Olbrich Home Holiday Express


Rhapsody in Bloom


Thank You to everyone involved for a fabulous Rhapsody in Bloom 2015: Through the Looking Glass!!!

Mark your calendars for next year's Rhapsody in Bloom...

Saturday, June 18, 2016


“So she sat on with closed eyes, and half believed herself in Wonderland, though she knew she had but to open them again, and all would change to dull reality.”

Surprises to delight the senses will abound at Olbrich Botanical Gardens’ annual garden party, Rhapsody in Bloom.

We invite you to join us Through the Looking Glass on June 20, 2015!

Prepare to be transported to an enchanted world of botanical beauty, whim, and fancy, straight from the inimitable imagination of Lewis Carroll and his novels Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass.  In keeping with tradition, our evening begins with hors d’oeuvres, music and live performers in the Gardens. We continue the magic with dinner and dancing under beautiful white tents as the sun sets over Lake Monona. All the while, you and your guests will be surrounded by the beauty of Madison’s very own award-winning public gardens.

Rhapsody in Bloom 2015 - Invitation (PDF)

Reservations are required by Wednesday, June 10, 2015. Call 608-246-5616 to make a reservation.



Pickled Summer Platter GF


Tapas Style -

Summer Shandy Island Pork Loin GF

Chicken with Shallots and Morels GF

Beef Tenderloin Roulade with Red Pepper & Goat Cheese

Grilled Tomatoes GF

Pickled Summer Platter GF

Garlic Smashed New Potatoes GF

Olive Oil Grilled Bread

Vegetarian Entrée Option

Heirloom Tomato Cobbler with Gruyere Crust and Spring Asparagus


Combo plate

Queen of Hearts Chocolate Mousse with Fresh Strawberry Sauce GF

Stopwatch Butter Cookie  

Vanilla Meringue Rosettes GF

Coffee & Tea Service

GF = Gluten Free

Key raffle

Purchase a ticket for $20 for a chance to win a custom, hand-crafted necklace donated by Goodman’s Jewelers.

Hearts on Fire in 18 karat white gold with .95cttw of diamonds and an 18 inch double cable link chain. Retail value $6,500.

Key Raffle Necklace by Goodman's Jewelers

Detail image - not to scale.

Tickets will be sold from 5 to 8 p.m. Volunteers will be circulating around the Gardens, or guests can stop by the Key Raffle station near the Atrium to purchase tickets. The necklace will be displayed by volunteers circulating the Gardens pre-dinner. After 8 p.m. redeem your tickets for keys and try your luck with the lock!

The necklace and pendant may not be returned or exchanged.

Live Auction

Packer Backer Flight

Fly to your next Packer game experience in style! Board a private plane for 4 guests and jet set off to Austin Straubel International Airport in Green Bay where a shuttle will take you to famous Lambeau Field. You'll watch a pre-season Packer game vs. the Philadelphia Eagles in the luxury of a box suite with complimentary food and beverages. Avoid the traffic jams with a quick flight back to Madison! Date: August 29, 2015, game starts at 7 p.m.

Donated by Wisconsin Aviation & Gayla Divelbiss

Exclusive Nighttime Viewing of GLEAM, Art in a New Light

This fall, Olbrich Botanical Gardens unveils GLEAM, Art in a New Light, a cutting-edge outdoor exhibition featuring site-specific art installations, using light as a major component. Enjoy complimentary hors d'oeuvres and wine before experiencing the illuminated wonder of GLEAM. Host a company party or gathering with family and friends (up to 50 people)!

Available dates: Sunday, September 13 or Saturday, September 26, 7:30-10:30 p.m.

Donated by Market Street Diner, Blue Plate Catering & Barriques

Party in the Tropics

Wow your guests with an exclusive party in the lush, tropical jungle of Olbrich's Bolz Conservatory!

Experience includes complimentary hors d'oeuvres and cash bar (up to 20 people).

Date: TBD, event must be scheduled between 5-10 p.m.

Donated by Market Street Diner & Blue Plate Catering

Light Up Your Landscape!

