Sunday Tours

The 2019 Perennial Plant Association National Symposium in conjunction with All-America Selections and National Garden Bureau has two great tour options on Sunday, July 28!


Wisconsin Wonders Tour*

photo of Rotary Garden, credit: Kyle Lambert

Sunday, July 28

7:15 AM - 6:45 PM

$219 Member Rate / $329 Non-Member

The Wisconsin Wonders Tour will visit Intrinsic Perennial Gardens, Northwind, Olbrich Botanic Garden, and Rotary Gardens.

Intrinsic Perennial Gardens

Intrinsic Perennial Gardens Inc. is a wholesale perennial grower and breeder in Northern Illinois. Intrinsic's business sells finished perennials to garden centers, landscape companies, and public gardens from the East coast and throughout the Midwest. 

They also breed new perennials supplying propagators, growers and nurseries throughout the world. Breeding includes many genera but specializes in Alliums, Amsonias, Andropogons, Geums, Pennisetums, Rudbeckia and Sedums. 

Northwind Perennial Farm

In 1991, a trio of friends and business partners, Steve Coster, Colleen Garrigan and Roy Diblik discovered a 10-acre farmstead tucked away in the rolling hills of southeastern Wisconsin. By combining their talents and maintaining the spirit and character of the farm, they knew that they had the opportunity to create something uniquely different. Northwind Perennial Farm is located just north of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin on an early 1900s farmstead. They specialize in growing regionally hardy perennials, offer landscape design services and a unique garden shop filled with art, garden accents and home décor. Visit Northwind and explore the lush serene display gardens, benefit from their cutting-edge plant knowledge and leave with flourishing plants and rare finds.

Olbrich Botanical Gardens

Stroll through 16 acres of outdoor display gardens and an indoor, tropical conservatory at Olbrich Botanical Gardens. In the outdoor gardens, visit the Thai Pavilion and Garden. Olbrich's Thai Pavilion is the only one in the continental United States and the only one outside of Thailand surrounded by a garden. Stop and smell the roses in the Rose Garden, opened to the public in 2005. Olbrich's rose garden features innovative mixed borders of Midwest hardy shrub roses and perennials. Also stroll through other specialty gardens such as the Perennial Garden, Sunken Garden, and Herb Garden. 

Then, visit the tropics in Madison, WI! The Bolz Conservatory, a sunny 50-foot-high glass pyramid, houses a diverse collection of tropical plants, a rushing waterfall, free-flying birds, and blooming orchids. See the plants on which some very common foods grow, such as banana, coffee, and vanilla. Get an up close and personal look at carnivorous plants as well! Temperatures in the Conservatory range from 65 degrees to 95 degrees Fahrenheit year-round, making this a truly tropical escape. The Bolz Conservatory is also home to Olbrich's Blooming Butterflies - an annual event from mid-July through mid-August. Free-flying butterflies emerge from chrysalises daily and fly around the Conservatory.

Rotary Botanical Gardens

Located in Janesville, Wisconsin, Rotary Botanical Gardens is an award winning 20-acre, non-profit botanic showcase with over 24 different garden styles and 4,000 varieties of plants. Visitors to the Gardens may enjoy guided garden tours and shopping. RBG is home to many dramatic and internationally themed gardens including the Japanese Garden, the Scottish Garden, The French Formal Garden, and the Italian and English CottageGardens, just to name a few! Visitors are invited to stroll and view our annual specialty gardens, Children’s Garden, distinctive sculptures, fountains, koi pond and extensive collections of annuals, hostas, daylilies and ferns.


Prairie State Tour*

photo of Cantigny, credit: Kyle Lambert

Sunday, July 28

8:00 AM - 6:00 PM

$149 Member Rate / $229 Non-Member

The Prairie State Tour will visit the Morton Arboretum, Cantigny, the Russel Kirt Prairie at College of DuPage, Willowbrook Wildlife Center, and Wannemaker’s as well as exploring the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County.

Morton Arboretum

Situated on the rolling Valparaiso moraine and bisected by the East Branch of the DuPage River in the Chicago suburb of Lisle, The Morton Arboretum ranks among the leading arboreta of the world. Established in 1922 by Mr. Joy Morton, founder of the Morton Salt Company and son of J. Sterling Morton (founder of Arbor Day), the Arboretum encompasses 1,700 acres, including 500 acres of plant collections and gardens; and 900 acres of woodlands, prairie, meadows, lakes and streams.
The Morton Arboretum's living collections are one of the most comprehensive collections of woody plants in North America. On the grounds are 220,000 specimens in the collections and 4,500 different types of trees, shrubs and other plants native to 40 countries, which serve as vital resources for scientific study. Plant collections are categorized by horticultural, geographic, scientific, special habitat (modified soils/sites), evaluation groups, and endangered plants.

