July 16, 2022
Allen Centennial Garden, a free public garden at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, offers a pleasant garden stroll around a Queen Anne mansion. The garden was our final stop on the recent Madison Garden Bloggers Fling tour. I also made a quick visit with friends before the Fling kicked off, on a blazingly bright midday. These pics are from both visits.
Built in 1896, the historic house was once a dean’s home. Today it appears in need of a renovation, but it’s still a striking focal point anywhere in the surrounding garden.
Iron urns add period style to wide stone steps on the terrace, displaying everything from agaves to chard. Beyond, an oval of lawn is encircled by conifers, deciduous trees, shrubs, and perennials, which screen campus buildings that rise above the garden.
A smoky-red canna echoes a painted balustrade.
More red shows up in the foliage of a graceful Japanese maple overlooking a large lily pond.
I was noticing all the reds! Here’s the lovely flower of a Carolina allspice shrub (Calycanthus floridus).
Golden foliage and flowers in a rocky dry garden are also eye-catching.
The dry garden surprised me a little, seeing as we were in the land of lakes and precipitation (rain and snow). But the heat- and gravel-loving plants were surely enjoying the 90-degree temps of late June.
A crevice garden — today’s dry-garden trend — also looked pretty.
A miniature mountain range with dry-loving sedums and other small plants tucked in the crevices
Wildflowers were blooming there too.
A wider angle shows a gazebo and red Japanese maple beyond.
Formal garden on the hot sunny midday…
…and on the mellower last day of the Fling.
Conifer path — love those blues
Gold and blue-green foliage
Pretty blue alliums
And sparkler-like alliums!
Up next: Clematis galore in Janet Aaberg’s garden. For a look back at a nearly extinct tree, an American chestnut at UW Arboretum, click here.
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