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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

    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…

  • Midwest Regional Reports

    Midwest: November Garden To-Do List

    Keep new plantings well watered until the ground freezes. Evergreens, both newly planted and established, benefit from fall irrigation to reduce the likelihood of winter burn. Protect trees and shrubs…

  • Midwest Regional Reports

    Bulb Planting Season Is Here

    The vibrant offerings of bulb catalogs are entrancing as summer becomes a memory and autumn cold creeps in. We’re already full of gardening ideas for the spring season ahead. Bulbs…

  • Midwest Regional Reports

    Midwest: October Garden To-Do List

    Use a light touch with fall cleanup, and leave plants that provide winter interest standing. Grasses and seed heads of plants such as blazing star (Liatris spp. and cvs., Zones…

  • Midwest Regional Reports

    Building the Perfect Fall Container

    By late August, garden containers (and sometimes their gardeners) can look a little worse for wear. These containers may have been through a lot since springtime—the plants may have been…

  • Midwest Regional Reports

    Midwest: September Garden To-Do List

    Still have some empty spaces in your garden beds? September’s cooler temperatures and rainfall make it a great month for planting, and new plants still have sufficient time for root…

  • Midwest Regional Reports

    Essential Sedges for the Midwest

    If ornamental grasses were the underutilized landscape plants to finally reach popularity after the year 2000, sedges are their shady sisters that have been deservedly recognized in the last decade.…

  • Midwest Regional Reports

    Midsummer 2019 Insect Update

    In the Midwest, gardeners are generally an optimistic lot. If consistent heavy rainfall is the topic of conversation, a typical response is, “At least the weeds are easy to pull!”…

  • Midwest Regional Reports

    Tropical Foliage for Sun and Shade

    Hot and humid Midwestern summers allow us to luxuriate in a taste of the tropics in the garden. Although tropical flowers in red, orange, and yellow can provide a fiery…