"Wisconsin-Happy Festival State", by Eve Phillips. My husband and I love to travel in the state of Wisconsin where we live and get great pictures on the way. My name is Laurie Kutil and photography has become a great passion of mine since 2010. One thing I have learned in researching each town before visiting it is that, "Every town has it's story". When I do uncover those stories by connecting with local residents, our experience becomes so much richer. In turn, sharing the stories with you brings me joy :)
It happened! Olbrich Botanical Garden’s Corpse Flower has finally bloomed today. The last time this plant bloomed was in 2009, I didn’t see it then. They have 4 plants altogether. The University of Wisconsin has its own Corpse Flower, affectionately named “Big Bucky”. That one last bloomed in 2012. It was named “Mori” by fans of Olbrich.
It’s housed inside of the Bolz Conservatory. At 4:15 PM it wasn’t too crowded so I picked a good time. Here are some facts about the flower.
The flower is located near the Conservatory entrance, there is a sign showing its life cycle. Picture courtesy of the University of Wisconsin.
I may have missed the peak smelliest time of the flower, I could only smell it up close. Inside the spathe the color is a deep red, setting off the green.
Now the whole plant.
It was fun meeting Mori, the world’s largest flower in person.
Each year I eagerly look forward to Olbrich Botanical Garden‘s hottest new art display taking place at night. They really outdid themselves this time. Here is a map of all the art installations, more than ever this year!
For the first time, there are displays inside of the Boltz Conservatory. This display cycles through all the colors, just like the lights lining the inside of the conservatory.
Next I went outside to see those displays, the tree outside was raining light!
There is now a bar outside so you can enjoy an adult beverage while enjoying GLEAM.
There was a surprise around every corner, I especially liked the columns on either side of the entrance to the Rose Garden, there were roses rotating around inside.
Loved the rainbow brick path.
Projected onto the path in the grand circle were messages, and butterflies flew through them.
New this year were lighted panels with a description of the displays. This one was really neat.
The star shower light made for a ghostly appearance of anyone standing under it.
This one was a little hard to take a picture, video is better.
This one was pretty too.
I am finishing my journey through the gardens, looking completely different from in the day. As a member, it is $11 to come to GLEAM, 14 if you are not. You can become a member at Olbrich at this time for a discount and save on future events, coupon is on GLEAM guide. I look forward to next year!
The snow is melting and thoughts are turning toward spring at Olbrich Botanical Gardens! The theme for the show is different every year, this year it was a kitchen theme. Many commented it was their best spring flower show ever!
The display window looked festive with a menu of treats.
A major contributor to the displays at this show was Deconstruction, Inc. A great use of reclaimed materials!
And now the main room where the show is. During your visit they have a card showing all the flowers featured in the show. Quite a variety!
The whole room view.
Now let’s see each display individually, all are creative! In the last couple of years Al has caught the photography bug too and his work is also featured here also.
To the left of the table…
Window to the Garden
Relax by the Fire
The “flame” inside the fire display is made up of neon flickering flame bulbs. Good effect, take a look!
Dinner is Served!
The table is made of wood cross sections instead of long boards. The chandelier is made of sticks and has a “vintage” light bulb inside.
Another table setting inside a pond, good for a hot summer day.
Relax at the Spring Flower show, soon it will look like this outdoors too!
Olbrich Botanical Gardens is always holding exciting events for the public. 2015 was their first year for GLEAM, a night event featuring art that is illuminated. Here is our visit from last year. We didn’t think they could top that exciting first year, but it seems they did. Monopods are permitted for a steadier shot and also to not get in the way of the other guests.
The route is different than last year, this is the map.
This year they added a cash bar to enhance your stroll through the garden.
We were just amazed by the workmanship and talent of the artists participating this year. You can vote for your favorite after your visit.
We walked through in the daytime also to see what they looked like then. Enjoy the video I made of our visits.
The Fire Monkeys were especially good. Three were in a tree, one was on the edge of a small pond. In the video, you will also hear the jungle sounds that are piped in on a nearby speaker.
Another favorite was “The Soul’s Song” by the family of artist Ted Brusubardis. This is a song of Latvia, a small excerpt is in the video. The name in Latvian is Dvēseles Dziesma. Below is the song in it’s entirety.
The images of the performance is projected onto the back of the waterfall behind the Rose Tower.
The Rose Tower is a beautiful setting for both of the Soul’s Song and Yahara Cloud’s pieces. Inside the tower had a purple light projector.
The view from the tower, breathtaking on this starry night. The streak is an airplane.
See website for more information about this and other events.
Be sure to stop by soon for this wonderful exhibit and bring your friends and family (and your camera)!
This has been a December tradition at Olbrich Botanical Gardens for years. Their Holiday Express event is a fundraiser that is fun for the whole family! When you walk in the door, you see a Christmas wonderland!
Turn right to find the Atrium, where all the fun is!
This year the displays resembles the game “Candy Land” . Amidst the displays are model trains contributed and set up by the Wisconsin Garden Railway Society. There are two trains on separate tracks. Great job everyone!
Lets see the train in action!
Some of the other scenery..
Here is the other train!
After enjoying trains, your adult admission of $3.00 includes a visit to the Boltz Conservatory as well.
It’s not just plants in here, birds live here also. There are Canaries, Finches, doves and Quail.
I had a very enjoyable visit on a cold winter day. You will too.
Madison has a beautiful place filled with flowers for all to enjoy. Our trip last year to Mitchell Domes in Milwaukee was sure fun, but we like going here when we have a little less time. The first thing you see on Monona Drive as you arrive at Olbrich is the huge Bolz Conservatory, full of beautiful tropical plants. It’s a great escape when you are tired of winter weather.
Lets head outside and look at the garden, meticulously maintained by many volunteers. They always welcome new volunteers, the gardens are very large.
Strike up a conservation with the Topiary bears enjoying a beautiful day at a picnic bench.
A dedication to John M. Olin across from the bears.
The beautiful Rose Tower, overlooking the gardens below.
Another are is Serenity Garden, with bridge and waterfall.
J.W. Lussier Memorial Bridge
The most distinguishing feature of this beautiful garden is the Thai Pavilion. It is the ONLY such structure in the US. That is pure gold, not gold paint.
For a respite from the hassles of life, find your peace at Olbrich any time of the year.