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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

    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…

  • Midwest Regional Reports

    Midwest: August Garden To-Do List

    1. Bloomed out perennials such as catmint (Nepeta and cvs., Zones 3–9), veronica (Veronica spp. and cvs., Zones 4–10), stachys (Stachys spp. and cvs., Zones 4–8), lady’s mantle (Allchemilla spp.…

  • Midwest Regional Reports

    Midwest: July Garden To-Do List | Regional Report

    Monitor rainfall with a rain gauge. One inch of rain a week is ideal for most gardens, and new plantings may need more depending on temperatures. Deadhead and groom annuals.…

  • Midwest Regional Reports

    Infusions of Linden and Elder | Midwest Regional Report

    The dew-laden and steamy waves of a June breeze carry a world of scents to enjoy. Pay attention to certain trees and shrubs blossoming at this time of year. With…

  • Midwest Regional Reports

    Great Self-Seeding Annuals for the Midwest | Midwest Regional Report

    The spontaneous charm of self-seeding annuals has a place in every Midwestern garden. A seed packet, purchased once and direct sown, multiplies over the years as seeds falling to the…

  • Midwest Regional Reports

    Field Trip Notes: Big Ideas and Achievable Goals at Resilient Landscape Symposium | Midwest Regional Report

    There’s nothing like a good symposium with a group of antsy gardeners to provide motivation and inspiration for the upcoming gardening season. The University of Wisconsin’s Allen Centennial Gardens recently…