Add dramatic lighting to you home landscape. This package includes10 up-lights, 4 copper path lights, transformers and all equipment needed, plus design and installation (up to 100 miles away).

Donated by Reinders, Inc. & Scott’s Low-Voltage Lighting

One of a Kind Design by Olbrich's Director of Horticulture

Bid on a gorgeous pair of shade-loving container gardens designed exclusively for Rhapsody in Bloom by Olbrich's rockstar, Jeff Epping!

Donated by Olbrich Gardens


Continue the celebration with a champagne toast for you and your table guests! Two bottles of PIPER-HEIDSIECK Cuvée Brut will be served at your table in your new champagne flutes by Libbey Glassware! Piper-Heidsieck Cuvee Brut, a classic, structured, full-bodied champagne bursting with fruit and composed of a majority of Pinots Noirs. A juicy, fleshy pear and golden grape texture narrows to a citrus and grapefruit flavour finish. Cheers!

Donated by Jennifer Street Market & Libby Glassware


Silent Auction

Madison Favorites

Ultimate Gameday

Badgers vs. Northwestern - November 21

Badger Football Tickets (2), section U, row 15 with seat backs

Start your game day off right with breakfast at Mickey's Dairy Bar! ($20 certificate)

Finish up the day with good food at Greenbush Bar, a Regent Street staple! ($30 certificate)

Donated by: Kevin Hess, Mickey's Dairy Bar & Greenbush Bar


The Classic Badger

Badgers vs. Troy - September 19

Badger Football Tickets (4) with seat backs

Start your game day off right with breakfast at Mickey's Dairy Bar! ($20 certificate)

Finish up the day with good food at Greenbush Bar, a Regent Street staple! ($30 certificate)

Donated by: Jamie & Doug Keehn, Mickey's Dairy Bar & Greenbush Bar

Behind the Scenes at Madison Museum of Contemporary Art

Take a private tour with a professional curator, peruse the Museum Store for local handmade gifts ($10 certificate) and then head upstair to enjoy some delectable cuisine and spectacular views at Fresco, MMoCA's rooftop restaurant ($50). The experience continues with a one year MMoCA family membership!

Donated by: Jt & Claude Covelli

Concerts in the Park featuring WYSO

Be inspired by the talented musicians of the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra at a table for 8 at Concerts in the Park in Old Sauk Trails Park. Savor a complimentary catered dinner and wine during a lovely evening performance.

Donated by: SVA

Date Night Downtown

Enjoy a fresh farm-to table dinner for two at Heritage Tavern. Chef Dan Fox, one of two semifinalists for this year’s James Beard Award for Best Chef-Midwest, creates a truly innovative seasonal menu! Take a stroll down States Street and see a show at the Overture Center ($100 cetificate).

Donated by: Michelle Taschek & Heritage Tavern

Kohl Center Suite

Spectate in luxury with 14 suite tickets to a UW Women's Basketball game. Suite includes food and non-alcoholic beverages. Remember to wear your red! Choose a game from 2015 schedule (some restrictions may apply).

Donated by: Michael Best & Friedrich, LLP

Concerts on the Square featuring Madison Chamber Orchestra

Have one of the best seats in the house at one of Madison's favorite summer events! Delight in a performance by the Madison Chamber Orchestra at a table for 10 on the iconic Capitol Squre.

Donated by: Paradise Lawfirm

Evening at the Overture

Dazzle your pallet with sweet spice from Swad, rated the #1 restaurant in Monona on Trip Advisor! Then enjoy a professional broadway show or a world-class concert or performance at the Overture Center ($150 certificate).

Donated by: Julie Rupert & Roberta Sladky

Madison Children's Museum Membership

Treat your family to a full year of membership benefits at the Madison Children's Museum, including free Museum admission, discounts on events and classes!

Donated by: Madison Children's Museum

Bakery Mile on Willy Street

Rated the top two bakeries by Madison Magazine, Batch Bakehouse and Madison Sourdough won't disappoint the sweetest of sweet tooths! (2-$40 certificates) Package includes vintage cake platter and rolling pin.

