New Season of WPT's "The Wisconsin Gardener" Begins April 25

April 15, 2013

For More Information:
Erik Ernst, WPT publicist, 608-265-3853, erik.ernst@wpt.org
Christine Sloan-Miller, WPT executive producer, 608-263-7124, christine.sloan-miller@wpt.org

 The all-new season of The Wisconsin Gardener on Wisconsin Public Television (WPT) celebrates the career of producer/host Shelley Ryan with four all-new episodes that visit the state’s most beautiful gardens and provide helpful gardening tips. The season premieres 7 p.m. Thursday, April 25 with “Japanese Gardening” and runs for four consecutive weeks.

After 21 years as host and producer of WPT’s popular The Wisconsin Gardener series, Ryan retired at the end of production of the new season.

Since the series premiere in 1992, Ryan and her knowledgeable guests — UW-Extension agents, local greenhouse owners and avid gardeners throughout the state — have been a valuable resource for WPT viewers, presenting gardening and landscaping tips specific to Wisconsin.

“It is not a decision I make happily or lightly,” says Ryan. “Last year I learned that my breast cancer had returned and spread to my bones. A year later, the good news is that it’s still bone cancer only with no major organ involvement. However, my treatment this last summer and fall have really taken a toll on me, and I need to focus on my health.”

 In “Japanese Gardening,” Ryan and her guests explore the Anderson Japanese Gardens in Rockford and learn the arts of Japanese moss gardening and flower arranging. 

 “The Eyes Have It” airs 7 p.m. Thursday, May 2. Ryan visits the world’s largest potato gene bank in Sturgeon Bay where researchers are working to create frost-resistant potato crops and exploring possible ways that certain varieties could be used in the fight against breast cancer. Ryan also visits the very special gardens at Agrace Hospice Care in Madison and learns new potato recipes from Milwaukee’s La Merenda Restaurant.

“Problem Solvers” airs 7 p.m. Thursday, May 9. Ryan and her guests learn how to cultivate a beautiful garden on a shady property, uncover the lasting effects of drought, and discover the beautiful and hardy moss rose.

“Climate Change for Gardeners” airs 7 p.m. Thursday, May 16. Ryan talks to University of Wisconsin experts about the role changing climates in Wisconsin are having on altered growing  zones, insects and weeds.

The Wisconsin Gardener website at wpt.org/garden features full episodes of the program from this and past seasons, along with a full spectrum of lasting resources for gardeners across Wisconsin.

Funding for The Wisconsin Gardener is provided, in part, by the Wisconsin Master Gardener Association.

WPT is a service of the Educational Communications Board and University of Wisconsin-Extension.

Wisconsin Public Television is a place to grow through learning on WHA-TV/Madison, WPNE-TV/Green Bay, WHRM-TV/Wausau, WLEF-TV/Park Falls, WHLA-TV/La Crosse and WHWC-TV/Menomonie-Eau Claire.