Tag Archives: Garden Expo

Get growing with WPT!

The snow is melting after a snowy Wisconsin winter, and we know you’ve been itching to dig!

For years, Wisconsin Public Television has captured lectures from our Garden & Landscape Expo to enjoy throughout the year on University Place. Just in time for spring, we’re sharing some of our favorites that we hope will take your garden – big or small – to new heights.

Best of all, you can stream these episodes on your digital or mobile devices wherever and whenever you like: in the living room, at the kitchen table, from your porch or even in the garden itself!

Continue reading Get growing with WPT!

What We Watch: Garden expert Melinda Myers

It might feel like the doldrums of winter, but spring is just around the corner. Wisconsin Public Television’s Garden & Landscape Expo is ready to inspire you.

Join us Friday through Sunday, Feb. 8-10, at the Exhibition Hall of the Alliant Energy Center in Madison.

Out of the many experts, vendors and garden lovers you’ll meet at the Expo, Melinda Myers is a longtime favorite – and, naturally, a lover of PBS programs. She sat down to share some of her favorites with us.

Read on to learn what inspires her – and how she uses it!


Continue reading What We Watch: Garden expert Melinda Myers

Garden Expo: Dan Tyler’s Search for Abundance

“This is a great way to spend a cold February day. It has us all looking forward. Ken Burns called it ‘the fond expectancy of spring.’” – Dan Tyler, Garden Expo Volunteer and Speaker


Each year, the Garden Expo brings thousands of people in from the cold to share their love of gardening. We wouldn’t be able to organize this event without the help of dedicated volunteers, folks who are passionate about their experiences and willing to share with others.

I sat down with Dan Tyler, an avid gardener and Madison resident, to talk about his personal experiences and his presentation on maintaining small-scale eco-yards.

DanTylerWhat inspired you to start presenting at Garden Expo?
I’ve come to the Garden Expo for years. I enjoy getting a lot of ideas and sometimes pick up a little equipment, but I especially love the opportunity to be on the stage.

I’m a volunteer; I’m not sponsored by anyone or selling any product, but it’s important to me to tell my story. I’m a younger homeowner, and I think it’s part of the American dream to own some land of your own. I always looked forward to that, and it became an enjoyable journey from a quarter-acre of lawn to a quarter-acre of abundance.

You use the word abundance a lot; can you talk more about that idea?
The notion of abundance – and I’m not talking about higher production rate – is the notion that the earth gives so much when you tend to its ecosystem, even on a small scale. Even a small yard can do a lot for you.

A lot of people today, we don’t have a lot of want in our life. We have so much going for us. Some people discover abundance out of need, but the more I study or contemplate it, I see that it’s about spending time on projects that are meaningful. I’m here at Garden Expo because I like to share that with people. Continue reading Garden Expo: Dan Tyler’s Search for Abundance

Tired of winter? Attend Garden Expo!

Bitter cold? Check. Blowing snow? Check.

All right. I don’t know about you, but I am more than ready for spring. Luckily, we are just two weeks away from WPT’s annual indoor taste of spring-like atmosphere – Garden Expo!

We hope you’ll join us for one, two or three days of fun in Madison. There’s lots of new stuff this year, including a new Farmers’ Market on Sunday, Feb. 15. Find all of the full details, event highlights and more below. Make sure you grab the money-saving coupon for Friday admission. And, when you come to Garden Expo, stop by the WPT booth to say hello!

Wisconsin Public Television presents
Garden Expo
Feb.  13-14-15, 2015
Exhibition Hall at the Alliant Energy Center, Madison

Click here to learn more and to find advance ticket vendor locations!

Make plans now to attend this year’s event! All proceeds support WPT.

This year’s Expo features:

Hundreds of exhibitor booths selling seeds, plants, books, tools, lawn equipment and other exciting merchandise for gardens and yards of all sizes.

More than 140 free educational seminars and demonstrations on topics such as straw bale gardening, fruit tree grafting, growing sweet potatoes in Wisconsin, seed saving, vermicomposting, and brewing kombucha.

Meet and learn from Around the Farm Table host Inga Witscher, nationally-known gardening expert Melinda Myers, author Jerry Apps and Wisconsin Public Radio’s Larry Meiller.

UW-Extension horticulture experts will be available to offer insight, plant identification and tips to gardeners and amateur landscapers of all levels.

A 1,600-square-foot Wisconsin Nursery and Landscape Association (WNLA) Central Garden.