Donated by: Dick Wagner

Independent Theater and Savory Italian

Start with a hearty meal rich with Italian flavors at Lombardino's ($100). Then catch a new flick at Sundance, Madison's independent film theatre ($50).

Donated by: Sandy Dolister

Machinery Row Bike Package

Get around bike-friendly Madison without a hiccup with the use of a fix-a-flat kit,19-function mini tool, cycling cap, water bottle, seat pouch, bike lights, City of Madison Bike Map and more!

Donated by: Erin Ogden

Nautical Ventures

Cuise lake Monona on Madison's premier cruise line, Betty Lou Cruises; stop for fish 'n' chips at Captain Bill's; or relax with a stay at the The Mariner's Inn with $100 to Von Rutenberg Ventures.

Donated by: Lila & Dale Mathwich


Unique Experiences

Adventure Seeker

Seek adventures up high in the air and away at sea with a hot air balloon ride for 2 and Rutabaga Paddlesports certificate (kayak, canoe and stand up paddleboard rentals).

Donated by: Gentle Breezes & Roberta Sladky

Breakfast at Tiffany's

Stay overnight in downtown Chicago at the luxury boutique Talbott Hotel in the heart of Chicago's effervescent Goald Coast, only blocks from Tiffany & Co. Take home a sparkling Tiffany & Co. Crystal Bowl in the signature blue box and make it a "Breakfast at Tiffany's" Madison-style with fresh baked croissants from Madison Sourdough.

Donated by: Jamie & Doug Keehn, BMO Private Bank & Madison Sourdough

Stand Up Paddleboard

Get out on the water with your very own, brand new GT 11' x 32 All Water Stand Up Paddleboard with PowerEx Nemesis Paddle. Just a beginner? Package includes paddleboard lessons for two with the Paddleboard Specialists!

Donated by: Paddleboard Specialists

Luxury Test Drive

Experience power and sophistication with a one week test drive in a luxury vehicle from Fields, North America's Premier Auto Group. Fields currently represents BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Range Rover, Rolls-Royce Motorcars and many more. (Personal insurance required.)

Donated by: Fields Auto Group

Into the Woods

Experience the classics under the stars at the American Players Theatre, deemed the "best classical theatre company in America" by Wall Street Journal Arts Critic. Choose from a list of greats like Pride and Prejudice, Othello and The Merry Wives of Windsor (2 tickets). Order sandwiches, entrees and picnic baskets on APT's website in advance from Hubbard Avenue Diner ($30).

Donated by: American Players Theatre & Hubbard Avenue Diner

Custom Beer Tasting

Expand your pallate with a beer tasting for 10 by Jeffrey Glazer, co-founder of Madison Craft Beer Week. Take home a mixed 6-pack of beer to start the tasting early!

Donated by: Jeffrey Glazer

Yoga at the Thai Pavilion

Find your center in the tranquility of Olbrich's Thai Sala, one of only four in the world outside of Thailand. Private yoga lesson for 6, yoga mat included.

Donated by: Hayley Homburg

Distilled for your Pleasure

Take a behind-the-scenes look at the art of distilling with a private tour and sampling for 10 at Yahara Bay Distillery, a Madison-based distillery producing hand-crafted premium spirits of world class taste.

Donated by: Yahara Bay Distillery


Baskets Galore!

Fiesta by Pasqual's

Make it a fiesta for two at one of Pasqual's Exclusive Distillery Dinners. Take home a bag of Pasqual's homemade Tortilla Chips, a bottle of Tres Agaves Organic margarita mix and a bottle of El Mayor Blanco tequila (sign up for Pasqual's e-news for Distillery Dinner dates.)

Donated by: Pasqual's

Bloody Mary Bonanza

Fix a bloody mary sourced from local Madison treasures! Basket features Rökker Vodka, 100 Mile Hot & Spicy Bloody Mary Mix, Polly Jane's pickles, mixer, stir stick, towels, basket and more.

Donated by: Rökker Vodka, 100 Mile Sauce Company, Polly Jane's Pickles & Jams, Libbey Glassware & Jamie & Doug Keehn

A Cozy Night In

Open a bottle of 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, indulge in decadent Godiva Truffles and get lost in Lewis Carroll's imagination with the tale of Through the Looking Glass.

