8 Things to check out for respite from winter at 20th Garden Expo in Madison

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Shelly Birkelo
Saturday, January 19, 2013

— It's January. It's cold. The landscape is a bland palette of white, brown and gray.

It's the time of year gardeners crave a fix of green.

The Garden Expo in Madison promises to deliver a hint of spring with gardening innovations, information and advice among lush plants, colorful flowers and vibrant designs, said Kristin Korevec, special events manager for Wisconsin Public Television.

Proceeds from the event Friday, Feb. 8, through Sunday, Feb. 10, support Wisconsin Public Television.

More than a dozen Janesville area businesses and experts will be among those offering exhibits and demonstrations.

Here is a list of eight things Korevec said not to miss while at the Garden Expo, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary:

1. More than 150 free educational seminars and demonstrations. The hour-long seminars and 45-minute demonstrations focus on gardening, landscaping and lawn care.

Presenters will be experts in their fields.

New topics include frugal gardens, home compost tea brewing, dealing with drought, backyard chicken coops and lawn care without pesticides, she said.

“So with the cost of admission you can attend educational sessions all day,” Korevec said.

2. Hands-on workshops. These cost between $30 and $50, and participants work on projects that they can take home.

Projects include garden jewelry, herbal vinegars and flavored oils.

“So not only are you taking home bottles of that, you're learning how to do it at home,” Korevec said. 3. A 1,200-square-foot central garden. Wisconsin Landscape Contractors Association members will build the garden display of flowers and greenery in the middle of the show.

“It's one of the great parts of the Garden Expo,” Korevec said.

4. Master Gardener Shelley Ryan, who is preparing her retirement season as producer/host of The Wisconsin Gardener. She will be available in the Wisconsin Public Television booths from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday, 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday.

“The whole concept of the Garden Expo started with Shelley and her show,” Korevec said.

Arthur Ircink and Kyle Cherek, producers and hosts of Wisconsin Foodie, will make 9 a.m. appearances Saturday at the Wisconsin Public Television booth, she said.

5. Discussions of innovative garden techniques at the UW Extension booth.

Experts on everything from insects to plant diseases will be answering gardening questions and offering information about enrolling in the Master Gardener program, Korevec said.

“Stopping at the UW Extension booth is one of the most valuable parts of the show and sometimes overlooked. They're the source for unbiased university researched-based information,” Korevec said.

6. The latest in garden and landscaping equipment and services. About 350 exhibitors will include garden centers, nurseries, artists who specialize in gardening themes, garden clubs and nonprofit plant societies.

“So, if you're looking to do a big landscaping project, there will be landscapers, landscape architects and arborists plus a number of book publishers that have material related to gardens. So, I think there's something for everyone at the expo if they're looking for a lawn mower or information on how to treat a certain disease,” Korevec said.

7. Opportunities to buy seeds, tools and the newest in gardening equipment, tools and services.

“If you're just starting to think about spring, and the seed catalogs are starting to arrive in the mail, it's time to start planning, getting ready and excited for the gardening season to begin,'' Korevec said.

8. Plant a Row for the Hungry. Visitors to the Wisconsin Public Television booth can participate in this new service project. Seed packets will be distributed, and Garden Expo attendees will be encouraged to plant an extra row of produce and donate their surplus to local food banks, soup kitchens and service organizations.

Staff from Community Action Coalition for South Central Wisconsin will be present to answer questions and provide resources for donating produce.


Janesville area organizations that will be represented at the Garden Expo in Madison include: Agrecol, Evansville Blackhawk Technical College Formecology, Evansville K&W Greenery, Janesville Kris Kraft, East Troy Rotary Botanical Gardens, Janesville Tallgrass Restoration, Milton Windows to the Garden, Lake Geneva Wisconsin Arborist Association Hanover Sod Farm, Hanover Badger Custom Curb, Janesville Blain's Farm & Fleet, Janesville T&D Builders, Janesville Dvorak Landscape Supply, Janesville

Local experts will give free seminars and demonstrations at the Garden Expo in Madison:

Friday, Feb. 8

3:15 p.m.—Backyard Gardening: Vegetables and Fruits for Fun and Enjoyment by Richard Miller, Blackhawk Technical College in affiliation with the Wisconsin Landscape Contractors Association , at Mendota 4 location.

4:30 p.m.—Trendy Annuals by Mark Dwyer,Rotary Botanical Gardens, at Mendota 4 location.

Saturday, Feb. 9

9:15 a.m.—Cover Crops for the Home Garden by Jim Stute, UW Extension Rock County, at Mendota 4 location.

2 p.m.—Plant Propagation Basics by Richard Miller, Blackhawk Technical College, at Mendota 5 location.

2:15 p.m.—Annual Grasses for the Garden and Container by Mark Dwyer, Rotary Botanical Gardens, at Mendota 6-7 location.

4:30 p.m.—Gardening Vertically by Mark Dwyer, Rotary Botanical Gardens,at Mendota 1-2 location; Holiday Plants from the Past to the Present by Patty Bailey, Patty's Plants, at Demo A location; Tree Pruning and Hiring a Certified Arborist by David Graham,Wisconsin Arborist Association, at Mendota 5 location.

Sunday, Feb. 10

12:30 p.m.—Trendy Annuals by Mark Dwyer,Rotary Botanical Gardens, at Mendota 8 location.

3 p.m.—Backyard Gardening: Vegetables and Fruits for Fun and Enjoyment by Richard Miller, Blackhawk Technical College, at Mendota 8 location.

Last updated: 8:01 am Monday, April 29, 2013

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