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Virtual Lecture Series - Gardener

A Gardener's Call

January - May 2021

Thursdays, 7:00-8:30 p.m.

Plants, animals, and microbes have an essential role to fill in our gardens. As gardeners, we have a responsibility to recognize and respect all beings’ contributions to healthy garden ecosystems. If we listen to life’s call, we can nurture gardens that provide for all members of the garden community. Join us for a special 5-part lecture series to learn how we can support all life in the garden - creating spaces where all life belongs.

Lectures include: 60-minute presentation on ZOOM, followed by 30 minute Q&A with the presenter.

Register for all five lectures and receive a $10 discount - REGISTER HERE!

Check out our best practices tip sheet to ensure you are in tip-top technical shape for the lectures! Olbrich Botanical Gardens is unable to provide technical support during the presentations.

Thank You to Our 2021 Presenting Sponsor

Barbara Mathis

january 28

The Bombus Among Us - Bumble Bee Basics

Bee on flowerPresented by Heather Holm, awarding winning author of "Bees", designer, publisher, researcher, and prairie restoration ambassador.

Bumble bees (Bombus) are by far our most charismatic and recognizable native bees. In order to help our bumble bees thrive, we must understand their life cycle and nutritional needs. Award winning author of “Bees”, Heather Holm, will illustrate the bumble bee life cycle through the growing season. Join us to learn about common Midwestern and eastern bumble bee species, their habitats, the impact climate change has on populations, and the importance of selecting the right native plants to meet the nutritional needs of the queens, workers, and males. This is a virtual class; please provide a working email upon registration.

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$12 - Olbrich Members

$15 - General Public

Register HERE!

February 25

Diversifying your Garden Design

Garden ImagePresented by Fergus Garrett, head gardener at Great Dixter, and Chief Executive of the Great Dixter Charitable Trust.

Join us for a unique opportunity to hear Fergus Garrett, head gardener at Great Dixter in Northiam, England and holder of the Royal Horticulture Society Victoria Medal of Honour, discuss how to combine plants of differing habit or habits, allowing for plants to help one another thrive. Join us to learn how to create intimacy, movement, and balance in your garden.

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$12 - Olbrich Members

$15 - General Public

Register Here!

march 25

Nature’s Best Hope

Caterpillar on leafPresented by Doug Tallamy, professor in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware and author of the award winning book, "Bringing Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our Gardens".

Recent headlines about global insect declines and three billion fewer birds in North America are a bleak reality check about how ineffective our current landscape designs have been at sustaining the plants and animals that sustain us.  Such losses are not an option if we wish to continue our current standard of living on Planet Earth. The good news is that none of this is inevitable. Author of the award winning book, “Brining Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our Gardens”, Doug Tallamy, will discuss simple steps that each of us can- and must- take to reverse declining biodiversity and will explain why we, ourselves, are nature’s best hope.


$12 - Olbrich Members

$15 - General Public

Register here!

April 29

Edible Landscaping to Kitchen Gardens: Planning, Planting to Harvest


Veggie GardenPresented by Lisa Hilgenberg, horticulturist at the Chicago Botanic Garden’s four-acre Regenstein Fruit & Vegetable Garden, educator, and host of Weekly Gardening Minute on WBBM Newsradio.

Kitchen gardens and edible landscapes have a unique potential to be experiential havens that provide nourishment, beauty, and respite for your family. Join Lisa Hilgenberg, horticulturist at the Chicago Botanic Garden’s four-acre Regenstein Fruit & Vegetable Garden, to learn how to incorporate edible plants and flowers into modern landscapes select attractive and productive varieties.


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$12 - Olbrich Members

$15 - General Public

Register here!

May 27

Answering the Call - Gardening for a Better Life

Presented by Olbrich Botanical Gardens horticulturists -

Jeff Epping, Director of Horticulture

Gravel GardenErin Presley, Herb, Wildflower & Pond Garden Horticulturist

Katey Pratt, Rose & Event Garden Horticulturist

Join Olbrich’s horticulturists, Jeff Epping, Katey Pratt and Erin Presley, for a look at how they are gardening better based on the concepts we have learned throughout this lecture series.  They will illustrate ways that they are gardening to create a better quality of life, not only for gardeners, but for the intricate web of creatures that live and prosper in them. They will share their designs and time-saving gardening techniques to give you more time to appreciate the bees, butterflies, birds and living beauty that has taken up safe haven in your earth-friendly garden sanctuary.

Instagram Erin Presley Instagram Katey Pratt

$12 - Olbrich Members

$15 - General Public

Register here!


Olbrich Botanical Gardens is operated as a public-private partnership between the City of Madison Parks Division and the Olbrich Botanical Society.
Olbrich Botanical Gardens | 3330 Atwood Avenue, Madison, WI 53704. | Phone: (608)246-4550 | Fax: (608)246-4719