Seminars/Demos

Seminar
Seminar

Seminars / Demos

Garden & Landscape Expo features more than 150 educational seminars and stage demonstrations.

Presentation titles denoted by an asterisk are new for 2020.

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FRIDAY SATURDAY SUNDAY
Garden Expo Friday Seminars and Demonstrations
Friday, February 7, 2020
12:15 Growing Fruit in Wisconsin*
Emily Steinwehe, Wisconsin Food Forests
Mendota 1-2
12:15 PM - 1:15 PM
Session Description
From apples to watermelon, Steinwehe will share her tips on successful fruit growing, including resources, plant sources, successes and failures.
Attracting Beneficial Wildlife to Your Yard*
David Drake, UW-Madison/UW-Extension
Mendota 5
12:15 PM - 1:15 PM
Session Description
People genuinely enjoy having wildlife around. As gardeners, though, they may be reluctant to actually attract wildlife. This seminar will provide a multitude of reasons to attract wildlife and how to create, enhance, and maintain habitat to attract beneficial wildlife.
Confessions of a Black Thumb: Plants That I Have Killed (Or At Least Seriously Maimed)*
Brian Hudelson, UW-Madison Plant Disease Diagnostics Clinic
Mendota 8
12:15 PM - 1:15 PM
Session Description
Learn about the favorite plants of Brian Hudelson (aka Dr. Death) and his epic failures in attempting to grow these plants in his home garden, either through his encouragement of plant diseases, his insistence on practicing "Darwinian gardening" or through his sheer gardening stupidity. Use these cautionary tales to improve your own gardening skills.
Magnificent Monarchs
Gae Bergmann,
Waubesa/Kegonsa
12:15 PM - 1:15 PM
Session Description
Enjoy an overview of the iconic monarch butterflies, their amazing life cycle and how to raise them successfully.
12:30 Homesteading — How We Did It and How You Can Too*
Dan Small, Outdoor Wisconsin
Mendota 3
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

Also scheduled: Sun. 12:45 PM
Session Description
Dan Small explains how and why he and his wife moved to Vernon County in 2012. Learn the challenges they faced and how they overcame them. Dan will give advice for those thinking about moving to a rural, more sustainable lifestyle.
Your Garden Can Feed You All Year*
Megan Cain, The Creative Vegetable Gardener
Mendota 4
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
Session Description
With the right planning, you can eat food from your garden all year long. This fun and interactive seminar will teach you how to have your earliest spring harvest ever, use succession planting to keep momentum going in summer and have a robust fall garden that feeds you all the way through holiday gatherings. Using simple techniques, you can extend the fruits of your labor into more months of the year so you're getting the most food possible from your garden.
Fantastic Ferns and How to Grow Them*
Dan Schuknecht, Olbrich Botanical Gardens
Mendota 6-7
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