Nonprofit groups specializing in mulching various plant species, rain gardens, rock gardens, conservation efforts and more will have booths to share their information.

An exciting Garden Expo raffle for prizes including landscape packages, equipment, decorations, tools and more. The raffle ticket proceeds support WPT programming.

Single-day tickets for Garden Expo cost $7 in advance and $8 at the door. Children 12 and under are admitted free. Two-day passes are available for $11 in advance and three-day passes are $16 in advance. Multi-day passes are an additional $1 at the door.

Bonus savings! Click here to find and print an online coupon for a $2 admission discount at the door on Friday!

Find full event information and a list of advance ticket vendors around the state at wigardenexpo.com. There, you can also find information about all of Garden Expo’s educational offerings, hands-on workshop registration and details on the Garden Expo raffle and available prizes.

New This Year!
Attend Garden Expo’s Inaugural Farmers’ Market Sunday, Feb. 15!

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Atrium of the Exhibition Hall at the Alliant Energy Center
The farmers’ market will feature farmers, food artisans, and local food retailers.
Click here to learn more and to find a list of confirmed vendors.

WPT Volunteers Honored by United Way

We’re pleased to share that earlier this week, Wisconsin Public Television volunteer Andrew Silver received a Youth Service Award at United Way’s 2014 Community Volunteer Awards ceremony. Andrew, who volunteers at several WPT events and has served WPT for nearly 10 years, received one of 13 awards presented by United Way.

Andrew Silver and Danielle Silver at the United Way Community Volunteer Awards ceremony

Andrew began volunteering with WPT at the age of 8 when his mother, Danielle, a long-time volunteer herself, began Andrew’s volunteering habit by bringing him to help as a bid runner during the annual WPT Auction.

As Andrew grew up his volunteer roles with WPT expanded greatly. When he turned 16, Andrew began volunteering at all of our volunteer events. As a WPT Auction volunteer Andrew has held the following roles: bid runner, café server, bid sorter, phone bank, pickup and pay cashier, and board captain. He has also helped at Garden Expo, Quilt Expo and has answered phones as part of our Membership Drive phone bank.

Now, as a 17-year-old high school student with a part-time job, Andrew still makes time for volunteering and helps recruit his friends when we are in need of additional people. When volunteering he is very conscience of making new volunteers feel welcome and helping them feel comfortable in their new volunteer role.

In his years of volunteering with WPT Andrew has given over 300 hours of his time. We are beyond grateful to Andrew for the variety of jobs he has undertaken and his willingness to put in long hours to support the mission of WPT.

To find out how you can join Andrew and become a Wisconsin Public Television volunteer, go to wpt.org/volunteer. Our upcoming volunteer events include the August Membership Drive (Aug. 9-18) and our Quilt Expo (Sept. 3-6).

Wisconsin Public Television Remembers Shelley Ryan

Wisconsin Public Television is saddened by the death of Shelley Ryan, longtime host and producer of The Wisconsin Gardener.

During her 21 years hosting the beloved gardening how-to show, Ryan inspired thousands of gardeners across the state to express their creativity in their own homes, gardens, lawns and landscapes. Ryan passed away Thursday after a long battle with cancer. She is survived by her husband, Dennis Ryan, and their son, Kably.

With her always-friendly demeanor, good humor and inquisitive nature, Shelley became a television mentor for so many people over the course of two decades on The Wisconsin Gardener – encouraging them to get their hands dirty and explore innovative new ideas in their gardens. She created the show after becoming a Master Gardener through the University of Wisconsin-Extension and realizing that Wisconsin’s gardeners could benefit from a program focused on the attributes of horticulture that are specific to our state.

“Through her work on television and in the community, Shelley Ryan became a friend to everyone with a green thumb and those of us who hoped we could develop one,” WPT Director of Television James Steinbach said. “With The Wisconsin Gardener, Shelley created and cultivated a program that taught us all something new in every segment and motivated gardeners new and old to become better stewards of all of our natural spaces. I learned so much by working closely with Shelley for the past two decades. All of us at Wisconsin Public Television, and all of her viewers, will miss her enthusiasm, passion, vast knowledge and – more than anything – friendship.”

As Shelley traveled the state to explore Wisconsin’s most beautiful places, she made lasting connections with professional and amateur horticulturists, gardeners, landscapers and outdoor educators that she shared as important resources with her audiences.

Early in the television show’s run, providing in-person access to those resources would inspire the creation of Wisconsin Public Television’s Garden Expo – an event that now draws nearly 20,000 gardeners to Madison each February to uncover the latest in gardening techniques, tips and information.

