Art in the Gardens

Spikes and Yellow Fountain, Olbrich Gardens, Madison Wisconsin

Spikes and Yellow Fountain ©2012 Bo Mackison

I sit in my garden, gazing upon a beauty that cannot gaze upon itself.  And I find sufficient purpose for my day.  ~Robert Brault

Some gardens are just meant for sitting. There are nooks and crannies, places to sit and watch what goes on in a garden. One of my favorite benches is tucked in a corner of the botanical gardens in Madison. I sit there, take a few photographs, listen to the fountain waters trickle over this yellow pottery container and drip upon the pebbles, and do a little people watching, too.

Inflatable Sculptures in Olbrich Gardens

Inflatable Sculpture © 2012 Bo Mackison

Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help.
  ~ May Sarton

Placed in half hidden places in Olbrich Gardens, there are several new sculptures by  Sturgeon Bay (Wisconsin) artist, Robert Anderson. He constructs large-scale sculptures out of metals and fills them with compressed air so that they expand.

Expanding Sculpture, Olbrich Gardens, Madison Wisconsin

Expanding Sculpture at Olbrich ©2012 Bo Mackison

Beauty is the adjustment of all parts proportionately so that one cannot add or subtract or change without impairing the harmony of the whole.
~ Leon B. Alberti

Every time I visit the gardens, the sculptures look a little different. I love this aluminum sculpture constructed of triangles. Half hidden in one of the natural gardens, it reminds me of a shiny serpent wending its way through tall grasses.


Bo Mackison is a photographer and the owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC. Walking (and sitting) in the area gardens is one of Bo’s daily pleasures.

About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.


  1. Joanne Keevers says:

    They are very unusual sculptures Bo. I was going to say that the last photo reminded me of some kind of large lizard, but you beat me to it by calling it a serpent!

  2. Wonderful color and texture

  3. Oooh! That last one reminds me of dragon scales. 🙂

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