Also scheduled: Sun. 1:00 PM
Session Description
Ferns are an ancient plant lineage, with many contemporary garden uses. In this seminar, Olbrich horticulturist, Dan Schuknecht, will discuss the biology and culture of this large and varied group, and how to use and care for them in the garden. We'll cover some fern allies and discuss the wide range of plants in this fantastic family.
Weeds Feed Me - An Approach to Sustainable Gardening
Noel Valdes, CobraHead LLC
Monona/Wingra
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
Session Description
Open raised beds, not boxes, offer the home gardener maximum potential for food production. They also offer a good approach to sustainability as outside inputs can be minimal and integration with your local environment can be maximized. This seminar will discuss how to set up and garden with open raised beds and how to make it a sustainable and ecologically sound approach.
1:30 Gardening for Climate Change*
Erika Jensen,
Mendota 1-2
1:30 PM - 2:30 PM
Session Description
Learn practical steps you can take to ensure your garden thrives during the increased challenges of global climate change, all while sequestering carbon in your own backyard.
A Conservation Success Story: Keeping a Rare Crane Common in Wisconsin*
Hillary Thompson, International Crane Foundation
Mendota 5
1:30 PM - 2:30 PM
Session Description
Sandhill and whooping cranes were both once rare in Wisconsin. Learn about the conservation success story of the sandhill crane and how the International Crane Foundation is working to bring the whooping crane back from the brink of extinction.
Community Building Through Urban Agriculture*
Martin Bailkey and Marcia Caton Campbell, School for Urban Agriculture
Mendota 8
1:30 PM - 2:30 PM
Session Description
Learn the "whys" and "hows" behind food system and urban agriculture efforts conceived, designed and operated by community based non-profit organizations in order to strengthen local food security — as well as build a stronger sense of community and a greater level of social equity among project participants and stakeholders. Recent lessons from the Badger Rock Urban Farm in south Madison will be presented.
From Simple to Wow! 100 Years of Bearded Iris*
George Bacon, Madison Area Iris Society
Waubesa/Kegonsa
1:30 PM - 2:30 PM
Session Description
2020 is the 100th anniversary of the American Iris Society. To celebrate, learn how pioneering hybridizers have developed hybrids over the years, from simple "flags" to the wide ruffled varieties we have today.
1:45 Participatory Variety Trialing in Your Garden -- Help Create the Best Varieties of the Future*
Julie Dawson and Nicolas Enjalbert, UW-Madison
Mendota 3
1:45 PM - 2:45 PM
Session Description
The Seed to Kitchen Collaborative connects plant breeders focused on organic systems to farmers and chefs in the Upper Midwest to create delicious well-adapted vegetable varieties for local organic production. Recent movements in sustainable agriculture seek to move away from the current extractive model toward a food system that is responsible, inclusive, diverse, and transparent. SeedLinked is a web platform that promotes a seed movement which is transparent and engages all stakeholders in a direct and participatory role. SeedLinked and the Seed to Kitchen Collaborative are working together to conduct variety trials with gardeners throughout the upper midwest. Find out how you can get involved.
Ornamental Grasses in the Garden*
Mark Dwyer, Landscape Prescriptions by MD
Mendota 4
1:45 PM - 2:45 PM
Session Description
While we're all familiar with turf grass in our landscapes, the potential for the use of both perennial and annual ornamental grasses in our beds, borders and containers is significant. We'll explore some of the best grasses to provide color, interest, form, structure, movement and wildlife appeal in the garden.
Going Native*
Kate Miller, Green Bay Botanical Garden
Mendota 6-7
1:45 PM - 2:45 PM
Session Description
Discover the many benefits of incorporating native plants into your landscape and learn some tips for making this process easier.
Aging With Your Garden*
Becky Kielstrup, Avant Gardening & Landscaping
Monona/Wingra
1:45 PM - 2:45 PM
Session Description
Explore multiple ideas you can implement to start modifying your garden and make it easier to keep gardening as you age.
2:45 Exploring an Enhanced Gardening Ethos*
Daniel Goodspeed, J.W. Jung Seed Co.
Mendota 1-2
2:45 PM - 3:45 PM
Session Description
A fun and thoughtful discussion of practical tools for new gardeners with impactful reminders for seasoned gardeners too. It's not how much you attempt to grow, but how well you grow what you attempt. Are you a true gardener or are you just acting as one?
Let's Talk Trash: Composting That Is
Susan Obry, Master Gardener
Mendota 5
2:45 PM - 3:45 PM
Session Description
Learn the uses, basic and advanced techniques and the tools that will turn your trash into treasure. Make your composting efforts efficient and effective.
Growing Asparagus and Rhubarb in Wisconsin*
Becky Gutzman,
Mendota 8
2:45 PM - 3:45 PM
Session Description
Master gardener volunteer Becky Gutzman will share advice for planting and growing asparagus and rhubarb.
Hardscaping to Enhance Your Landscape*
Sean Pratt, Ganshert Nursery & Landscapes
Waubesa/Kegonsa
2:45 PM - 3:45 PM
Session Description
This presentation will delve into all aspects of hardscaping which can increase the aesthetics and function of your outdoor space. A special emphasis will be placed on natural stone from Wisconsin.
3:00 Do It Yourself Daylilies — Daylily Hybridizing 101*
Carole Hunter, Wisconsin Daylily Society
Mendota 3
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Session Description
Why would you want to create your own daylilies when there are 90,000 registered varieties to choose from? Explore the "why" and the "how to" with a wannabe artist who finds putting pollen on a pistil an easier way to create beauty than taking a brush to canvas.
What Grows in My Garden Besides Creeping Charlie*
Nancy Nedveck, The Flower Factory