Since the Arboretum’s inception, practical, scientific research has been a cornerstone activity, focusing on how to grow healthier trees and to champion healthy tree communities all over the world so the planet can thrive. The Arboretum’s tree breeding program has introduced disease-resistant trees including the AccoladeTM elm (Ulmus davidiana var. japonica 'Morton’), State StreetTM Miyabe’s maple (Acer miyabei 'Morton’) and the Exclamation!TM London planetree (Platanus acerifolia 'Morton Circle’).
The Arboretum’s free Plant Clinic helps homeowners, gardeners and landscape professionals throughout the Chicago region and the world grow healthy, attractive, well-chosen plants. Trained staff and volunteers are available in person, by phone, or by e-mail to help with tree and plant selection, identifying and coping with pests and diseases, and other concerns.

Conservation is a cornerstone of the Arboretum. The Arboretum’s world-renowned 100-acre Schulenberg Prairie is one of the oldest reconstructed prairies in the U.S., while the Arboretum is leading and assisting efforts to prevent extinction and secure the world’s threatened tree species through its Global Tree Conservation Program.

Forest Preserve District of DuPage County

For over 100 years the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County has strived to protect and improve the county's natural areas while providing high-quality educational and recreational experiences for the people who call DuPage home. Their mission is "to acquire and hold lands containing forests, prairies, wetlands and associated plant communities or lands capable of being restored to such natural conditions for the purpose of protecting and preserving the flora, fauna and scenic beauty for the education, pleasure and recreation of its citizens." This tour will drive through and tour much of the preserve while focusing on specific areas chosen by the Preserve Staff for the PPA-AAS-NGB Attendees. One example is the Blackwell Preserve area described below:

Blackwell's gently rolling hilly terrain features oak and hickory woodlands, prairies, grasslands and wetlands that attract a variety of native wildlife, including wild turkeys, deer, bald eagles, great blue herons, coyotes, red foxes and muskrats. Blackwell's McKee Marsh, located north of Mack Road, features trails and two vernal ponds where amphibians such as the northern leopard frog breed. Bird species such as the wood duck, blue-winged teal and solitary sandpiper forage in the area. Attendees will have a guided driven tour though a variety of ecosystems and explore Blackwell's nursery (which is seldom seen by the public) of native plants and trees.


The Gardens at Cantigny are nestled among 29 acres of beautiful landscapes that showcase the life cycles of trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals in stunning displays. But the gardens are more than just a pretty face. They are an inspiration, teaching amateur and professional gardeners alike the practicality and beauty of plant species that perform well in a Midwest climate. A focus on the tour will be Cantigny's Idea Garden. The Idea Garden was designed for the amateur gardener in all of us and seeks to educate and inspire creativity. This one-acre garden includes multiple sections that change from year-to-year and season-to-season. With more than 300 varieties of vegetables, herbs, shrubs and flowers, the Idea Garden is sure to spark an interest in young and old alike. Visitors will also see Cantigny's 18,500 square foot greenhouse. You might be a bit surprised that when it was built in 1987, it was a state-of-the-art facility and is still quite modern in greenhouse comparisons. The building cycles through three seasons of annuals, perennials and cut flowers with the fourth season featuring a poinsettia crop. The nearly ½ acre structure accommodates annuals, perennials, natives, tropical and cut flowers for both the park and golf course.  A staff of three full-time and two seasonal employees as well as many volunteers, propagate and produce about ¼ million plants each year of up to 1,100 varieties!

Russel R. Kirt Prairie at College of DuPage

This 18-acre natural area consists of about six acres of marsh, a one-acre retention pond, 11 acres of reconstructed prairie and savanna planted between 1984 and 2000, and a quarter mile of display/seed production beds planted in 1997 along the southern boundary of the preserve. Over a half mile of trails, including a 1/6-mile wheelchair accessible stretch, allows easy access for nonconsumptive recreational use. Learn about the wildlife, plants, and natural processes of the prairie ecosystem as you take a journey through COD’s prairie restorations. 

Willowbrook Wildlife Center

Willowbrook Wildlife Center is a native wildlife rehabilitation facility that provides care and medical treatment to injured and orphaned wild animals. It also serves as a resource to teach DuPage County's residents about living in harmony with local wildlife. The Center is found withint Willowbrook Forest Preserve which features 47.5 acres of woodland preserve that provide a peaceful and intimate getaway. The preserve includes nature trails, a butterfly garden and outdoor native wildlife exhibit, including a sandhill crane exhibit.


Founded on the family’s dedication to the community and its people, Wannemaker’s began in 1971 and quickly became a must stop shop in the Western Suburbs.  A complete nursery, garden and gift shop, they offer annuals, perennials, tropicals, roses, vegetables and herbs, trees and shrubs, a selection of custom containers, materials for a pond or water garden. Not to mention all the bulbs, seeds, and starting supplies: everything you need for a beautiful garden. They have over 170 varieties of vivid flowers with 90% of their plants grown onsite in Illinois soil. 

 * Tours must have minimum numbers pre-registered or they are subject to cancellation.

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