August 15, 2022

For Part 2 of my visit to Olbrich Botanical Gardens during June’s Madison Fling, I’ll show you the Rose Garden. I confess the words “rose garden” never perk up my ears. Sure, I like roses OK, but so many rose gardens are really rose ghettos, planted in a jelly-bean assortment of colors, with few companion plants and leggy, thorny stems fully visible. No thanks. Happily, Olbrich’s 2-acre rose garden embraces companion plants as well as interesting tropical and subtropical plants. There’s also an observation tower and another cool feature: island beds in the plaza paving, which soften all that hardscape and add pocket-garden interest.

The 2-story tower with its tall, triangular roof overlooks the plaza garden…

…and a long fountain, which directs your eye across a circular event lawn to a blue lake in the distance.

Zooming in on those pocket gardens in the plaza paving, I spy flowering yuccas. Let’s take a closer look!

I love this. The pocket gardens bring this large space down to a residential scale, don’t they? The flowering yucca is ‘Ivory Tower’ Yucca filamentosa. That seems rather appropriate in a garden with an actual tower. I didn’t get an ID for the other spiky plant at left. Notice, though, those pretty planters on either side of the bench.

The conifer-esque, bonsai-looking plants are actually succulents. Spiller succulents fill out below, along with what looks like blue fescue grass. Pretty!

I took a panorama shot here to try to capture the plaza’s expanse.

More ‘Ivory Tower’ yuccas in flower

The long view across the fountain to the tower, with more pocket beds at each end of the fountain

Aha, a rose! See it at left? But wow, the glowing yellows and big tropical leaves are really grabbing my attention. There’s a nice change of paving for the seating area too.

More yellow

This combo grabbed me too: sparkler-shaped alliums gone to seed, their copper hue harmonizing beautifully with short, eggplant-purple tuteurs. Actually, now that I look closely, the tuteurs aren’t painted wood but metal. Either way, a nice color scheme.

This garden puts tuteurs to beautiful use. (So did the Rotary Botanical Gardens.)

Tall tuteurs painted pale blue-green give structure and rhythm to a mass of pink roses, bananas (!), and shell ginger, among other plants.

The whole space is rather eye-catching.

Now let’s walk through the tower, where a series of large, grassy dish planters welcomes you.

Stepping through the portal under the tower, you enter a smaller hedged garden. Planters continue the tropical vibe against a green wall of foliage.

Cordyline and sticks-on-fire sizzle.

The sticks-on-fire planter — there are two actually — is a stunner.

They bookend a Prairie-style wall fountain with slabs of stone.

I admired this vertical bromeliad/tillandsia display, created by attaching the air plants to a fine-mesh screen that’s hung on a lattice.

This same bromeliad screen recently inspired Loree of Danger Garden to create something similar in her own garden.

This collection of mangaves in coordinating pots atop stone blocks speaks to me. What a simple yet effective way to display them.

Mangaves are the “it” plant at botanical gardens right now. They pop up in unique displays wherever I go, from Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens to Chanticleer to Houston Botanic Garden.

Another lovely succulent container alongside a bench

Looking up you see the ramped access to the tower. Let’s go up.

Conical green planters hang from the rail and bring color and plants up to the second level.

The ramp offers a nice overhead view of the hedged courtyards. This is the one with the sticks-on-fire planters and wall fountain.

And this one has the mangave collection on stone plinths…

…as well as a striking pink tree.

A stone lion reclines atop a stone wall with a ginkgo espaliered along it. A dove had made itself at home atop his mane.

Departing the rose garden, I enjoyed a handful of tall bronze cordylines spaced along a curving walk.

Their height and shaggy, round “heads” make it easy to imagine them as fellow travelers along the garden path.

Up next: A gravel-planted meadow garden at Olbrich that could be replicated for a no-mow home garden. For a look back at Olbrich Botanical Gardens’ meadow, event, and herb gardens, click here.

I welcome your comments. Please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading in an email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post. And hey, did someone forward this email to you, and you want to subscribe? Click here to get Digging delivered directly to your inbox!

__________________________

Digging Deeper

Come learn about garden design from the experts at Garden Spark! I organize in-person talks by inspiring designers, landscape architects, and authors a few times a year in Austin. These are limited-attendance events that sell out quickly, so join the Garden Spark email list to be notified in advance. Simply click this link and ask to be added. You can find this year’s speaker lineup here.

All material (C) 2022 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

The post Planted plaza, fountains, and rose garden at Olbrich Botanical Gardens appeared first on Digging.

