Last night (Tuesday) we had 76 attendees at our lecture  on “Introduction to Pruning Shrubs and Trees” by Mike Maddox, statewide Master Gardener coordinator for UW-Extension and ISA Certified Arborist.  Mike did a great job and the crowd had plenty of questions.  Mike must have brought more of spring with his glorious arrival (he, Read More

The corneliancherry dogwood (Cornus mas) trees are starting to bloom which is a sure sign of spring.  They are blooming about a week earlier than usual but this isn’t the earliest I’ve seen them bloom either. In 2012, they were blooming in late February!  The showy yellow flowers (seen in many photos here) create, Read More

The Volunteer Recruitment Fair went well on Saturday and we met lots of new folks interested in helping out at the gardens.  Many of our veteran volunteers were on hand to answer questions and to provide more details regarding their experiences and some of the nuances of each type of volunteer experience.  Ron R., Read More

I had some meetings in Madison on Friday and as always, I stop by Olbrich Botanical Gardens to get my “plant fix”.  I toured the gardens and chatted with some of the grounds folks that I know.  There are plenty of signs of life outside and they are in the midst of the same, Read More

With bulbs emerging more every day, this blog is timely in promoting the earliest of bulbs showing color in areas of turf or short meadows where they bloom above the turf as it’s just starting to green up.  Above and below are some early crocuses (Crocus sp.) blooming in April in areas that will, Read More

Yesterday I photographed my first Danford iris (Iris danfordiae) out in the gardens although I saw them blooming almost 2 weeks ago in other garden areas.  Thin foliage emerges with the flowers and goes dormant by mid May, well after the flowers have disappeared. The timing of the blooms for this iris correspond to, Read More

Happy Spring! Sometimes the first day of spring includes freezing temperatures, sleet or even snow.  Not so today with sunny skies and a high temperature around 60 degrees F.  I was able to scout out the entire garden this morning and while we still have some clean-up to accomplish, the gardens are starting so, Read More

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!!  As a Dwyer (originally an O’Dwyer over 100 years ago), I’ll be enjoying the holiday in many ways – potatoes and green beer included.  Whether you call them clover, wood sorrel or shamrocks, the plants in this blog are a tribute to the shamrock that many of us associate with, Read More

This blog is dedicated to Karen, a wonderful person and long-time volunteer at Rotary Botanical Gardens who passed away this past Saturday.  Karen, as seen in these photos, tirelessly worked in the Japanese garden over many years.  I first met her in my early years here at the gardens when her second husband Tom, Read More

It’s usually this time of year that I “wax poetic” about the colorful contribution of stems and ornamental bark that exists in our landscapes and can certainly be augmented in many cases.  While the Midwest winter landscape is primarily tones of brown, tan and white, colorful stems and bark can offer significant impact.  Conifers, Read More