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“Amazing gardens with a fantastic staff!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Rotary Botanical Gardens

Rotary Botanical Gardens
1455 Palmer Drive, Janesville, WI 53545
(608) 752-3885
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Ranked #1 of 17 things to do in Janesville
Attraction details
Minnesota
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Amazing gardens with a fantastic staff!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2013

I went on a tour with 3 women who were 88, 89, and 90 years old. They arranged for us to have a tour of the gardens on a golf cart. Since it was an extremely, hot day, this was a great way to go. A volunteer that really knew and loved the gardens gave us a tour. He refused any money and insisted that we donate it to the rotary gardens if we wanted to give something. To walk it on my own, I definitely would have not had the wealth of knowledge that we were provided. I had to walk the Japanese garden since the cart did not fit. It was really lovely! The whole place is eye candy!

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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116 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Janesville
Top Contributor
137 reviews 137 reviews
35 attraction reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
72 helpful votes 72 helpful votes
“Beautiful gardens!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2013

I love to garden & love to look at other gardens to admire them and get inspiration and idea's for my own. They do an amazing job at Rotary Gardens.

It used to be free to walk through. However, just like everything else they now charge. But it is worth it and in order to continue to enjoy the gardens the small amount to pay is nothing.

It is always different depending on the time of the year you go. And even the time of day can make things look different.

Their Japanese garden is very tranquil.
Rose garden is beautiful.

Some lucky couples get married there. And they also have wedding receptions there.

Visited June 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Woodstock, Illinois
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Great for Afternoon Stroll”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2013

Rotary Gardens is beautifully laid out, with different smaller gardens, Japanese, Sunken, Herb, etc. Very inspirational as each plant is clearly named so you can track it down for your own garden. One of the best views is to look out over the lake and see the red Japanese bridge, so good for photographs! The building where you enter is very clean and washrooms are available. Also a little gift shop. Friends have gone there for events and have been very happy. Adjacent to the gardens is a small beach, ideal for families with small children

Visited June 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, IL
Top Contributor
100 reviews 100 reviews
37 attraction reviews
Reviews in 51 cities Reviews in 51 cities
143 helpful votes 143 helpful votes
“Come to the garden and stay awhile”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2013

On the very east edge of Janesville, tucked in an area of huge public parks, golf courses and a portion of Wisconsin's Ice Age hike/bike trail, lies the Rotary Botanical Gardens. It is 20 acres of gardens just begging to be explored.

As you leave the visitor center, you are greeted by traditional cottage and formal gardens. But don't be put off by their proper forms because if you venture just beyond the French garden you will find brightly-colored adirondack chairs overlooking a huge pond. You can sit a spell and watch local fishermen. In fact, there are various forms of benches, chairs and sculptures throughout all of the gardens that encourage you to sit, dream, ponder and linger.

For me, the Japanese garden with its statuary and water features is one of the more dramatic gardens. It has a traditional arched bridge that will take you across the water for a hike around the pond. Or, you can take the short-cut like I did and take the zig-zag bridge (also a traditional Japanese feature) through the water to reach the sunken gardens. You can find unlikely paths like these that meander throughout the gardens and that encourage you to wander.

There are more than 20 changing gardens to explore, all with stunning views and some with unusual mixes of plants, flower and herbs. Since the gardens do change, this isn't a one time place to visit. In the visitor center there is a great shop offering lots of garden-related items and statuary, some hand-made by local artisans. Rotary Gardens is open year round, and it has a Taste of Chocolate event in November and a Holiday Light Show in December that I am putting on my calendar.

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Beautiful Gardens!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2013

We have travelled to many different gardens and this is one that is very beautiful. This weekend they had purple alliums on display which gave the gardens a great colorful look. Plantings are taking place of the annuals. The gardens are on a beautiful Lake with great paths for walking. This is a jewel for Janesville, so few people know about it outside of the city. We go there three or four times a year and it always changes. They have about 350 volunteers called "Grumpies" and "Grumpettes" and I'm sure many young volunteers who do a superb job with the gardens. At Christmas time the gardens are all lit up as you stroll through them on the paths.
They also have a train setup in the building which the kids love. At this time they serve hot chocolate and cookies. This is a must see if you love nature and gardens!!!

Visited May 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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