Olbrich’s rose garden embraces companion plants as well as tropical and subtropical plants. There’s also an observation tower and island beds in the plaza paving, which soften all that hardscape and add pocket-garden interest…. Read More
The post Planted plaza, fountains, and rose garden at Olbrich Botanical Gardens appeared first on Digging.Read MoreDigging

August 15, 2022

For Part 2 of my visit to Olbrich Botanical Gardens during June’s Madison Fling, I’ll show you the Rose Garden. I confess the words “rose garden” never perk up my ears. Sure, I like roses OK, but so many rose gardens are really rose ghettos, planted in a jelly-bean assortment of colors, with few companion plants and leggy, thorny stems fully visible. No thanks. Happily, Olbrich’s 2-acre rose garden embraces companion plants as well as interesting tropical and subtropical plants. There’s also an observation tower and another cool feature: island beds in the plaza paving, which soften all that hardscape and add pocket-garden interest.

The 2-story tower with its tall, triangular roof overlooks the plaza garden…

…and a long fountain, which directs your eye across a circular event lawn to a blue lake in the distance.

Zooming in on those pocket gardens in the plaza paving, I spy flowering yuccas. Let’s take a closer look!

I love this. The pocket gardens bring this large space down to a residential scale, don’t they? The flowering yucca is ‘Ivory Tower’ Yucca filamentosa. That seems rather appropriate in a garden with an actual tower. I didn’t get an ID for the other spiky plant at left. Notice, though, those pretty planters on either side of the bench.

The conifer-esque, bonsai-looking plants are actually succulents. Spiller succulents fill out below, along with what looks like blue fescue grass. Pretty!

I took a panorama shot here to try to capture the plaza’s expanse.

More ‘Ivory Tower’ yuccas in flower

The long view across the fountain to the tower, with more pocket beds at each end of the fountain

Aha, a rose! See it at left? But wow, the glowing yellows and big tropical leaves are really grabbing my attention. There’s a nice change of paving for the seating area too.

More yellow

This combo grabbed me too: sparkler-shaped alliums gone to seed, their copper hue harmonizing beautifully with short, eggplant-purple tuteurs. Actually, now that I look closely, the tuteurs aren’t painted wood but metal. Either way, a nice color scheme.

This garden puts tuteurs to beautiful use. (So did the Rotary Botanical Gardens.)

Tall tuteurs painted pale blue-green give structure and rhythm to a mass of pink roses, bananas (!), and shell ginger, among other plants.

The whole space is rather eye-catching.

Now let’s walk through the tower, where a series of large, grassy dish planters welcomes you.

Stepping through the portal under the tower, you enter a smaller hedged garden. Planters continue the tropical vibe against a green wall of foliage.

Cordyline and sticks-on-fire sizzle.

The sticks-on-fire planter — there are two actually — is a stunner.

They bookend a Prairie-style wall fountain with slabs of stone.

I admired this vertical bromeliad/tillandsia display, created by attaching the air plants to a fine-mesh screen that’s hung on a lattice.

This same bromeliad screen recently inspired Loree of Danger Garden to create something similar in her own garden.

This collection of mangaves in coordinating pots atop stone blocks speaks to me. What a simple yet effective way to display them.

Mangaves are the “it” plant at botanical gardens right now. They pop up in unique displays wherever I go, from Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens to Chanticleer to Houston Botanic Garden.

Another lovely succulent container alongside a bench

Looking up you see the ramped access to the tower. Let’s go up.

Conical green planters hang from the rail and bring color and plants up to the second level.

The ramp offers a nice overhead view of the hedged courtyards. This is the one with the sticks-on-fire planters and wall fountain.

And this one has the mangave collection on stone plinths…

…as well as a striking pink tree.

A stone lion reclines atop a stone wall with a ginkgo espaliered along it. A dove had made itself at home atop his mane.

Departing the rose garden, I enjoyed a handful of tall bronze cordylines spaced along a curving walk.

Their height and shaggy, round “heads” make it easy to imagine them as fellow travelers along the garden path.

Up next: A gravel-planted meadow garden at Olbrich that could be replicated for a no-mow home garden. For a look back at Olbrich Botanical Gardens’ meadow, event, and herb gardens, click here.

I welcome your comments. Please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading in an email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post. And hey, did someone forward this email to you, and you want to subscribe? Click here to get Digging delivered directly to your inbox!

__________________________

Digging Deeper

Come learn about garden design from the experts at Garden Spark! I organize in-person talks by inspiring designers, landscape architects, and authors a few times a year in Austin. These are limited-attendance events that sell out quickly, so join the Garden Spark email list to be notified in advance. Simply click this link and ask to be added. You can find this year’s speaker lineup here.

All material (C) 2022 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

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