Rad Allen Centennial Rock Garden

Orostachys spinosa at the Allen Centennial Garden Madison, WI July 2017

I’ve been thinking about rock gardens lately, specifically The Allen Centennial Garden on UW-Madison’s campus. It’s pretty amazing in general, but their rock garden is so good that NARGS (North American Rock Garden Society) even had a meeting in Madison. In 2019 it even won the Frank Cabot Public Rock Garden Award. I’d never seen an Orostachys spinosa before. The Flower Factory had an amazing rock garden plant selection including that cool Orostachys above, but they had to up and retire. WAIT!!!! I just looked they’re selling online (update it’s not available anymore) for pick up! I’m back after creating a crazy long google doc with pictures of my favorites they have available. I didn’t use my own pictures, so I can’t be posting it here, but I’d email you link if you’re interested. Just comment below. They seriously have the best perennials at the best prices in Wisconsin. Don’t let all the botanical Latin and lack of pictures scare you. My 170 page google doc will show you the way.

Saxifraga longifolia and friends at Allen Centennial Garden Madison, WI

Saxifrags have to be one of the cutest little groups of plants. I want them all. Flower Factory has four different ones available including one that looks like it has warts Saxifraga paniculata ‘Cockscomb’. (Flower Factory, I’d add all your pictures to your square site for a few Saxifrags and maybe an Orostachys or two, I’m totally serious).

Saxifraga paniculata ‘Millstream’
Look at all those cuties in the crevices

Sempervivums are the best, they come in so many fun colors and sizes. When they bloom they look like weird little aliens. There could also be Jovibaras in here, I have a hard time telling the difference. They’re both adorable little rosettey things.

Mystery saxifrag and friend that may or may not be a saxifrag
Maybe an Orostachys?

I’m not sure what this guy is either, but it’s so darn cute I can hardly stand it. Another fun website to spend hours and hours looking at adorable plants is Arrowhead Alpines in Michigan. They do mail order and have a crazy selection of alpine plants plus tons more. I could see driving to Michigan from Wisconsin just to check out their display gardens in our future. If you’re in Madison, head over to Allen Centennial and check out all their rock garden fun plants. I’m sure I’ll be hanging out there quite a bit once we’re back. It’s also just happens to be super close to Babcock, so you can get ice cream and cheese while you’re there!

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