Donated by: Jamie & Doug Keehn

Royal Viewing

Dinner and drinks or maybe just snacks...you can have it all at the brand new Marcus Palace Cinema in Sun Prairie! ($100 gift card). Basket includes Chicago Popcorn Mix and assorted movie candy.

Donated by: Roberta Sladky


Kitchen Essentials

Expand your knowledge of oils, vinegars and spirits with a private tasting at Vom Fass. Basket also includes knife sharpening, flaur sack towels and measuring cup for home use.

Donated by: Vom Fass & Wisconsin Cutlery

I HEART Olbrich

Capitalize on your love for Olbrich with a one-year Family & Guest Membership, 2 Home Garden Tour tickets and Olbrich Botanical Gardens: Growing More Beautiful, an out of print coffee table book featuring spectacular garden photos and rich history. Then get your hands dirty with a Fiskars garden trowel and ceramic flower pot.

Donated by: Elizabeth Erickson

Accessorize Me

Add some flare to your wardrobe with a Hatsofancy flower pin and other unique accessories from Olbrich's Growing Gifts Shop, a member of Dane Buy Local.

Donated by: Hatsofancy & Olbrich's Growing Gifts Shop

Party in the Parks

Celebrate a graduation, company picnic, or simply summertime with a Madison Parks shelter rental for up to 170 people including a cooler and bag of charcoal. Start the grilling!

Donated by: Madison Parks Department

Deluxe Picnic

Treat yourself to the savory delights of a Deluxe Picnic from Fromagination, the place to go for artisian cheeses. Basket includes five artisanal cheeses from all over the world expertly paired with companion dried fruit and nuts, cured meats from local Underground Meats, a trio of Quince & Apple preserves and more. (Basket can be ordered from Fromagination when desired.)

Donated by: Fromagination

I'm So Bored…Summer Fun for Kids

Give parents and kids a break this summer with a Parent's Survival Night certificate from Little Gym and a basket full of toys including a truck, coloring book, pipe cleaners, animal crackers, paints, books, crayons and more.

Donated by: The Little Gym Fitchburg, Chloe & Carter Keehn


Two tickets for a chocolate tasting with long-standing "Best of Madison" winner Gail Ambrosius Chocolatier and three local wines from Wollersheim Winery.

Donated by: Gail Ambrosius Chocolatier & Wollersheim Winery

Vacation Preparation

Make your time away on vacation even more stress-free with houskeeping and lawn mowing services.

Donated by: Clean as a Whistle & Barnes, Inc.

All That Racket

Step up your game with tennis lessons for two with former collegiate athlete, Hayley Homburg and new sleeves of tennis balls.

Donated by: Hayley Homburg

Beauty and a Blowout

Look your best with a Natura Bisse Travel Gift Set and a blowout from the beauty experts at Arch located on the square.

Donated by: Arch

Old Sugar

Stock your cabinets with the high quality spirits of Old Sugar Distillery or head over to the Tasting Room for a free taste, tour and specialty cocktail ($50 certificate).

Donated by: Old Sugar Distillery

Spicy Sass

Cook with flare using a selection of high quality Penzy's Spices.

Donated by: Susan Philips

Pamper Package

ANiU Salon & Spa, Duncan Edward and Velvet Waxing Studio certificates.

Donated by: ANiU Salon & Spa, Duncan Edward & Velvet Waxing Studio

Time to Wine

Cheers with a set of new wine glasses and a bottle of Duckhorn Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($70 value). You could check the time with your new Rumours Timepiece (men's)...but why bother?

