Garden Expo Offers Spring-like Respite in February | Wisconsin Public Television

Garden Expo Offers Spring-like Respite in February

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January 26, 2016

For More Information:

Erik Ernst, publicist, 608-265-3853,

Garden Expo Offers Spring-like Respite in February

As winter settles over Wisconsin, the 23rd-annual Wisconsin Public Television Garden Expo brings a bit of spring-like warmth to the Exhibition Hall at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison Feb. 12-14. Event hours are: 2 to 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 12; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 13 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 14.

Wisconsin Public Television (WPT) hosts the community educational event and fundraiser in partnership with UW-Extension Horticulture. Proceeds support WPT’s quality programming and events that serve to enrich the Wisconsin community. Advance tickets are available now online at

This year’s event features the newest innovations in gardening and landscaping with information and advice spread among lush green plants, colorful flowers, vibrant designs of spring and the delicious bounties of home gardens and fresh delicacies from Wisconsin farms.

Visitors are invited to explore the Garden Expo Farmers' Market in the Exhibition Hall Atrium 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 14. The Farmers' Market will feature farmers, food artisans and local food retailers. Products available at this year’s market include pickles and preserves, artisan cheeses, honey, olive oil, tea, chocolate, greens, coffee, and handcrafted salami and cured meats.

More Highlights from this year’s event include:

  • 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 growing raspberries in Wisconsin, cooking from the garden, small-space gardening in containers, growing your own microgreens, fermenting hard cider at home, gardening on a budget, beekeeping and more.
  • Hands-on workshops that allow participants to take home a finished garden decoration, craft or edible creation.
  • UW-Extension Horticulture experts available to offer insight, plant identification, and tips to gardeners and landscapers of all levels.
  • The 1,600-square-foot Wisconsin Nursery and Landscapers Association (WNLA) Central Garden.
  • A Garden Expo raffle for prizes including landscape packages, equipment, decorations, tools and more.

The 2016 Garden Expo also features the following highlight events:

  • Learn From Gardening Expert Melinda Myers – Nationally known gardening expert, TV/radio host, author and columnist Melinda Myers has more than 30 years of horticulture experience. Melinda is a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine and has written more than 20 gardening books. She also hosts the nationally syndicated Melinda’s Garden Moment segments that air on more than 130 TV and radio stations throughout the U.S. Myers previously hosted seven seasons of Great Lakes Gardener on PBS. Thanks to support from the American Transmission Corporation/Grow Smart, Myers will offer two seminars at Garden Expo: “Creating a Pollinator’s Garden” 9:15 a.m. Saturday and “Small Scale Plants with Big Impact” 12:45 p.m. Sunday.
  • Meet Around the Farm Table’s Inga Witscher – Meet Inga Witscher, fourth generation organic dairy farmer and host of Around the Farm Table, the popular series on WPT. The show offers viewers an intimate look at Wisconsin’s farmers and artisan food producers. Witscher will greet visitors and distribute recipe cards during Garden Expo at the WPT booth 4-6 p.m. Friday, and 10 a.m.-noon Saturday. She will also host a stage demonstration, “From Garden to Glass: Add a Garden-Fresh Twist to Your Cocktails and Mocktails” 12:30 p.m. Saturday.
  • Garden Talk With WPR’s Larry Meiller – Here’s your chance to get all your gardening questions answered! Join Wisconsin Public Radio’s “Garden Talk” host Larry Meiller and horticulture experts Lisa Johnson and Brian Hudelson 9:30 a.m. Saturday as they talk about the coming planting season and take questions about your garden.
  • Listen to Celebrated Rural Storyteller, Gardener and Land Steward Jerry Apps - Jerry Apps will present “Wildflowers, Butterflies and Other Stories From The Land With Jerry Apps” at 2:15 p.m. Saturday. During this presentation, Apps will share stories of how he has observed, connected to and preserved nature in and around his farm in Waushara County, including his work to protect the farm’s wetlands, prairies and endangered Karner blue butterflies. The presentation will draw from two of his Wisconsin Historical Society Press books, “Old Farm: A History” and his newly-released book “Whispers and Shadows A Naturalist’s Memoir,”
  • which was the inspiration for the WPT documentary, The Land With Jerry Apps. A screening of The Land With Jerry Apps will be offered at 1 p.m. Sunday, followed by audience questions and answers, and further stories and insights from Apps about his lifelong connection to the natural world.
  • Join Award-Winning Garden Author Helen Yoest – Helen Yoest is an award-winning freelance garden writer, scout and stylist for magazines like Country GardensBetter Homes and Gardens and Martha Stewart Living. Yoest is also the author of “Gardening with Confidence: 50 Ways to Add Style for Personal Creativity,” and the newly released, “Good Berry Bad Berry: Who’s Edible, Who’s Toxic, and How to Tell the Difference.” Yoest will talk about identifying edible wild and cultivated berries, and her latest book, during presentations at 1 p.m. on Saturday and 11:30 a.m. on Sunday.
  • Learn New Gardening Techniques From Best-Selling Author Joel Karsten – Joel Karsten is the author of two best-selling books on straw bale gardening. In March 2013, The New York Times called his method “revolutionary” in a full-page feature article that helped launch Joel’s latest book, “Straw Bale Gardens.” Karsten demonstrates how to garden without weeding, heavy lifting, getting down on your hands and knees, herbicides or insecticides. He also shows how any backyard, concrete patio, rooftop or driveway can become a productive garden space. Karsten will present the seminar “Learn How to Grow a Straw Bale Garden” at 3:30 p.m. Friday, 10:30 a.m. Saturday, and 10:15 a.m. on Sunday. Karsten will also present the stage demonstrations presentation at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, 1:30 p.m. Saturday, and 1:30 p.m. Sunday.

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 $12 at the door. Three-day passes are available in advance for $16 and $17 at the door.

Advance ticket vendor outlets are located conveniently around the state in various supporting businesses. A complete list is available at Visitors also can purchase advance tickets on the Website. There is an additional charge for parking at the Alliant Energy Center.

All proceeds from Garden Expo support quality public broadcasting in Wisconsin. It is an event presented by WPT, Friends of WPT and UW-Extension Horticulture.

Garden Expo is generously supported by premier sponsors WNLA, Mini of Madison and Keleny Top Soil Inc, and associate sponsor Allen Centennial Garden.

            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.


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