Anytime Charlie and I visit the Madison area the Olbrich Botanical Gardens is one of the places I have wanted to wandered around but never had a chance. During a recent trip to visit friends and see two plays at American Players Theatre in Spring Green, Wis., I finally received the chance to walk around the beautiful garden grounds.

How beautiful are these zinnias? I had seen zinnias when I worked at the floral nursery, but I hadn’t seen this type of zinnia with honeycomb-type body and different-colored crown above the petals.

The day my friends and I visited we saw two different wedding couples and a quinceanera (the teen girl wore a beautiful strapless teal dress with layered ruffled tulle — I remember because I wanted the dress even though I have no event to wear it to) party posing for pictures around the garden grounds. I’m not surprised people and professional photographers would pick the gardens for its perfect picturesque background.

Honestly any of the different sections offers a place of serenity and peace, but the Thai Pavilion and Garden was probably my favorite. According to the garden’s web site, the Thai government and the Thai Chapter of the Wisconsin Alumni Association gave the pavilion as a gift to the University of Wisconsin-Madison since the university has one of the largest Thai populations in the country.

The vibrant colors of one of the areas in the Thai Pavilion and Garden immediately caught my eye. Unfortunately, according to Charlie’s mom, most — if not all — of the flowers are annuals which means they need to be dug out and replanted every year (a little tidbit I learned during my seasonal gig at the floral nursery).

I was aiming for an artistic shot with this picture. A single flower among lily pads in water in the Thai Pavilion and Garden section.

I think this beautiful little flower kind of looks like a paper lantern. While I couldn’t find a sign identifying the flower, I wondered about the red, orange, and purple pepper-like blooms (not pictured) also hanging on the plant. Come back soon for the second part of the spotlight on the Olbrich Botanical Gardens!

Categories: Jennifer Elliott

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