Mendota 4
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Session Description
Learn what a perennial grower/nursery owner plants in her own garden. There might be 2,500 varieties to choose from, but find out what makes the cut into my garden.
Botanical Gardens of Wisconsin*
Mike Maddox, UW-Madison
Mendota 6-7
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Session Description
Wisconsin is home to a number of botanical gardens, ranging from hidden gems to internationally renowned collections. We'll do a virtual road trip across Wisconsin to check out our primary horticultural destinations and discuss some of the smaller ones along the way.
Gardening Through History: The Original Social Safety Net*
Scott Johnson, Low Technology Institute
Monona/Wingra
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Session Description
Gardening has been an essential part of every civilization since permanent settlements began 10,000 years ago, but for the first time in history, we have become disconnected from our own food production. In this seminar, we'll look at the role of gardening in plant domestication, cities, and large-scale societies including the Romans, Mayans, Medieval Europe, and today's industrial society (among others).
4:00 Green is a Color, Too: Design*
Benjamin Futa, Allen Centennial Garden
Mendota 1-2
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Session Description
What draws you to a garden? Most of us instantly think of colorful, vibrant specimens on display while overlooking important design elements. What if we put "green" first in our garden design and embraced texture, form, and contrast to drive interest? This seminar will explore design ideas to add new dimension to your garden.
What Really Goes On in a Cottage Garden*
Lindsay Hendricks, Green Bay Botanical Garden
Mendota 5
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Session Description
Take a step back in time as you walk through the Vanderperren English Cottage Garden at Green Bay Botanical Garden. Learn how to incorporate ornamental edibles, heirloom plants and on-trend annuals so that you can create your own cottage garden oasis at home!
The Mysticism and Sacredness of Herbs*
Venice Williams, Alice's Garden
Mendota 8
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Session Description
Herbs have a long history of special healing, magical, ritual properties! Every culture is steeped in folklore when it comes to the power of herbs. This workshop will explore the many facets of herbs, including how they have been used throughout history. Herbs that charm, herbs for family planning, herbs that enhance romance, herbs used in wartime. Come learn about the complex life of herbs with cultural herbalist, Venice Williams.
Demystifying Orchids: A Beginner's Course*
Terry Hodge, Olbrich Botanical Gardens
Waubesa/Kegonsa
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Also scheduled: Sat. 3:30 PM
Session Description
Often considered difficult plants, orchids can frustrate and even intimidate many home growers. Fear not, with just a little information success can be yours! Learn some tips and tricks to make your orchids thrive at home!
4:15 Visionary Conservation: International Crane Foundation*
Cully Shelton, International Crane Foundation
Mendota 3
4:15 PM - 5:15 PM
Session Description
In the fall of 2018, the International Crane Foundation embarked on a $10 million expansion and renovation at our headquarters in Baraboo. Get an exclusive look at our exhibit construction and learn about how we conserve ecosystems and safeguard crane populations. Our new visitor experience hatches May 2, 2020.
Container Gardening*
Ann Wied, UW-Madison Extension Waukesha County
Mendota 4
4:15 PM - 5:15 PM
Session Description
In this seminar you will learn tips for container garden success!
How to Grow the Best Root Crops*
Joey and Holly Baird, The Wisconsin Vegetable Gardener
Mendota 6-7
4:15 PM - 5:15 PM
Session Description
Joey and Holly Baird, hosts of "The Wisconsin Vegetable Gardener," will teach you how to successfully grow root crops, help trouble shoot common root crop problems and store root crops.
Organic Rx for Vegetable Pests*
Erika Jensen,
Monona/Wingra
4:15 PM - 5:15 PM
Session Description
The usual suspects crop up every year in the vegetable garden, including flea beetles, cabbage loopers, cucumber beetles and squash bugs. Control them by growing strong plants and using organic methods.
5:15 Create Season Long Color with Small Scale Shrubs*
Melinda Myers, sponsored by Diggers Hotline,
Mendota 1-2
5:15 PM - 6:15 PM
Session Description
Reduce maintenance and increase your landscape's appeal with ornamental and small-scale shrubs. A mix of spring, summer and fall bloomers - with attractive fruit, foliage, bark color and form - create the perfect framework for any size landscape or added appeal on a balcony or deck. Many provide needed food for caterpillars, nectar for butterflies and hummingbirds, and fruit for songbirds, so you'll be enjoying some winged visitors throughout the seasons. Learn how to grow them in containers and get them through our cold northern winters.
Wildlife Damage Management: Tips, Tools and Techniques
Jamie Nack, UW-Madison Dept. of Forest and Wildlife Ecology
Mendota 5
5:15 PM - 6:15 PM
Session Description
While attracting wildlife to your backyard can provide great satisfaction and enjoyment, sometimes wildlife can become a nuisance - or even cause property damage. Participants will learn the keys to a successful wildlife damage management program.
Attracting Butterflies and Hummingbirds With Royal Catchfly and Other Native Plants*
Dan Unruh,
Mendota 8
5:15 PM - 6:15 PM
Session Description
Enhance your gardens with native plants that attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Learn how to economically incorporate these beautiful flowers into your gardens by starting them from seed indoors. Learn some basic principles for attracting these flying flower huggers to your yard.
Straw Bale Gardening
Joel Karsten, Straw Bale Gardens
Waubesa/Kegonsa
5:15 PM - 6:15 PM

