Northern & Central Midwest
Shows & Events
Olbrich's Holiday Express
The Wisconsin Garden Railway Society's large-scale model trains wind through an enchanted land of make-believe castles and historic Madison scenes during Olbrich Botanical Gardens' annual Holiday Flower and Model Train Show, December 3 to 31. Celebrate Madison's upcoming 2006 Sesquicentennial while model trains chug through a pictorial setting of historic Madison.
On the other side of the room, travel farther back in time with medieval castles -- complete with wizards and dragons -- created out of natural materials by Olbrich's horticultural staff. Specialized garden landscapes will feature plants such as thyme, sedum, spruce, false cypress, and dwarf shrubs, used for their miniature stature and slow growth rate. Many include intricate water features, working light fixtures, and tiny buildings that match the scale of the trains
Open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sundays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Olbrich will close at 2 p.m. on December 24, and will be closed all day on December 25 and January 1. Olbrich Botanical Gardens is located at 3330 Atwood Avenue, Madison, WI 53704. For info, call (608) 246-4550.
Favorite or New Plant
Creeping Charlie (Glechoma hederacea) is a noxious lawn weed that everyone tries very hard to eradicate, but it makes a superb plant for a hanging basket. It tolerates just about any conditions you give it, making it ideal for the stressful situation of a hanging basket. There are silver-leaved and variegated forms that are now being offered specifically for hanging baskets, although you can easily dig some of the green variety from the lawn to use as well. The plant has lovely small purple and white variegated blossoms tucked in the leaf axils in spring. Creeping Charlie is hardy to zone 5.