Rotary Botanical Gardens - Mike Maddox Master Gardener Program Director

Botanical Gardens

Botanical Gardens – More Than Just a Pretty Place Millions of people visit botanical gardens across the world each year. The people that visit, and the reasons for visiting, are as diverse as the plants in the gardens. Botanic gardens (or botanical – the words are interchangeable) offer a way to connect with nature, provide […]


The Changing Leaves of Fall

Fall in Wisconsin means football, apple pie, pumpkin stands lining the roads, and a beautiful display of tree foliage. In fact, one of the many benefits of living in Wisconsin is the changing seasons and for a few weeks of fall, the trees put on a final glorious show of color before the growing season […]

Goldenrod Ragweed

Goldenrod vs. Ragweed

Did you have fall allergies? Did you blame goldenrod? Goldenrod usually gets blamed for fall allergies because it is highly visible compared to the true culprit, ragweed. Goldenrod (Solidago) and ragweed (Ambrosia) are both native plants which support native wildlife by providing food and cover for wildlife. Goldenrod is a perennial herb while ragweed is […]

Lasagna Garden being built (2)

Lasagna Garden being built

Lasagna gardening, despite the name, does not involve pasta, Italian cuisine, or cheese. It is a method of gardening that requires layering, like its namesake, and is a cost-effective, no-till, labor-saving method of establishing a garden from a patch of sod or weeds. Although this method can be used any time of year, fall is […]


Egyptian Walking Onions: Summer’s Bounty

Egyptian Walking Onions: Summer’s Bounty Egyptian walking onion is the common name for “Allium proliferum.” As both names imply, these onions are prolific and literally over time, walk across your garden. Also known as “tree”, “forever”, “top” “winter”, and “perennial” onions, this inter-species hybrid between bunching and bulbing onions produces multiple offspring without a single […]

Hosta and Fern Combination

Hardy Ferns

Looking for a plant that will add beauty, texture, and structure to your shade garden, is deer resistant and easy to care for? Hardy ferns may be the answer. Hardy ferns are those that tolerate our cold winter temperatures and can be grown outdoors year-round. Native and non-native ferns come in a variety of textures, […]

Poison Ivy 3

Poison Ivy

Summer is the time to enjoy outdoor family activities with no regrets.   Poison ivy can put a damper on the fun if accidental exposure occurs. The rash from poison ivy, oak, and sumac is due to an allergic reaction to urushiol, a sticky oil produced by these plants. All parts of both living and dead […]

Tamarak Tree 4 (Large)

The Tamarack Tree

The Tamarack Tree Because of the expected demise of the ash trees, many home owners are investigating different options for landscape trees. Wisconsin has a variety of both deciduous and coniferous trees. Deciduous trees are hardwoods that lose their leaves seasonally. Conifers are soft wood trees that keep their needles, with one mighty exception: the […]