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Sunken Garden

The Sunken Garden is a formal, traditional, English-style garden. An elegant 80-foot long reflecting pool provides a visual connection with Lake Monona.

Shade Gardens

These two shady gardens are filled with spring-blooming bulbs and shade-loving plants, including astilbes, hellebores, hostas, lungworts, epimediums, sedges, and ferns.

Meadow Garden

This sustainable garden combines drought-tolerant fescue grasses, wildflowers, and bulbs. It's an excellent alternative to the traditional Kentucky bluegrass lawn.

Dry Garden

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.

Woodland Garden

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.

Herb Garden

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 and Gravel 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.

Perennial Garden

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.

Birch Walk

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.

Royal Thai Pavilion & Garden

Olbrich's 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. It's the only one in the continental United States, and the only one outside of Thailand surrounded by a garden.

Serenity 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.

Autumn Garden

Flowing from full sun to dappled shade, this Midwestern prairie-inspired meadow highlights all the best native plants for a wide range of conditions.

Moonlight Meadow

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.

Fox Sedge Meadow

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.

Event Garden

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.

Tower Garden

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.

The Long Walk

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.

Bolz Conservatory

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.

Prairie Dropseed Meadow

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.

Children's Kitchen Garden

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.