Rock Garden

Rock Garden at Boerner Botanical Gardens   "We pyramid to the heights
only when we lay stone on stone according to a beautiful plan."


W.N.Thomas, D.D.

T
he Rock Garden, an intimate woodland grotto filled with native wildflowers and meandering trickles of water, is located just to the east of the bog garden. The site, originally a shallow farm gravel pit, was seen by some as an excellent place to dump fill. Alfred Boerner saw it as a Rock Garden that, when finished, would "look as though it is the result of the natural process of weathering and that no man had played a part in it."

Work on the Rock Garden started in 1934 and continued through 1941. More than 1000 tons of weathered limestone from Currie Park were assembled in pseudo-natural layers. Work was slow, pain-staking and sometimes dangerous. CCC worker William Ragio says "it was like building the pyramids. Stone slabs, many weighing several thousand pounds, were put in place on rollers and there were lots of damaged toes."

Today when you visit the Rock Garden, contemplate the effort and skill required to place these pieces in a natural pattern as you enjoy the flowers, the waterfalls and the rock formation. Then walk up to the overlook terrace of square-cut top-layer limestone rock. Here the natural Rock Garden meets the formal Shrub Mall. Go to the next garden   Rock Garden Waterfall at Boerner Botanical Gardens

Boerner Botanical Gardens
9400 Boerner Drive, Hales Corners, WI 53130
(414) 525-5600