Tuesday, 1 of September of 2015

Welcome to Rotary Botanical Gardens

Rotary Botanical Gardens (RBG) in Janesville, Wisconsin is an award winning, 20-acre non-profit botanic garden; home to many dramatic and themed gardens. On-site are also a visitor center, gift shop, and a beautiful facility that may be rented for wedding receptions, reunions, meetings, etc.


Virtual Tour: AAS Winners

Rotary Botanical Gardens has grown hundreds of All America Selection winners over the years.  Our latest virtual tour video highlights some of the favorites at the Gardens.  By no means is this meant to be an all inclusive summary of what has been grown at the Gardens– there have been so many great ones!!!

For more information:


Virtual Tour: The Japanese Garden

Volunteer Tour Guide, Judy Jones, highlights a few of her favorite aspects of the Japanese Garden.


Virtual Tour: The Sunken Garden and More

Audio tour (and political commentary) by Dave B., volunteer tour guide.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Virtual Tour: Italian and French Formal Gardens Overview

Audio tour of the Italian and French Formal Gardens of Rotary Botanical Gardens by volunteer tour guide, Chuck Smith.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

People have had gardens since the time long past when they began to settle in groups and ceased being nomadic hunter-gatherers. These gardens were the beginnings of present-day agriculture and were needed for survival. 

 Formal gardens for pleasure and enjoyment date from the 1500’s when people of wealth and power had the means to create them. 

Any formal garden has three features in common: A geometrical layout, a water feature, and statuary. Our Formal Gardens are laid out along an axis from the Cottage Garden to the fountain in the pond. 

Our Italian Garden is the most formal of the gardens here at Rotary Botanical Gardens.  The  partiered beds are  hedged in boxwood and each end is a mirror image of the opposite. One end is planted with perennials and the other with annuals. The four statues represent the four seasons and the Koi pond serves as a water feature.  Koi originated in Japan; the name derives from a Japanese expression for “Swimming Flowers”. They can live quite a long time, as much as 250 years. 

Our French Garden, named because of the many roses grown here and the association of  roses with things French and with perfume. (In 1867,William H. Tallman, a local pharmacist, entered some of his perfumes in an International Exposition in Paris and was awarded a medal!) The circular beds, which give the garden it’s geometric shape,  contain specimens of hardy shrub roses that thrive with minimal care.

There are also some examples of the hybrid tea roses and behind the pergola are examples of the floribunda-type rose. This area forms a perfect setting for a formal wedding with the bride and her attendants standing under the pergola with the fountain in the back-ground and guests seated on the lawn. 

In addition, there is an Herb Garden placed along the arbor vitae hedge to the south of the Italian Garden. This garden is tended by the Janesville Herb Society and has separate beds for aromatic, medicinal and culinary herbs.