Far Out Flora

I Love You Olbrich Gardens


Bolz Conservatory, Olbrich Botanical Gardens

I love Olbrich Botanical Gardens. It used to be a beautiful twenty minute bike ride from my old apartment, so I was there all the time. Especially during my old school photography class days. The outdoor gardens are totally free and the Bolz Conservatory only costs a buck. The Conservatory is always a great spot to visit for a little humidity and heat in the freezing, super dry months of January and February. Here’s a great little page from the website about their sustainability practices.

Yucca filamentosa 'Bright Edge'

If I was still living in Wisconsin, this would definitely be growing in my garden. Hardy to zone 4 and still looking super foxy in late October, you can’t really go wrong.

Euphorbia griffithii 'Fireglow'

Wholly hotness!!! Another sweet plant that would be growing in my zone 4 Wisconsin garden if I still lived there. I didn’t even know what a Euphorbia was until I moved to California.

Euphorbia myrsinites magic

Here’s a shot from the rock garden section that was full to the brim with Euphorbia myrsinites. I’ve heard that it could be “weedy”, but it looks like it could make a rockin’ ground cover. Betcha it’s bunny proof, too. I also ran in to a sweet little patch of Euphorbia cyparissias rubrifolia while walking back downtown.

Callicarpa dichotoma 'Early Amethyst'

Okay, so this is pretty much a post about plants I’d grow if I lived back in Wisconsin. Love the chartreuse leaves & bright purple berries on this cutie.

Succulent kaleidoscope

There was a big old bowl full of sedums with a giant kaleidoscope set up. The bowl spins for succulenty visions.

Sedum 'Angelica'

More Sedum.

Thai Pavilion

No visit to Olbrich is complete without checking out the Thai Pavillion which was gifted to the University of Wisconsin-Madison from the Thai Government and the Thai Chapter of the Wisconsin Alumni Association. Additional random fact from the website: “The pavilion is only one of four located outside of Thailand. The others are in Germany, Norway, and Hawaii.” Nice.

Colchicum autumnale

Naked Ladies of the midwest! Wikipedia claims that Colchicum autumnale is also approved by the USDA as a medication for gout. I’m going to shut up now and show you a bunch of cool meadow grass pictures that I love, but have no idea what they are.

Grassy Love

Happy Place

Gorgeous Grass

More grass

Want to see Olbrich in late May? Here are a bunch of posts from my trip back over a year ago (I went a little blog crazy):

Thai Pavillion in Madison

Succulents in Wisconsin

Shady Olbrich Gardens

Rosey Day Thursday

Peony Party

Sunken Meadow Garden







  1. Now I want a succulent kaleidoscope wheel!

  2. Always fun to visit gardens from our old lives now that we live in the superior California. I always go to the New York Botanical Garden to see old work friends when I am visiting home but your post reminds me that I need to visit the New Jersey Botanical Garden next time.

  3. So lots of cool things you would grow…but aren’t you glad you don’t have to??!!!

  4. I didn’t realize the gardens at Olbrich were so lush this time of year–still so colorful and varied. I love the Thai Pavillion and all the hardy succulents!

  5. I read the “20 minute bike ride” without realizing/reading that you were writing from Wisconsin. I thought, “What?! A public garden I don’t know about that’s such a short ride from the Sunset?” Glad to finally figure out I’m not totally in the dark! I love the Callicarpa dichotoma ‘Early Amethyst’ — sweet as can be — and the Colchicum autumnale is so delicate looking popping through the crunchy leaves. Nice comparison to Amaryllis belladonna, too!

  6. I just found your blog when I was searching for info about Olbrich. I love your posts and photos. I live about 5 miles from Olbrich and it’s one of my favorite places, too! I can’t wait to get over there to take some photos in the next few weeks.

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