Also scheduled: Sat. 9:15 AM and Sun. 2:15 PM
Session Description
Learn the basics of setting up a straw bale garden for growing vegetables, herbs or flowers in our northern climate. Joel will discuss why and how it works, while diving into the biology that makes the concept work so well. Hear some of the mistakes new straw bale gardeners often make and how they can easily be avoided. If traditional gardening is getting too physical for you, learn this method and you will be gardening much later in life. Learn how straw bale gardening is providing a simple, sustainable and practical solution for world hunger.
5:30 The Basics of Mulching*
Susan Obry, Master Gardener
Mendota 3
5:30 PM - 6:30 PM
Session Description
Learn the benefits and disadvantages of mulching, how to choose an appropriate mulch and proper application techniques.
Small Bulbs: Beyond Tulips and Daffodils*
Lisa Johnson, Extension Dane County
Mendota 4
5:30 PM - 6:30 PM
Session Description
Wellness in the Garden*
Mark Dwyer, Landscape Prescriptions by MD
Mendota 6-7
5:30 PM - 6:30 PM
Session Description
Through the use of design elements, specific plantings and even tool selection, this presentation will emphasize how we should be experiencing the enjoyment, sensory engagement and feelings of wellness that gardening spaces of all sizes should provide every year.
Seminar and demonstration topics and times are subject to change. For updated seminar/demonstration information go to wigardenexpo.com.
12:30 Beginning Beekeeping for Gardeners*
Scott Johnson, Low Technology Institute
Demo Stage B
12:30 PM - 1:15 PM
Session Description
We all understand the benefits of bees in our garden and environment. In this demonstration, you''ll learn how to start planning to add honeybees to your garden. We'll cover basic bee biology, practical and legal considerations, and how to set up and install bees in your first hive, as well as resources for further learning.
1:30 Celebrate Cranes in Culture!*
Elisabeth Condon and Mako Pellerin, International Crane Foundation
Demo Stage A
1:30 PM - 2:15 PM
Session Description
Cranes are important to many cultures throughout the world. Join experts from the International Crane Foundation to learn about how different cultures celebrate cranes, how ICF is helping to conserve cranes in Wisconsin and how to celebrate cranes in your home with origami crane decorations.
Spice It Up: Cooking With Essential Oils*
Kim Crooks, Crooks and Thieves
Demo Stage B
1:30 PM - 2:15 PM
Session Description
Growing your garden is only half the fun. This demonstration will show you how to take your garden produce to another level of delicious and healthy by incorporating essential oils into your cooking.
2:30 Easy Techniques for Growing Edible Mushrooms at Home*
Laura Kahles, Field and Forest Products
Demo Stage A
2:30 PM - 3:15 PM
Session Description
Although unfamiliar to most, growing specialty edible mushrooms can be easy, educational, and incredibly satisfying! Several methods will be demonstrated that utilize basic household items like toilet paper rolls, coffee grounds, and picnic coolers.
Build a Self-Heating "April Greenhouse" for Under $100
Joel Karsten, Straw Bale Gardens
Demo Stage B
2:30 PM - 3:15 PM

