Back To Boerner

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

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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.

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

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

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

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Plenty of green here too, with dabs of purple.

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

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

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Through the Wood Arbor–it’s misting time.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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

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

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

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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.

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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?

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

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

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

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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.

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

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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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