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Garden Awards
Olbrich Botanical Gardens is honored to have been nominated for, and chosen to receive, numerous awards during the past 11 years. These awards should be shared by everyone who recognizes the importance of plants in our lives and those in this community who have made Olbrich Botanical Gardens the wonderful place we all enjoy today.

2005 AABGA Award for Garden Excellence
Olbrich Botanical Gardens was chosen among public gardens in North America to receive the 2005 Award for Garden Excellence from the American Association of Botanic Gardens and Arboreta (AABGA). The award is presented by AABGA, a professional organization of approximately 500 gardens in the United States and Canada, and sponsored by Horticulture magazine. It's given to one public garden each year which best exemplifies the highest standards of horticultural practices and has shown a commitment to supporting and demonstrating the best gardening practices.

In receiving the award, Olbrich was recognized for the best designed and most horticulturally outstanding display; gardens that reflect the regional environment; environmentally friendly gardening practices; a commitment to plant collections; and a pattern of encouraging home gardeners and students at all levels through innovative horticultural practices.

Nan Sinton, Director of Programs for Horticulture magazine, was on the award selection committee and has visited Olbrich many times. She says, "Olbrich represents a garden where there's excellence at every level. We feel that visitors to Olbrich go away with ecological knowledge and can apply what they've learned at Olbrich in their gardens at home. It's a vibrant, living garden, never static. There's something for all seasons."

For more information about Olbrich's 2005 AABGA Award for Garden Excellence read the entire press release.

Horticulture Magazine's 10 Most Inspiring Gardens
In 2004, Olbrich Botanical Gardens was honored to be chosen as one of Horticulture magazine's 10 Most Inspiring Gardens. Said Tom Fischer of Horticulture magazine, "The number of outstanding American gardens that have been profiled in these pages since we began publishing in 1904 is anyone's guess; certainly it must be in the thousands. So the decision to single out 10 gardens to celebrate in our [100 year] anniversary issue begs an immediate question: What's so special about these 10, aside from the fact that all are gardens you can visit? We don't claim that they're the best gardens in North America - there are too many fine public gardens on this continent to pick a mere 10 as best... The common thread running through them all is simply that they practice a kind of gardening that we instinctively respond- first, because they put plants at center stage; second, because they exemplify the principles of good design. But most of all because they are the creations of passionate men and women for whom gardening is as necessary as breathing. It is this element of passion that gets our pulse racing, that inspires us."

Further in the article, Carleen Madigan Perkins said, "A place of inspiration and beauty, Olbrich Botanical Gardens graces the shores of Lake Monona in Madison, Wisconsin and offers its guests a 16-acre showcase of the best and hardiest plants for Zones 4 and 5. The display gardens at Olbrich - from the formal, sun-drenched herb courtyard to the acres of fragrant hardy ro- show home gardeners that even under the harshest conditions, beautiful plants can be successfully grown and used in innovative designs. Whether strolling past the meadow garden, with its bright dots of color in the spring, or surveying the view from the new Thai pavilion, visitors are reminded of the vision Michael B. Olbrich set forth as he went about acquiring land for the future gardens: 'This park above all others, with a warms and strength - of love of all the working world - should hold out its arms, should invite them into itself, until its naturalness and beauty enter into their lives.'"

Sunken Garden
The Sunken Garden was given an Honor Award by the Wisconsin Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects in 1998. Enclosed by a corneliancherry dogwood hedge, this English-inspired garden is Olbrich's most formal garden. It creates the feeling of an outdoor room and features native limestone stonework. Water is an important element in all of Olbrich's gardens, and the Sunken Garden is no exception: An elegant 80' reflecting pool visually connects the Sunken Garden with nearby Lake Monona. This is the only garden at Olbrich that is clearly visible to those driving or walking by the Gardens, tempting the passerby to explore the gardens beyond. To compliment Wisconsin's seasons, the garden features mixed borders of cool-colored spring bulbs, perennials, and shrubs. Local landscape architect Ken Saiki designed the hardscape, and Olbrich's Horticulture Director Jeff Epping designed the plantings.

Wonders of Wisconsin
Olbrich Botanical Gardens is honored to be voted the number one gardens and horticulture attraction in Wisconsin in the People's Choice "Wonders of Wisconsin" contest during the summer of 2007. The mission of the contest was to "find and share those really special jaw-dropping breath-taking, goose-bump 'wow moments' that are the essence of travel in Wisconsin."

First, Olbrich was nominated by a committee including Jessica Doyle, Wisconsin's First Lady; Jerry Huffman of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism; and many seasoned travel writers. Then, more than 3,000 individuals voted for their favorite Wisconsin attractions in 21 different categories in the internet-based contest this spring.

Runners-up in the gardens and horticulture category are, in second place, the Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory in Milwaukee; and, in third place, the University of Wisconsin Arboretum in Madison.



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