Also scheduled: Sat. 3:30 PM and Sun. 10:30 AM
Session Description
Learn to build a 7 ft. x 9 ft. "April Greenhouse" to start 360 plants. You will walk away after this demo feeling confident enough to build your own amazing greenhouse with items you can purchase at your local store. See how this simple greenhouse will save every gardener hundreds on spring bedding plants, transplants and flowers. You'll also discover how it will add a beautiful architectural element to your garden during the summer growing season! Based on Straw Bale Gardening.
3:30 Fermentation Fun!*
Linda Conroy, Moonwise Herbs
Demo Stage A
3:30 PM - 4:15 PM
Session Description
This fun demonstration will offer tips for adding herbs as well as unusual vegetables to your ferments. Those new as well as experienced fermenters will be inspired!
How to Care for Air Plants*
Michelle Glaser, Red Shed Garden & Gifts
Demo Stage B
3:30 PM - 4:15 PM

Also scheduled: Sat. 4:30 PM
Session Description
4:30 DIY Succulent Diffuser*
Kim Crooks, Crooks and Thieves
Demo Stage A
4:30 PM - 5:15 PM
Session Description
Just like people, gardens come in all shapes, styles and sizes. Learn the basic steps to making your own succulent diffuser mini-garden. You'll also learn how to add your own style to create a succulent diffuser as unique as you!
Learn About Ancient Grains Grown in Wisconsin*
David Meuer, Meuer Farm LLC
Demo Stage B
4:30 PM - 5:15 PM
Session Description
Learn how ancient grains are grown and stone milled at Meuer Farm in Wisconsin. Learn the benefits of whole grain flours and how to use them. Heirloom corns and beans are making a comeback. See how Meuer Farm is growing them here in Wisconsin.
5:30 The Year-Round Culinary Herb Garden*
B.J. Miller,
Demo Stage A
5:30 PM - 6:15 PM

Also scheduled: Sat. 1:30 PM
Session Description
Have a wide variety of fresh herbs at your fingertips in every season. You will learn a foolproof way to grow healthy and flavorful herbs that will thrive for months, even in winter, fresh and ready to use when you need them. Say good-bye to grocery store herb packs.
Growing Giant Pumpkins
John Barlow, Wisconsin Giant Pumpkin Growers
Demo Stage B
5:30 PM - 6:15 PM
Session Description
John will share techniques and strategies for growing giant pumpkins. He will also discuss ways to maximize a plant's potential.
Seminar and demonstration topics and times are subject to change. For updated seminar/demonstration information go to wigardenexpo.com.

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