I left Marquette, MI this morning by way of a different route than the one I took to get up there on Friday. It was a nice scenic trip and Sunday traffic in the Upper Penninsula was fairly minimal. In fact, I didn't hit much for traffic until I hit I-90 in Madison and joined all the Illinois traffic heading back to the Land of Lincoln after the sunny weekend. The halfway point of my trip back home however was Green Bay. I stopped for lunch, fuel and a quick jaunt through the Green Bay Botanical Garden. I'm no stranger to this garden and have always enjoyed visiting (maybe a dozen times in the past). However, I hadn't been back in about six years and was amazed at all the new garden areas, plants and labels! I thought the gardens were considerably more impressive and well-maintained than when I last visited (which doesn't surprise me at all). Kudos to Mark, Dave and the entire staff and volunteers at GBBG for such a great garden. Their Executive Director (Susan) is also a dynamo and well-suited to this venue. I lived and worked near Appleton for a couple years back when GBBG was just getting started and it's been nice to see such dramatic changes. I encourage everyone to visit and support this garden and while I wont explain every photo in this brief blog, they are all meant to entice you to stop by when you are in the area. GBBG also has an awesome magnolia collection that I've not visited in spring yet. We've taken some staff trips up there (twice?) and met with their staff in the past to swap stories. GBBG also has a huge holiday lights show that generates lots of attendance and income for the garden. It actually may be their largest fundraiser. I noted all the awesome power boxes around the gardens and they look like they have a great framework for their display. Maybe I'll sneak up this winter and check it out.
There was some significant construction that thwarted my efforts to get to the gardens and I almost gave up to be honest. I'm glad I persevered and really enjoyed the visit. I will say it looks like they've had more rain than we have and I hope we have some decent rain in the near future.