Breakout Sessions

Sun flowerA Physic Garden with Wisconsin Native Plants – by Dr. Stephanie W. Alemán

Medicinal gardens have a long history associated with the need to have ready sources of plant material for making pharmaceutical preparations and the tending of the sick by remotely located doctors and herbal healers. Learn how to create a physic garden, or collection of medicinally useful plants using local, native and naturalized members of the Wisconsin flora. The growing requirements, specific features and medicinal potential for many of Wisconsin’s plants will be presented, as well as ideas and techniques for achieving healthy, productive botanical medicinals in the garden.


ProhaskaAbove Ground Vegetable Gardening Techniques – by Erin LaFaive

Learn about a variety of vegetable gardening techniques including lasagna gardening, hugelkultur, sub-irrigated systems, and vertical gardening. This session is great for the beginning gardener and for those looking for new ideas.


gv5Adaptable Gardening:  How to Plan for Weather Extremes – by Erin LaFaive

Many gardeners are noticing growing conditions changing more rapidly than previously experienced. The timing of everything seems to be shifting from irregular frost date patterns affecting planting times to blooming times not coinciding to pollinator habits. How, as gardeners, can we be prepared each growing season for fluctuating precipitation and temperature variations? Erin will provide techniques and ideas to apply to garden landscapes, making them more adaptable to change.

PrairieEstablishing a Prairie Meadow in Your Own Backyard – by Neil Diboll

Are you thinking about creating a prairie wildflower meadow on your property? Come learn the “tried and true” steps to successful establishment of prairie meadows and gardens! These hardy native plants are adapted to our Wisconsin climate and provide a parade of color from spring through summer and fall.

Prairie flowers and grasses provide excellent habitat for birds and butterflies, and require little or no fertilizers or pesticides once established. Neil will share his 35 years of experience to help you learn how to convert a small patch of lawn into a colorful prairie garden, or the “Back 40” into a fabulous prairie meadow!

moonGardening by the Moon – by Jane Hawley Stevens

Join Jane Hawley Stevens, certified organic farmer and herbalist to learn how the moon’s daily fluctuations influence gardening and other natural cycles. Improve results of planting, harvesting and weeding by letting nature’s natural rhythms assist you. See how the moon can influence all aspects of life by watching the moons phases.


Bollman-6-768x1024Grocery Store Gardening – by Rob Zimmer

Join Rob Zimmer as he presents a fun and informational program on many wonderful and surprising uses for common grocery store items in the yard and garden. From aluminum foil to cotton balls, beer and more, you’ll enjoy hearing some great gardening tips using items you can pick up in your local grocery store aisles.


gv4How to Make a Freeform Twig Trellis – by Sandy Lotto

Here’s a fun and unique opportunity to learn how to make a one-of-a-kind, freeform twig trellis using maple saplings, nails and a little imagination. These beautiful and simple trellises are a great beginner project that allow for a lot of individual creativity. And the best part is, there are no rules! This demonstration, including handouts with written instructions, will give you plenty of information and inspiration to make your own trellis at home. Your climbing plants will love it, and when your friends ask where you got such an awesome trellis, you’ll be able to say, “I made it!” This program is geared towards people with little or no previous woodworking experience. All are welcome!

vegetative-propagationPlant Propagation – by Dr. David Zlesak

Propagating new plants for personal use or to share is exciting and satisfying.  Propagation topics will include starting plants from seed, cuttings, division, and grafting.  Special emphasis will be placed on ways to adapt propagation techniques to resources commonly available to the home gardener.  There will be demonstrations and hands-on activities.


gv7Moving Beyond Pretty: Plants with Bonus Points – by Susan Martin

When the plant catalogs begin to arrive, our eyes are filled with botanical eye candy of every color, shape and size. We want them all, of course. The challenge is to look beyond the pretty flowers and actively seek out plants that deliver more…more food for pollinators, greater durability, brighter colors for shade, and visual interest through all four seasons. As you begin to see plants from a new perspective, we’ll consider all of the benefits they offer, not just their pretty faces, and help you plan a more eco-conscious garden. We’re moving beyond pretty and into the realm of more.

Stevens_Arb_garden15_4946The Art of Pruning – by David G. Stevens

Learn the science, tools and techniques to properly maintain your trees and shrubs.



rosesThe Cutting Edge of Landscape Roses – by Dr. David Zlesak

There are significant changes underway in the breeding, testing, production, distribution and use of landscape roses. Spurred on by high consumer expectations, recent research, and creative innovation by industry to satisfy customers in a tight economy, there is much to look forward to in the rose industry. There is an increasing push to regional trialing and marketing of regionally superior cultivars and greater commitment than ever to roses with truly elevated disease resistance. Strong performing newer roses for the upper Midwest will be highlighted.

garden-3Vinegar and Oil – by Eileen Riehle

Looking for new ways to use your herbs?  Have you ever smelled, tasted or just admired the beautiful colors and flavors of herbal vinegars?  Eileen will tell you how you can grow your own herbs and then make them into these flavorful vinegars and oils.   You will be surprised at how easy it is to make them yourself.


Japanese BeetlesWildlife Control – by Rob Zimmer

Slugs, rabbits, deer, Japanese beetles and other garden pests cause frustration for gardeners throughout Wisconsin. You’ll hear tips for keeping many of these at bay, as well as several others. In addition to tried and true traditional methods, Rob will share interesting new thoughts on dealing with many common garden pests.


gv2Wisconsin Woodys – Explore Wisconsin’s palette of native trees and shrubs – by David G. Stevens

Learn about an array of trees and shrubs native to Wisconsin. David will discuss ornamental characteristics, ecosystem benefits and site considerations for the home landscape.


IMG_2205Understanding Rock Gardens – by Dr. Stephanie W. Alemán

Learn what range of plants are best in rock gardening situations and explore how to manage a rock garden in terms of soil types, shade, light and watering considerations. Choosing representatives of the Alpine flora, as well as Wisconsin natives hardy to zone 4, this presentation provides useful information on the creation, plant selection for and maintenance of rock gardens in naturally challenging areas.















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