We are fortunate in Wisconsin to have an abundance of outstanding public gardens. An excellent way to choose plants that will prosper in your own garden is to select those that you have seen flourishing in local public gardens with similar growing conditions. Looking for garden design ideas? Plant combination inspiration? Wondering which plants will thrive in your site? Think, “They can grow it; I can grow it!” Plan a visit to one, or several, of our great Wisconsin Public Gardens this year.
Boerner Botanical Gardens
Hales Corners, WI
Located just 15 minutes outside of Milwaukee, Boerner features 12 formal gardens including a rose garden, peony garden, herb garden and dwarf conifer garden. Furthermore, it is home to an All American Selection trial garden. Here visitors can view over 500 new varieties of plants being tested for their suitability for the Great Lakes region.
Green Bay Botanic Gardens
Green Bay, WI
47 acres of display gardens and natural areas capture the beauty of Northeast Wisconsin’s four distinct seasons. Outstanding architecture sets this garden apart and acts as a dramatic backdrop for plants specially chosen for their ability to thrive in the upper Midwest. Photo by John Oates Photography
Mitchell Park Conservatory (“The Domes”)
This Milwaukee icon consists of three beehive-shaped glass domes, each 140 feet in diameter and 85 feet high; 75,000 cubic feet of growing space under glass.
The Tropical Dome: Features nearly 1,000 species of plants, including one of the tallest trees under glass. This dome is decorated seasonally with blooming plants, including orchids.
Arid Dome: Features plants native to dry, desert areas with an emphasis on desert plants of Africa and the Americas
Show Dome: This dome changes out seasonally. Particularly noteworthy is its winter display which includes an extensive garden railway exhibit.
Once an outstanding horticultural showpiece, The Domes have fallen upon hard times in recent years. As a result, the display domes are in need of extensive rehabilitation. Fortunately, there are ongoing efforts to save this historic Milwaukee attraction. Visit Future of the Domes and learn how you can help.
Paine Art Center & Gardens
The Paine estate features twenty garden set against the backdrop of the mansion. The gardens showcase perennials that are especially hardy in Wisconsin’s climate as well as trees, shrubs and wildflowers native to the state. Displays of annuals and bulbs change each year. Photo by Eric Reischl
The Arboretum is made of several distinct gardens areas as well as over 17 miles of trails through woodland & prairie ecosystems.
Longenecker Horticultural Garden is an internationally recognized educational garden that features over 2,500 kinds of plants, including one of the largest displays of lilacs in North America.
Wisconsin Native Plant Garden is located on 4 acres surrounding the Visitor Center. This garden displays hundreds of native Wisconsin species as well as demonstrating restoration, pollinator conservation, and ecological relationships.
Viburnum Garden is a 3-acre garden featuring more than 80 species and varieties of Viburnum and 110 species and varieties of arborvitae.
West Madison Agricultural Research Garden
The display gardens showcase a collection of annual and perennial ornamentals, as well as the newest varieties of vegetables and fruits. Trial beds allow the visitor to make first hand comparisons between varieties of many types of garden perennials & annuals. There are several UW Agricultural Research Stations in the state. Click here for a complete list.