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Spring Favorites abound

April 13, 2017

The birds and the bees are back at Olbrich, pollinating all of our magnificent flowers. With the warm up in progress, our spring flowers have decided to come out in full force. That means magnolias, tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, crocus, and many more! The weather has everyone feeling a little spring in their step, so come take a walk around, have a seat, and hang out for a while. All the spring favorites are here, so come find yours!

Anna Teeter, PR Intern

White Magnolia Blue Hyacinths Pink Tulip

                   Magnolia                                       Hyacinths                                           Tulip


White spring bulbs in bloomSnowy Sea of white

April 7, 2017

This week at Olbrich we have a sea of early spring flowers. This little beauty is called glory-of-the-snow, or Chionodoxa, and comes in varying colors, including pink, white, and blue (there might also be some Striped Squill, or Puschkinia scilloides, which are a beautiful pearly white with a deep blue stripe).

Sea of white spring bulbsThese wonderful flowers are not normally bothered by pests. This year it shows; here they are as thick as a carpet. We also have a variety of other spring bulbs showing up, which add dimension to our otherwise brown beds. The temperature is starting to rise and these heat intolerant flowers won’t last forever. Come out and see them while you still can!

Anna Teeter, PR Intern








AlocasiaUnderstanding the Understory

April 6, 2017

After a week of intense pruning, it's time to focus on the understory plants, who are reaching their leaves up for some sunshine. Every spring we prune down the tall canopy to help recreate the natural thinning found in tropical rainforests. Not only is this good for the canopy trees, but with the lengthening days, the understory plants get added sunlight they don't get through the rest of the year.

Elephant Ear LeafAlocasia or Alocasia micholitziana is a striking plant. With dark green, velvety leaves and striking white veining, it sure stands out with the abundance of sunlight right now. This plant can be found in many places along the paths, but just because we have a lot of it doesn't mean it isn't special!

Anna Teeter, PR Intern








A Pop of Yellow

April 3, 2017

April showers bring May flowers, but these yellow beauties can't wait! With gloomy and rainy days among us, come find a little pop of color to brighten your day. The dogwoods are starting to bloom, releasing their enticing smell. The daffodils are just starting their show, and the winter aconites are popping their little heads through the ground. Find a bright pop of yellow here at Olbrich and leave feeling like you sat in the sun.

Anna Teeter, PR Intern

Daffodils Winter aconites dogwood

                   Daffodils                                   Winter aconites                                 Dogwood



HelleboresEarly Spring Gardens

March 28, 2017

While it may seem as though the gardens are dormant and lifeless right now, closer examination leads one to find it brimming with life! It's easy to miss the fuzzy magnolia tree buds, or the small Lenten Roses blooming among last year's growth, but all of these are signs that winter has broken and another new season is upon us. Aldo Leopold once said, "He who hopes for spring with upturned eye never sees so small a thing as Draba. He who despairs of spring with downcast eye steps on it, unknowing. He who searches for spring with his knees in the mud finds it, in abundance."

Magnolia budOn sunny days you'll find the birds chirping, plants growing at an unbelievable speed, and a place for you to contemplate and reflect. So during your walks through the garden this spring, don't miss the many small signs of life that will grow to become appreciated later on. Marveling in the beauty of a lush garden when it's matured is simple, but the appreciation that comes from seeing a peony poke through the soil, or a tree budding, is truly priceless.

Don't be fooled, the garden is far from lifeless and dormant; you just have to look for the many signs of life around you.

Nicole Nehls, PR Intern















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