2021 Garden Designs: Nielsen Children’s Garden, King Shade Garden, Jenquine Overlook Garden & More

By Janelle Fisher, Marketing & Communications Intern

Whether you visit Green Bay Botanical Garden in spring, summer or fall, our horticulturists have been working hard to make sure there will be a beautiful assortment of plants and flowers for you to marvel at.

This year, each garden space has been carefully planned to include designs inspired by events happening at the Garden as well as some personal-favorite plants of the horticulturists.

Here’s Sarah Pingel (Horticulturist) to share a bit about what he’s been working on in her garden spaces!

Q: How would you describe your garden spaces?

A (Sarah): The area near the Meyer Bridge is an in-between space with some unique, moist and shade-tolerant plants. The Gertrude B. Nielsen Children’s Garden is a sanctuary full of magic and wonder for kids of all ages. The Stumpf Hobbit House features the sustainability of an “underground” bathroom, mixed with the lore of hobbits and uniquely named and picked plants whose names add to the mystery.

hobbit house restroom in fall
The Stumpf Hobbit House in autumn.

The Daylily Bed is a collection of more than 200 daylilies, each unique in shape, coloration and size. The color palette for the Baer Perennial Garden mimic that of a sunrise to sunset respectfully from east to west across the sky, east to west throughout the beds. The Jenquine Overlook Garden is a low maintenance semi-shade prairie which pays homage to Wisconsin history. The King Shade Garden is a wonderful place to find the hosta that speaks to you. There is bound to be one that catches your eye. The Green & Gold Hosta Display Garden is home to more than 300 unique hosta varieties and 83 unique varieties of companion plants. See these spaces.

A family enjoying the Spring House Ruin in the King Shade Garden.

Q: What inspired your designs this year?

A: These garden spaces already have a pretty established theme, so those themes will still be present but with the addition of plants to reflect the Washed Ashore exhibit and the Garden’s 25th Anniversary.

Q: Do you have a favorite plant (or plants) this year? Where in the Garden will visitors be able to find it?

A: Some of my favorite plants this year include Hosta ‘Blue Angel’ Blue Angel hosta, Cercidiphyllum japonicum katsura tree, Corylus avellana ‘Red Dragon’ Red Dragon hazelnut, Anemone hupehensis ‘Prinz Heinrich’ Prince Henry Japanese windflower, Paeonia obovata woodland peony, Hemerocallis ‘Primal Scream’ Primal Scream daylily and Hosta ‘Abiqua Drinking Gourd’ Abiqua Drinking Gourd hosta. Each of these plants will be featured in one of my garden spaces.

Blue Angel hosta white and green plant
Blue Angel hosta

Q: When would be the best time to visit your garden spaces?

A: “I am a believer that there is no better time over another to see the garden. It is beautiful no matter which season you visit.”

purple plastic flower among green plants
The Nielsen Children’s Garden in late summer.

With that being said, different areas will be most interesting at different times throughout the year. The Meyer Bridge will be best enjoyed in the spring. The Nielsen Children’s Garden, Baer Perennial Garden and Stumpf Hobbit House will be at their peak during the summer. To see the daylilies, you should visit during late June or July. You won’t want to miss the Jenquine Overlook Garden during the late summer and early fall. The King Shade Garden and Green & Gold Hosta Display can be enjoyed starting in the spring all the way into the fall.

Q: What advice can you offer to someone starting a garden at home?

A: “You are at the right place. Visit the botanical garden, especially the areas that are most like your garden area at home. Ask the Horticulture Team and volunteers for suggestions and recommendations.”

Make sure you check out Sarah’s designs during your next visit to the Garden and be on the lookout for more interviews with the rest of our horticulturists!