Donated by: Kevin Hess, Libbey Glassware & George Sladky


Artistian and Handmade Gems

Bronze Oriole Sculpture

Handmade bronze sculpture of an oriole mounted on Moss Agate

Donated by: rabart

Hand-Blown Glass Vase by Studio Paran

Donated by: Studio Paran

Handmade Black Earth Wood Bench

Donated by: Black Earth Woodworks


Exclusively from Olbrich

Container Gardens from Olbrich's Horticulture Staff -

"Miniature Meditation" sun-part shade container by Tony Gomez & Mark Shimasaki

"Tickle Me Pink" sun-part shade container by Erin Presley

"Feed the Birds" succulent container by Samantha Peckham

"Sun Circle" succulent container by Samara Eisner

"7up Classic" succulent container by Christian Harper

Conservatory Plants from Olbrich's Greenhouse Staff -

"Pour me a Glass" Tropical pitcher plant in a hanging basket,  Nepenthes thorelii X khasiana

"Lacy" Lace Flower in a hanging basket, Episcia dianthiflora

"Don't Slip! " Pink Banana, Musa velutina

"Marching One By One" Ant Plant, Hydnophytum formicarium

"Pineapple Express" Ornamental Pineapple, Ananas ‘Scorpio’

"Bromeliad Teaparty" Air plants, assorted Tillandsia sp.

For the Gardener in YOU!

Schönheit Container Garden

Donated by: Schönheit Gardens

Klein's Container Garden

Donated by: Klein's Floral & Greenhouses

Garden Master

$250 Winterland Nursery certificate accompanied by 8 bags or 1 scoop of Olbrich Leaf Mulch.

Donated by: Winterland Nursery, Inc.

Hens 'n Chicks

CLUCK book and Living Design Planter with easy-to-grow succulents, Hens 'n Chicks.

Donated by: CLUCK the Chicken Store


Happy Daylily

Brighten your garden with a selection of daylilies chosen by the Wisconsin Daylily Society. Then travel to Monches Farm to round out your daylily collection ($75).

Donated by: Monches Farm & Wisconsin Daylily Society

Trim the Roses Tool Tote

Everything you need to keep those red roses in shape! Basket includes Findorff tote, Corona Pruner, Corona trowel, Bosmere knee pads, gardening gloves, hose attachment and more!

Donated by: Findorff

Flowers, Flowers and more Flowers

Splurge on all things pretty at the Flower Factory, Wisconsin's premiere hardy plant nursery featuring the midwest's largest selection of perennials, hostas and ornamental grasses. Add color to your landscape with a 14" mixed container garden for sun and a large succulent basket from Vermont View Greenhouses.

Donated by: The Flower Factory & Vermont View Greenhouse

Fresh Bouquet on Saturday!

Pick up a fresh flower bouquet from Lewiston Perennial Farm at the downtown Madison Farmers' Market. Make it a special occasion or just because!

Donated by: Lewiston Perennial Farm

Out with the Old, In with the New...SHOE!

Time to toss your old shoes and upgrade to a new pair of kicks with a certificate to The Shoe Box, one of the largest independend shoe stores in the U.S. ($100). Be inspired by a creative shoe container garden by Olbrich Horticulture Staff.

Donated by: The Shoe Box

Fiskars Tool Tote

Supplies all gardeners want and use!

Donated by: Fiskars Brands


...and more!

2015 Sponsors

Gold Petal

ACS • American Family Insurance • Madison-Kipp Corporation Tetrad, Inc.

Silver Petal

Advanced Pain Management • American Printing Co. Associated Bank

BDO USA, LLPBMO Private Bank • Boardman & Clark LLP • Epic Event Essentials

First Business Bank • Goodman's Jewelers Homburg Companies

J.H. Findorff & Son Inc. Ken Saiki Design, Inc. • Lindsay, Stone & Briggs

Metcalfe’s Market • Michael Best & Friedrich LLPMonona State Bank

Pizza Hut So. WisconsinThe QTI GroupThe Reese Family

Reinders, Inc. / FX Luminaire • Smith & Gesteland LLP

SVA Certified Public AccountantsTDS TelecomU.S. Bank

Photos from Rhapsody in Bloom 2014 - Night Circus in the Gardens

Appetizer Bow Ties Appetizer Table

Cocktail Table

Performers Singer

Table Setting

Group of Four


Auction Item Auction Viewers 

 Key Winner  




Member Reception - Chocolate: The Bitter and the Sweet

Cocktails in the Conservatory - November 20

Holiday Express: Flower and Model Train Show

Holiday Concert Series - Sundays in December




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