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Olbrich Botanical Gardens

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Olbrich Botanical Gardens enriches life by nourishing and sharing the beauty of gardens, the joy of gardening, the knowledge of plants, and the diversity of our world. Olbrich Botanical Gardens is dedicated to the creation, conservation and interpretation of gardens and plant collections hardy to the American Midwest or native to the world's tropical forests for study, enjoyment and public benefit.

  • 1881 Michael B. Olbrich is born in Illinois.
  • 1905 Michael Olbrich graduates from U.W.-Madison Law School.
  • 1916 Michael Olbrich envisions a sweeping park and flower garden on land adjacent to Lake Monona.
  • 1920 At Michael Olbrich's invitation, Prairie School designer and landscape architect O.C. Simonds creates a plan for the development of the park.
  • 1921 Michael Olbrich purchases 3,500 feet of Lake Monona shoreline. The City of Madison takes title of the land destined to become Olbrich Park.
  • 1987 Parks Department Landscape Architect Nancy Ragland becomes Olbrich's first director.
  • 1991 The Botanical Center and Bolz Conservatory are completed with three-fourths of the $4,600,000 raised from private donations.
  • 1992 The Wildflower Garden is developed.
  • 1993 A third Master Plan by Ken Saiki Design, Inc. of Madison and Sasaki and Associates of Massachusetts includes the Sunken Garden, Perennial Garden, and Donor's Arbor.
  • 1997 The Sunken Garden is completed. The five-acre Garver property and 17 adjoining acres behind the Gardens are acquired by Olbrich Gardens for future garden expansion.
  • 1999 The Perennial Garden is completed.
  • 2000 Fourth Master Plan by Ken Saiki Design, Inc. includes the Garver property and new Rose Garden. The Thai Garden and Pavilion are developed.
  • 2001 Construction of Olbrich's Thai Pavilion and Garden.
  • 2002 Olbrich Botanical Gardens celebrates its 50th Anniversary.
  • 2005 New Rose Garden is developed.

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Details and Specs

Hours of Operation: Not Listed
Notes: None Listed
HOURS:April - September 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.
HOURS:October 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
HOURS:November - March 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.Olbrich Botanical Gardens is closed: Thanksgiving Day Christmas Eve at 2 p.m. Christmas Day New Year's Day June 15, 2013 for Rhapsody in Bloom


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