Back To Boerner


During my recent Milwaukee trip, I spent a Sunday afternoon at the Boerner Botanical Gardens.


Located in the woodsy suburb of Hales Corners (which also includes the massive, adjacent Whitnall Park and the Wehr Nature Center), my parents took me to the Boerner often as a child; it remains one of my favorite places to visit in my home state. Above is the one of the Perennial Borders.


This was my first visit in five years; little has changed since then, although I don’t remember seeing so many pink dahlias before.


Up close, the Boerner runs rampant with color. Here’s an explosion of pink.


Or, if that’s too much pink for your taste, here it’s tempered by earthy red and a light green perimeter.


Plenty of green here too, with dabs of purple.


The white flowers here look beautiful and also recall an alien-shaped creature.


A burst of yellow, with the Wood Arbor in back.


Through the Wood Arbor–it’s misting time.


From the Wood Arbor, one has this spectacular view. Although not really apparent in this photo, we’re actually standing on top of a hill, looking downward. A childhood visit here was never complete without at least one roll down this hill, onto the lush, expansive lawn.


On the other side of the Wood Arbor sits the Rose Garden. Although slightly past peak in mid-July, a majority of it was still in bloom.


The Rose Garden and its rectangular pool, full of water-lilies and koi.


To quote BLAZING SADDLES, “A wed wose; how wovewy.”


A red and white hybrid wose (er, rose.)


Oh, those horticulturists and the whimsical names they often give to their flora.


Obviously I was too late in the season to see the “Spring Cheddar” iris in bloom (I’ll bet it was orange-y).


Along one of the Perennial Borders, one sees this. I’ll always remember coming to the Rose Festival one summer with my mom and hearing a person ask one of the employees where something was. The employee, an elderly woman stationed near a microphone for some reason, responded in a quavery voice, “It’s right over by the statue of the naked lady,” and you could hear it amplified throughout the gardens.


Ah, but naked statutes here need not be confined to those of the adult female variety. He looks very pleased with himself, doesn’t he?


As the title indicates, the Annual Garden is forever in flux, but its elegant, if mossy gazebo has remained constant throughout the decades.


Lots of chipmunks scurrying throughout the gardens; here’s a rare one that sat still long enough for a photo.


The Rock Garden provides notable contrast to the rest of the Boerner–it’s like stepping into an alternate universe.


Unfortunately, the Daylily Walk didn’t fully live up to its name this time out, with much of the titular plant already (and compared to previous years, early) past-peak. Still, further down the Walk, the fauna came through.


Woods surround the Boerner; I don’t think I’ve seen many blue spruces in New England.


An idyllic view right off the Herb Garden (not pictured, because they were watering it and I could barely get in to view it without getting my camera wet). Whenever I try to think of a calm, blissful nature tableau, this one often comes to mind.

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