Shelley retired from her role as host of The Wisconsin Gardener in 2013 after completing work on the show’s 21st season. At the time she shared news with her fans that her cancer had returned.

“It is not a decision I make happily or lightly,” Shelley said at the time. “Last year I learned that my breast cancer had returned and spread to my bones. My treatment this last summer and fall have really taken a toll on me, and I need to focus on my health.”

Throughout her battle with cancer, Shelley shared her experiences with fans in hopes of encouraging and inspiring others who were facing similar struggles. She remained positive and good-humored throughout the past few years, focusing her attention on family, friends and the beautiful gardens she continued to cultivate around her home in Blue Mounds.

Shelley’s work on The Wisconsin Gardener lives on in the hundreds of hours of television that she created, recipes she shared and informational resources she mined – much of which is available online as a lasting resource that is still used regularly by gardeners across the state.

Join us at Garden Expo

Garden Expo 2013Wisconsin Public Television’s 19th annual Garden Expo is this weekend in Madison. This year, we’re opening the doors early, so there’s even more time to start planning for next seasons Gardens, Lawns and Landscapes.

Friday 3 – 9 p.m.  Get $2 off Friday admission
Saturday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sunday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Tickets start at $7 in advance and can be purchased at select retail outlets or for $8 at the door. All proceeds support Wisconsin Public Television programs and outreach efforts.

Enjoy highlights from the 2012 Garden Expo below. Find full details at wigardenexpo.com.

It's Garden Expo Weekend!

Sure, it’s cold outside. But this weekend it is time to start thinking about Spring! Come on out to the 19th annual Garden Expo at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison. You will find the latest in lawns, gardens and landscapes, uncover new tips and tricks and get a step up on your gardening for the year. And, you’ll be supporting WPT programs along the way! Garden Expo runs 4-9 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.

Here’s a few highlights of this year’s event. Find full details at wigardenexpo.com (including a coupon to save $1 off of admission Friday or Sunday!) Watch a video of previous Garden Expo highlights at the bottom of this post. Hope to see you there!

Highlights from this year’s event include:
• The 1,200 square-foot Wisconsin Landscape Contractors Association (WLCA) Central Garden.
• Hundreds of exhibitor booths selling seeds, plants, books, tools, lawn equipment and other exciting merchandise for gardens and yards of all sizes, along with nonprofit groups specializing in mulching, various plant species, rain gardens, rock gardens, conservation efforts and more.
• More than 100 free educational seminars and demonstrations on topics including lawns, gardens, landscape design and more.
• Hands-on workshops that allow gardeners to take home a finished garden decoration, craft or other project.
• A chance to meet Master Gardener Shelley Ryan, producer and host of WPT’s The Wisconsin Gardener.
• UW-Extension horticulture experts will be available to offer insight, plant identification, and tips to gardeners and amateur landscapers of all levels.
• An exciting Garden Expo raffle for prizes including landscape packages, equipment, decorations, tools and more.
The 2012 Garden Expo also features a number of exciting new events, including:
• The Wisconsin Gardener 20th Anniversary – Producer/Host Shelley Ryan celebrates 20 years of The Wisconsin Gardener. Ryan will host a commemorative panel session at 10 a.m. Saturday that will include Larry Meiller, host of Wisconsin Public Radio’s Garden Talk and several special guests who have been part of The Wisconsin Gardener during the first two decades.
• Wisconsin Foodie – Arthur Ircink and Kyle Cherek, producer and host of Wisconsin Foodie will greet visitors at the WPT booth from 9-11 a.m. Saturday, and will host two stage demonstrations at noon and 1 p.m. The Emmy-nominated television series is dedicated to discovering the stories behind the food we eat.
• Chickens! – Susan Troller, author of CLUCK: From Jungle Fowl to City Chicks, talks about the pleasures and pitfalls of gardening with chickens and introduces participants to a few of her favorite feathered friends at 1 p.m. Sunday. The discussion will be followed by a screening of the documentary Mad City Chickens and a discussion with the filmmakers.
• Garden to Table Dinner – WPT’s inaugural Garden to Table Dinner will be served on Saturday evening at Garden Expo. The fundraising event will feature a multi-course dinner made with local, farm-fresh ingredients. Arthur Ircink and Kyle Cherek, producer and host of Wisconsin Foodie will be on hand for an evening that will also include live music from the unique classical ensemble, Kat Trio. Tickets are $50 each and can be purchased at wigardenexpo.com.