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Region V Regional Meeting
From Classic to Cutting Edge Gardens
An ornate, gold-leafed, traditional Thai pavilion surrounded by gardens (the only one outside Thailand), an innovatively designed rose garden and a tropical conservatory in a pyramid are but a few of the delights at our first location, the 16-acre Olbrich Botanical Garden. Northwind Perennial Farm’s Roy Diblik, described by the Chicago Tribune as “one of the most original, sophisticated and influential plantsman of the Midwest,” will speak about the several gravel gardens within OBG. Director of Horticulture Jeff Epping has developed many cutting edge display gardens based on sustainability including an alternative lawn English meadow garden using Midwest grasses and thousands of bulbs. You’ll see several rain gardens, native sedge alternative lawns and other trends in sustainable gardens sure to generate story ideas. A recent BH&G special interest issue listed Olbrich as one of the top 20 gardens in the U.S. to visit! Olbrich.org
Beauty and science intersect at our next stop. Allen Centennial Gardens, a 2.5-acre public/teaching garden of the Horticulture Dept. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, boasts one of the finest rock gardens in the Midwest as just one of 26 individually themed gardens from historically formal to Wisconsin Woodland. The garden’s 2012 theme “More with Less: Limited Space Gardening”, showcases many methods of growing produce in limited spaces from containers to a wide variety of raised beds to vertical gardening and a new lasagna garden. Garden Director Ed Lyon and his interns and volunteers will offer informative tours. We’ll be treated to a garden lunch here, sponsored by Dramm Corp., who will provide hands-on demonstrations of watering tools. Jay Anderson of Bando Organics will discuss and demonstrate organic teas. Our door prize drawing will follow. Allencentennialgardens.org
After lunch, it’s on to the Trial and Demonstration Gardens at West Madison Agricultural Research Station, part of the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Annuals, perennials, vegetables and fruits are evaluated to determine the top plants for the area. Acres of plants meticulously maintained by Master Gardeners are grown to evaluate their performance in harsh Midwest climates. Be sure to see the enabling gardening area, also built and maintained by Master Gardeners, and the AAS test gardens. www.cals.wisc.edu/westmad/garden/
Our last inspiring location of the day is the 400-acre eco-smart campus of Epic Systems, a medical software company with a keen environmental conscience. This is not your traditional GWA venue. Take advantage of the opportunity to view this unique site off the beaten horticulture path. Heated and cooled with the latest in geothermal technology, the buildings are filled with inviting spaces and quirky artwork--not your typical office setting. The beautiful grounds were designed to minimize impact on the rural setting. Three massive campuses demonstrate very different landscapes. One boasts the largest gravel garden in the world. A grass-covered and beautifully landscaped underground parking ramp structure reduces run-off and blends into a landscape that features waterfalls and streams.
All the tour sites have been selected as high value destinations to writers and garden communicators as well as industry professionals. They will be packed with ideas from ornamental gardening to current trends. Sustainability and the recent movement to home grown produce are emphasized as well as demonstrations. Of course there will be door prizes and plants and “goodies” for every participant, thanks to Dramm Corp., Fiskars, Dan Benarcik, The Flower Factory, Song Sparrow Perennial Farm and Proven Winners.
Come for the weekend! We will provide additional optional sites such as the U.W. Arboretum with the country’s oldest restored prairie and Longenecker Gardens, home to the country’s most comprehensive crabapple and lilac collections; The Flower Factory, with the Midwest’s largest selection of perennials; The Dane County Farmer’s Market around the state capital ranked as one of the top 5 in the country; Spring Green, home of Taliesen and more!
6:30-7:30 AM: Hot breakfast at Country Inn & Suites for hotel guests
8:00 AM: Check-in at Olbrich Botanical Gardens
8:30-10:00 AM: Olbrich Botanical Gardens
10:00-10:30 AM: Travel to Allen Centennial Gardens
10:30-Noon: Allen Centennial Gardens
Noon-1:00 PM: Lunch at ACG
GWA Region V Meeting & door prize drawing Linda Nitchman, Region V Director
1:00-1:30 PM: Travel to West Madison Ag. Research Plant Trial Gardens
1:30-3:30 PM: Tour WMARS
3:30-4:00 AM: Travel to Epic Systems, Verona
4:00-6:00 PM: Tour Epic’s 3 Campuses
6:30 PM: Optional Dinner
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