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“Hidden Campus Gem”

Allen Centennial Gardens
Ranked #16 of 96 things to do in Madison
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Located on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, these public gardens serve as outdoor classrooms in the study and research of plant identification, ecology and site management techniques in horticulture.
Madison, Wisconsin, United States
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Hidden Campus Gem”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 November 2013

While going through the process of choosing a college to attend, I toured and explored the Madison campus. It wasn't until I lived in a dorm right by the gardens last year that I discovered them. Always beautiful and well cared for, they are the perfect place to spend several hours or even 15 minutes of your time. (I find it very difficult to only stay for 15 minutes though!) The diversity of plants and types of gardens are wonderful! I live on the complete opposite side of campus now, but I still take the time to go visit the gardens every so often.

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Tetrapode
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
joedragyn, Manager at Allen Centennial Gardens, responded to this review, 11 November 2013
We love our "regulars"! Thanks for posting images and for the kind comments. We work very hard to provide this lovely and educational setting with no financial assistance from state or University. 100% of all operational expenditures including salary and benefits are self-funded. So we are pretty proud to offer the site absolutely free every day of the year!
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86 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Madison, Wisconsin
1 review
“Beautiful year round”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 November 2013

We do our best to stop here during each season, then walk to Babcock hall for ice cream. While it isn't as big as other gardens, it has a gorgeous variety of plants, and if they are our gardening they are all friendly and willing to answer questions. I love walking around with my son and exploring the colors of the different seasons.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank Shanda F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
joedragyn, Manager at Allen Centennial Gardens, responded to this review, 11 November 2013
Thanks for the kind comments! We try very hard to meet our goals of our mission statement to be an outdoor classroom. If anyone ever has a question that isn't answered, always feel free to contact me via email, which you can find on our web site. Our goal is to assist you with all of your gardening questions and needs!
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Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
97 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Compact Gardens on Campus”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 October 2013

My wife and I strolled a few minutes through this very compact botanical garden. Many interesting species but, since it was the fall season, not a lot of color. These gardens are in a pretty part of the campus.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank donschaffer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
joedragyn, Manager at Allen Centennial Gardens, responded to this review, 31 October 2013
PLEASE visit us in season and you will see color galore! You came just as we have successfully put the Gardens to bed for the winter, which obviously eliminates much of the color. The bare beds you saw are filled with thousands of bulbs for glorious spring color which is then followed by riotous seasonal plantings. You would be hard pressed to find more color in any northern Midwest garden this time of year, we hope you still enjoyed the remaining perennials, trees & shrubs and garden structure. Like most public gardens in the northern Midwest, the best time for COLOR is May through mid-October. Next year's theme 25: Functional, Fashionable, Fabulous & Fun will jazz us up even more as we add even more displays to help celebrate our 25th anniversary.
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Dane
Level Contributor
25 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Even a short visit is well worthwhile to the Allen Gardens”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 October 2013 credit card Amex Cardmember Review

Whether you have several hours or just 15 minutes a stop at the Allen Centennial Gardens will leave you revived and refreshed. All year round there are elements of shapes, colors, architectural features and fabulous groupings of plants, ornamental, flowering, scented, edible and meditative spaces in a small acreage make every visit interesting. They change and refresh the garden with every season so it's a great visit all year round.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank lah608
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
joedragyn, Manager at Allen Centennial Gardens, responded to this review, 23 October 2013
Thank you so much for your kind words about the Gardens. We agree with you, we are proud that we are easily negotiated being only 2.5 acres - we think if you only have 15 minutes you will want to return and see what you missed! I try to use every opportunity to keep emphasizing this: we are not perfect and don't do everything perfectly. But we are 100% operationally self-funded with no assistance from the University or state including the director's salary and benefits, we operate off a very slim budget, we have limited staff and funds and yet we offer this at no fee whatsoever to anyone who wants to enjoy it 365 days a year! We think that's a pretty big accomplishment! And it can only happen with the help of dedicated volunteers from the community, student interns and students performing service learning. Think what we could do with money and staff! Thanks again and come back and see us - we have lots planned for our 25th anniversary in 2014.
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wisconsin
Level Contributor
151 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“Lovely setting”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 August 2013

We walked around this small garden, and were surprised at how big it actually is. There are different sections to the garden, and a lovely old home in the midst. The garden can be rented for weddings, we think.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank gogirlWisconsin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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