Lobby + Gift Shop
April - September
10 am – 6 pm daily
October - March
10 am – 4 pm daily
10 am – 4 pm daily
10 am – 4 pm, Mon - Fri
10 am - 1 pm, Sat
Stroll through 16 acres of outdoor display gardens and an indoor, tropical conservatory at Olbrich Botanical Gardens. In the outdoor gardens, visit the Royal Thai Pavilion and Garden. Olbrich's Thai Pavilion is the only one in the continental United States and the only one outside of Thailand surrounded by a garden. Explore other specialty gardens such as the Perennial Garden, Sunken Garden, and Herb Garden. Olbrich's outdoor gardens are open daily, year-round. Visit the Hours, Admissions, & Directions page for more information.
Then, visit the tropics without leaving Madison! The Bolz Conservatory, a sunny 50-foot-high glass pyramid, houses a diverse collection of tropical plants, a rushing waterfall, free-flying birds, and blooming orchids. See the plants on which some very common foods grow, such as banana, coffee, and vanilla. Get an up close and personal look at carnivorous plants as well. Temperatures in the Conservatory range from 65 degrees to 95 degrees Fahrenheit year-round, making this a truly tropical escape.
The Sunken Garden is a formal, traditional, English-style garden. An elegant 80-foot long reflecting pool provides a visual connection with Lake Monona.
These two shady gardens are filled with spring-blooming bulbs and shade-loving plants, including astilbes, hellebores, hostas, lungworts, epimediums, sedges, and ferns.
This sustainable garden combines drought-tolerant fescue grasses, wildflowers, and bulbs. It's an excellent alternative to the traditional Kentucky bluegrass lawn.
This garden simulates a dry, rocky hillside. It features unique, drought-tolerant plants and garden conifers that thrive under severely dry and windy conditions. Two streams meander through the garden and converge to form a rushing waterfall.
A menagerie of wildflowers bursts into bloom each spring, followed by lush emerald ferns, colorful berries, and vibrant autumn colors. During the summer, the cool shade of native trees and shrubs provides a soothing woodland environment for a tranquil stroll.
The Herb Garden is a series of smaller gardens meant to delight the senses and illustrate the historic and contemporary importance of herbs. Specialty gardens within the Herb Garden include the English Courtyard, Tea, Touch and Smell, Knot, Sage and Thyme, Medicinal, Dye, Kitchen, and Sinister Gardens.
Rain gardens are designed to collect run-off so the water filters slowly back into the aquifer, while gravel gardens drastically reduce watering and maintenance needs through a layer of gravel spread over the soil.
This informal two-acre garden features mixed borders of perennials, ornamental grasses, annuals, trees, and shrubs that bloom in hot colors all season. A rushing waterfall spills into a meandering stream and three tranquil pools highlighting aquatic plants. The garden is especially beautiful in late summer and fall.
This shady garden path, embraced by more than 100 native paper birch, provides a quiet walk for visitors to stroll from one display garden to the next. The understory is home to small-scaled trees, shrubs and perennials and spring flowering bulbs for added interest through the seasons.
Olbrichs Thai Garden features the Royal Thai Pavilion, a gift from the government of Thailand and the Thai Chapter of the University of Wisconsin Alumni Association. Its the only one in the continental United States, and the only one outside of Thailand surrounded by a garden.
This meadow offers a tranquil space to sit and enjoy the beauty of the Thai Pavilion from afar. Large cottonwoods embrace the garden, which features spring-flowering daffodils.
Flowing from full sun to dappled shade, this Midwestern prairie-inspired meadow highlights all the best native plants for a wide range of conditions.
Stroll through a monochromatic prairie style meadow of perennials, ornamental grasses, and native sedges that evoke a light, airy feel as white flowers and grass seed heads sway in the wind. Anchoring the meadow is a rustic obelisk made of dry stacked fieldstone.
This small, sloping meadow is tucked away and bordered by a large hedge. Covered in a blanket of Carex vulpinoidea, a native sedge which gets its name from its seed heads which resemble a fox's tail, spring blooming flowers push through before giving way to a sea of green texture in summer.
This garden provides a colorful backdrop for wedding ceremonies May through September each year. Enjoy seasonal flowers like fragrant lilacs and stunning peonies, dramatic planters, and mixed shrub borders.
This garden combines a variety of ornamental trees, shrubs, and vines with seasonal beauties for year-round interest. Spring bulbs, flowering perennials, hardy shrub and climbing roses, tropical plants, ornamental grasses, and colorful foliage make this a gorgeous garden in any season. A Prairie Style viewing tower and fountains constructed of native limestone unify the garden.
A free flowering meadow style planting overflowing with native perennial species and their cultivars, some specially bred for Midwestern conditions. An allee of hornbeam trees frame the Long Walk while specimen trees stand out on either end: the Swamp White Oak (Quercus bicolor) greeting you on the west end and the Honey Locust (Gleditsia triacanthos) on the east end.
Enjoy a tropical paradise year-round in Olbrich's Bolz Conservatory, a glass pyramid filled with exotic plants, bright flowers, a rushing waterfall, fragrant orchids and free-flying birds.
These gardens are examples of sustainable alternatives to the typical American lawn. Featuring native Prairie Dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis) and ephemeral spring wildflowers, this rolling meadow pairs plenty of visual interest with a low maintenance alternative to turfgrass.
The Children's Kitchen Garden serves as an outdoor learning environment for youth and their families to get their hands dirty and connect the food they eat with its source - the Earth. Programming is offered throughout the summer, and all extra produce harvested each year is donated to area food banks.
While providing a source of beauty and respite to our community is core to what we do, so is serving as responsible stewards of the planet and all forms of life that call it home.
Olbrich has worked hard throughout the years to become a leader in sustainable horticulture, which factors in ecosystem impacts and resource conservation when planting and maintaining gardens, instead of focusing solely on design and aesthetic considerations.
By reevaluating long-held beliefs and adopting some best practices, we can learn to work with nature, not against it.