The Dane County UW-Extension Teaching Garden surrounds the office building at 5201 Fen Oak Drive in Madison, Wisconsin. The Teaching Garden is organized into 12 garden areas, each with its unique flavor. The garden is used for training new Master Gardener Volunteers and as an educational resource for youth programs and the general public. Features include shade and sun ornamental beds, a vegetable & herb garden, a demonstration prairie, a rain garden, a rock garden, as well as rain barrel and composting demonstration projects. The beds are maintained by our horticulture staff, interns and Master Gardeners.
Visitors to the garden will be able to view over 800 perennials, shrubs and trees that are Midwest hardy. Our aim is to enhance each visitor’s experience by making detailed information available to them about all plants in the garden. All plants in the garden have stakes labeled with their scientific name, common name, cultivar, and supplier. Each label also contains a QR code which can be read with a QR code reader on a smart phone or tablet. By holding the QR code reader in front of the plant label, visitors will be connected to an online webpage containing picture(s) and detailed information about each plant, We are the only public garden in the area to offer QR scannable plant labels linked to detailed plant information on-line. To access this information on all plants in the Teaching Garden, visit: http://tgplpinfo.blogspot.com/.
- Hardiness Zones
- Bloom Time
- Bloom Description
- Light Requirements
- Soil Type
- Moisture Requirements
- Suggested Use
- Care Instructions
- Concerns or Problems
- Native Range
- Noteworthy Characteristics
- Plant Supplier to Teaching Garden
- Location area within Teaching Garden
Each year the Dane County/UW Extension sponsors a Master Gardener Plant sale in May. The proceeds from the sale are used to offset the ongoing costs of maintaining the Teaching Garden and support horticultural education projects in school gardens and other locations. In addition, the Teaching Garden relies on the additional support of local businesses and organizations offering donations and discounts:
- American Transmission Company (ATC)
- America’s Best Flowers
- The Flower Factory
- Klein’s Floral and Greenhouse
- Kopke’s Fruit of the Bloom Greenhouse
- Johnson’s Nursery, Inc.
- Landscape Designs, Inc.
- MAMGA (Madison Area Master Gardener Association)
In 2016, the Adopt-a-Garden Program was rolled out at the Teaching Garden. The purpose of the program is to mobilize Master Gardener Volunteers into teams dedicated to maintaining individual beds within the Teaching Garden. Interns will gain knowledge of experienced MGVs in their teams, and have the opportunity to put their training into practice. Each garden area is assigned a team leader who is responsible for coordinating the volunteers who have adopted the garden.
By adopting a garden, team members share the responsibility for their garden for the entire season. Adopters may continue to care for their chosen garden in subsequent years, or vary their experience in a different garden. Team members are able to participate in a full range of activities for their chosen garden area:
- Spring and Fall bed clean-up
- Plant division and transplanting as needed
- Recommending new plants or shrubs
- Fertilizing or soil amendment as needed
- Maintaining appropriate moisture levels for individual plants
- Diagnosing and managing insect and disease problems
- Addressing animal problems
Master Gardener Volunteers and interns interested in serving on a team should email Karen Allenstein at email@example.com.
Questions? Horticulture Helpline
The helpline is available to help answer Dane County resident’s gardening questions. Call: 608-224-3721
Walk-in assistance is also available
Hotline open April 15-October, 9 a.m.-noon or contact
Lisa Johnson, Dane County UWEX Horticulture Educator
5201 Fen Oak Drive, Ste 138
Madison, WI 53718