Rotary Botanical Gardens

Welcome to Rotary Botanical Gardens

An early start on an August trip to Janesville, Wisconsin gave me and my partner the chance to visit the Rotary Botanical Gardens prior to my presenting a Lights of the Lakes program at Cedar Crest, a Janesville retirement community. The weather was perfect, affording me the chance to document our visit in pictures.

Rotary Botanical Gardens has a fascinating history, as told in this Wikipedia excerpt:

Rotary Botanical Gardens was established in 1988 by Janesville Rotary Clubs on the grounds of a defunct sand and gravel quarry. Owned by the city, the site was filled with debris and equipment. The city leased the site to the Rotarians, who began a multi-year cleanup project. After tons of rubbish were removed, gardens, walkways, benches, and gazebos were added. A ramshackle building on the property was rehabilitated and turned into a visitors’ and environmental center. In 2002, meeting rooms, classrooms, and a gift shop were added and an addition to the Rath Environmental Center was completed in 2005.

Here are a few photos to set the stage for what’s to come.

The Gardens

Rotary Botanical Gardens is a wonderful destination for any nature photographer. It’s also a calming, relaxing place to visit for anyone seeking relief from the stresses of ordinary life.

The following description from Wikipedia provides an overview:

The 20-acre site contains a number of themed gardens, including Japanese, Scottish, French formal, Italian, and English cottage gardens. The Japanese garden borders a pond that is spanned by a red Japanese-styled bridge. A sunken garden is surrounded by limestone walls and perennial plantings. Its entrance is a Tudor-style stone arch that was once the entrance to the Parker Pen Company’s world headquarters formerly located in Janesville. There are also less formal gardens, such as a fern and moss garden, and shade, prairie, and woodland gardens.

Flowers & Plants

 The flowers and ornamental plants are the stars of the show at Rotary Botanical Gardens. While a late-summer visit isn’t optimal for seeing the glory of the flowers here, several species were still strutting their stuff on this August morning.


Dozens of wooden benches are scattered throughout the gardens. Each of them has an inspirational quotation or two engraved upon it. Here are the ones that found their way into my camera’s viewfinder.


1 Comment

  • Pauline Beck

    What beautiful scenes! I was so tired tonight (pulled pails of weeds in my own garden), and it was relaxing to view these images. I read the neat sayings on each of those benches. Words, so true.

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