Growers Day and Olbrich Botanical Garden Visit

A couple of weeks ago, Kim and I had a chance to attend a ‘Growers Day’ that was put on by Carlin. It started with a tour of the trial gardens at Malmborgs Greenhouse in Rogers, Mn. It was fun to see the varieties that were being tested.

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From there they took us to Madison, Wisconsin. After supper they took us for a walk around the capital building. Pretty nice!

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The following day we attended classes at the Olbrich Botanical Gardens. The Olbrich Park began in 1929, named after Michael B. Olbrich, and it was changed to the Olbrich Botanical Gardens in 1952.

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Along with the classes, they gave us a chance to explore the gardens. Oh my goodness! If you ever get a chance to go, do it! It was gorgeous. It was so fun to see the different garden areas and to see the plants that we grow in use. I would love to go back and have more time to explore all 16 acres.

Here is the Eunice Fisher Hosta Garden.

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She was a Hosta hydridizer native to Wisconsin. It is one of two complete collections of the Hostas she grew. If I had known that at the time, I would have paid more attention to which varieties were there. Research first, guys, and then visit.

The Rose Garden was impressive with the tower and fountain and the planters.

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I love all the different foliage textures they used here.

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Here is the Rock Garden. The bent iron border is something I want to incorporate into my gardens at home.

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Look at this bed. It had Alliums, Belamcanda and Lychnis. I love the mix of colors.

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There were sculptures, fountains, trellises and obelisks everywhere.

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This grouping makes me think of a dragon hiding in the grass.

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This planter was really cool. It had kaleidoscope lenses and was planted with sedums and succulents.

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Allium ‘Summer Beauty’ was planted all over and it was in its peak.

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This planting of Stachys ‘Helene von Stein’ is gorgeous.

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They were having a butterfly exhibit in the conservatory and in the main building they had cases with butterfly specimens from all over the world. Most of the specimens were collected 40-50 years ago and they were in great shape. The colors, shapes and sizes were amazing.

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Who knew there were so many different kinds of swallowtail butterflies?

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Throughout the gardens they had signs explaining the migration of Monarch butterflies and the need for areas for them to feed and rest.

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A visit is definitely worth adding to your bucket list. If you would like to see more pictures, check out our Facebook page.

 

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Written by

Cathy Maxson is Sargent's Gardens Annual and Perennial Growing manager. In addition to making sure Sargent's grown plants thrive, she enjoys growing in her own garden, canning fruits and vegetables, traveling and staying fit with Taekwondo.