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Erin Presley

Erin is a horticulturist at Olbrich Botanical Gardens, a free public garden on the shores of Lake Monona in Madison, Wisconsin.  Growing up on her parents’ hobby farm in rural central Wisconsin gave her a real taste for growing plants and pulling weeds from a young age. After earning her horticulture degree, eight years of working for a family-owned landscaping firm showed her exactly what techniques and plants work—or don’t work—in the vagaries of the Midwestern climate.  For the last five years, she has cared for the Herb, Wildflower, and Pond Gardens at Olbrich where she can be spotted doing everything from wading in the pond to handing out heirloom tomato slices to passing visitors.

  • Midwest Regional Reports

    Turn Old Wood Into Useful Garden Structures

    As another muddy Midwestern March begins, we’re often rounding the bend on our winter pruning tasks and looking for more creative garden projects. We also may be surrounded by piles…

  • Midwest Regional Reports

    Designing With Red in the Midwest

    Even the most intrepid gardeners might admit a fear of the color red, especially us easy-going and mild-mannered Midwesterners. Red’s energy carries connotations of warmth, passion, and even danger. In…

  • Midwest Regional Reports

    Midwest: February Garden To-Do List

    Consider plants for winter interest. As Midwestern winters bring more frequent episodes of heavy snow, ice, and winter rain, the garden can look pretty bedraggled by February. Visit your local…

  • Midwest Regional Reports

    Gardening Book Recommendations for the Midwest

    Although our gardens may be down for a long winter’s nap, that doesn’t mean gardeners should enter complete dormancy. Considering new gardening possibilities and challenges offers mental engagement in winter.…

  • Midwest Regional Reports

    Midwest: January Garden To-Do List

    Take care of the birds. Bird watching from the comfort of your home brightens many a winter day. It's OK to place feeders close to the house, but avoid placing…

  • Midwest Regional Reports

    Dealing With Excessive Rain in the Garden

    The National Climate Assessment reported in 2014 that storms have been dumping more and more rain, with some parts of the United States experiencing a 70% increase in the amount…

  • Midwest Regional Reports

    Preventing Winter Damage in the Garden

    Here in the Midwest, we all remember the winter of 2018 as being a pretty tough one, with lots of snow and ice and polar vortex conditions that sent temperatures…

  • Midwest Regional Reports

    Midwest: December Garden To-Do List

    Craft your own winter container arrangement using evergreens, colorful dogwood (Cornus spp. and cvs., Zones 3–9) and willow (Salix spp. and cvs., Zones 4–9), ornamental grasses, and grapevine (Vitis spp.…

  • Midwest Regional Reports

    Gardening Gift Ideas 2019 for Midwest Gardeners

    The gift-giving season is a great time for gardeners. It’s a time to reflect on your favorite tools and on tips from the past year and how to share them…

  • Midwest Regional Reports

    Unique North American Natives for the Midwest

    As the weather turns colder in autumn, many Midwesterners are reflecting on the gardening season and already making planting plans for next year—whether to fill a conspicuous gap in the…