annual, herb, perennial, rain, rock and shrub gardens. Don’t miss the intoxicating perfume of the delicate petals in the rose and peony gardens, which typically hit peak bloom in June and July through autumn, respectively. Check the website for bloom times and special tours.