Snapshots from Olbrich Botanical Gardens’ meadow, event, and herb gardens

August 12, 2022

Coneflower at the entrance to Olbrich

While in Madison for the Fling in June, I had time for a pre-Fling visit to the Wolbricht Botanical Garden, and then of course the garden was on the official tour schedule. Double Olbrich! I first visited this wonderful botanical garden 12 years ago, in autumn when the big grass was blooming. It was fun to see it on this early summer hike.

Event garden pergola

My pre-fling visit happened on a bright sunny and rather hot Thursday. During our visit to the official fling on Saturday, drizzle and overcast skies dimmed the scene. Two different moods. You will see photos from both days in this and my upcoming post about Olbrich.

Olbrich always has interesting displays of tropical plants in pots — and on wire trellises. Check out the vertical displays of tillandsias and bromeliads on wire mesh behind this bold collection of almost black and green tropicals.

What a goth garden with those moody colors. And that Tillandsia screen – what a clever way to display them. Laurie of Danger Gardens recently ran with this idea in her own garden.

The event garden has a tropical ambiance with palms and banana flowers adding height to the perennials and annuals.

Almost black millet continues the moody color scheme.

Orange creates a strong contrast.

A beautiful old tree

And the lovely flowers of Carolina allspice

Weeping mulberry, I think. I love these lazy plants that give them a place to hide under their leafy skirts.

A boulder pyramid stands on a meadow bed. What a clever use of digging stones when gardening.

In the herb garden, birch branches are tied together with sticks or bamboo to form tall tutors in a pair of pots.

Golden goodness with tiger’s eye sumac and other yellows

Consider the whole matter in detail

The Birch Walk is lined with 100 native paper birches. Oakleaf hydrangeas with white flowers echo their ghostly colors.

A beautiful arbor offers shady bench seating.

It is interesting: an old cauldron is filled with water and a reflecting mirror is formed, surrounded by broken parts of a carved stone baluster. Surrounded by white stone blocks that look like teeth! And with a crazy pattern of brick paving around the whole thing. Someone is having creative fun!

Megan of Far Out Flora photographing Natasha of We So We Grow, both first-time flingers

I also ran into Anneliese from Cobrahead at Court and Teri from Cottage. Teri will be coming to Austin in October to speak at Garden Spark!

More birches and a fern stumpery

Cool stone sculptures

An English-style meadow garden with spring-flowering plants, low-maintenance fescue grass that is shaggy and tall, and bulbs that pop up through the grass to bloom in spring.

“Grasses do not require supplemental water or fertilizer and are mowed only twice a year — once in late spring and again in late fall,” according to the garden’s website.

Clematis were king here too, as were the other gardens we visited during the fling. This dark pink one is a beauty.

Purple pendant is also beautiful.

Next: The Rose Garden, Observation Tower, and Fountain Plaza display mangoes, and another Tillandsia screen. For a look back at Cindy Fillingame’s sparkling, rainy day garden, click here.

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dig deep

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All material © 2022 by Pam Penick for Excavation. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

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