Janesville’s Rotary Botanical Gardens/Rockford’s Anderson Japanese Gardens Field Trip

  • September 14, 2016
  • 7:45 AM - 6:10 PM
  • Janesville, Rockford
  • 0


  • To add guest, click on the "ADD GUEST" button at the bottom of the screen, then enter your guest information on the Guest Registration Form. Note: The guest fee is $65.00. The total registration fee for the member and guest is $115.

Guest fee: $65

Registration Fee includes Badger Bus travel w/Wi-Fi, garden admissions and docent tours. Lunch is on your own.

Registration Deadline: September 7
Note: If you cancel after this date, there will be no refund.
Registration is closed

Join us for a tour of two of the most outstanding gardens in southern Wisconsin/northern Illinois.

Recognized as one of the best (and least known) gardens in the Midwest by the American Horticultural Society, Janesville’s Rotary Botanical Gardens http://www.rotarybotanicalgardens.org/ is a non-profit horticultural showcase located on 20 acres close to downtown Janesville.  The many types of gardens include a sunken garden, formal French rose garden, Japanese garden, fern and moss garden, alpine garden, shade garden and a demonstration garden.  The garden is particularly noted for the thousands of annuals on display and we will be visiting at a prime time to view them. 

Every year the Rotary Gardens showcase different themes and for 2016, we will be seeing the following:

  • over 100 varieties of All-American selection winners in the entrance and terrace gardens
  • a hummingbird haven featuring over 100 varieties of nectar-filled plants known to attract hummingbirds 
  • an heirloom garden featuring over 100 varieties of herbs and vegetables that were used prior to 1900 
  • a caladium garden featuring over 50 varieties of caladiums
  • a giant aquarium garden featuring live plants coming out of a sandy “sea floor”.  This fun structure looks like a large aquarium with blue sides and two access doors to allow visitors to enter this make-believe, underwater display.

You will have time to go shopping in the garden’s gift shop.


After the morning tour, we will board the bus to the Citrus Cafe in downtown Janesville. The Citrus Cafe is ranked number 1 of the 122 restaurants in Janesville on Tripadvisor. A private room will be reserved for us and you can order a la carte off the menu (NOTE: LUNCH IS NOT INCLUDED IN THE TRIP PRICE; EACH PERSON WILL ORDER AND PAY SEPARATELY). View the menu options at http://citruscafe208.com/menus.html.

If you would prefer to bring a sack lunch, there are benches available around the adjacent public library (Hedberg Public Library).


After lunch we will board the bus for the 45 minute trip to the Anderson Japanese Gardens in Rockford, Illinois.  

The Anderson Japanese Gardens http://www.andersongardens.org/ began in 1978, when Rockford businessman John Anderson was inspired by a visit to the Portland Japanese Garden in Oregon. With the ongoing assistance of renowned Master Craftsman and designer Hoichi Kurisu, the Andersons’ swampy backyard along Rockford’s Spring Creek was transformed into a Japanese-style landscape. From groundbreaking to today, the placement of every rock, alignment of every tree, and layout of all paths has been made with careful consideration by Mr. Kurisu. In 1998, John and Linda Anderson donated the Gardens as a supported organization to the Rockford Rotary Charitable Association. It now exists as a not-for-profit entity and continues to grow and change to this day.

The gardens include several waterfalls and ponds, Spring Creek, rock formations, a tea house and a guest house built by Masahiro Hamada in 1986.  The Garden of Reflection, which includes a pond filled with koi and other colorful fish, was added in 1999.

In 2004 Sukiya Living, the Journal of Japanese Gardening rated Anderson Gardens the top Japanese Garden in the United States (see http://www.rothteien.com/topics/na-survey.htm).  In Tripadvisor the Anderson Japanese Gardens is rated the number 1 of 29 things to do in Rockford. 

+   +   +

Please Note: For the Janesville Rotary Gardens, most of the paths are level and are wheelchair and stroller accessible.  See http://www.rotarybotanicalgardens.org/wp-content/uploads/rgb-accessibility-map-2014.pdf for the pathway accessibility map.

For the Anderson Japanese Gardens, the paths throughout the gardens are mostly covered with crushed limestone and are easily navigated by strollers and wheelchairs.  However, though you are able to view all areas of the Anderson Gardens from the paths, some areas have steps or uneven terrain and are not accessible except on foot.  

We will be outdoors, so please dress accordingly.  Bring a hat and comfortable shoes.  A day bag with water and snacks, as well as your camera, is advised.  For both gardens, docents will break our group into small groups for the tour. If you get tired or just want a break, there are many benches to sit and read.  Do not feel you have to keep up with the tours.

Cost includes Badger Bus Travel w/Wi-Fi access and admission to both botanical gardens (LUNCH IS NOT INCLUDED; YOU CAN ORDER A LA CARTE OFF THE MENU AT THE CITRUS CAFÉ AND PAY SEPARATELY)


Bear in mind that our boarding bus route is like Madison Metro or any other municipal bus service. Please arrive early at your boarding stop so you don’t miss the bus. When everyone is aboard and seated, we leave. If everyone does that, we will all leave on time to begin our adventure.

– Don’t be late. We can wait just 5 minutes at any one location.

– Pack water bottles and snacks for sustenance on the journey.

Leave Madison

7:45 AM     Bus arrives at Oakwood Village to begin boarding.

8:10 AM     Bus arrives at Capitol Lakes for loading.

8:25 AM     Bus arrives at East Towne Shopko for loading.

8:35 AM     Bus departs for Janesville (or sooner if everyone is aboard)

In Janesville

9:30 AM     Arrive at Rotary Botanical Gardens

11:45 AM   Board bus to Citrus Cafe

1:15 PM     Depart Citrus Cafe for Rockford

In Rockford

2:00 PM     Arrive Anderson Japanese Gardens

4:00  PM    Depart for Madison

Arrive Madison

5:15 PM     East Towne Shopko

5:45  PM    Capitol Lakes

6:10 PM     Oakwood Village

Accessibility Policy: You must be able to board and exit the bus using its stairs. If you need assistance, we recommend that you bring a friend to give you a hand.     

Non-Member Policy:   Members must register their guests. Each PLATO member is entitled to bring one non-member guest per bus trip. Non-member guests pay an additional $15.00 registration fee. PLATO Membership is $60.00/year.

Please Note:
Members may bring more than one guest near the registration deadline and if space is available. Check with trip organizer.


For further information, contact Bob Shaw, robert.e.shaw@gmail.com and 608-255-3486.

Mail in Registration Forms* 

PLATO Members

UWRA Members

*payment and mailing instructions are on the form


In partnership with


Please Help

Make a onetime or recurring,
tax deductible contribution.

For more info about PLATO contact:

PLATO Office Operations, ATTN: Edie or Louise
c/o UW-Madison Continuing Studies
21 N. Park St, 7th Floor, Madison, WI 53715

Email: info@platomadison.org
Phone: 608-262-5823
Fax: 608-265-4555

PLATO is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization

Website by 34fiveSolutions.com

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software