What We Watch: Garden expert Melinda Myers

January 22, 2019 Susannah Brooks Leave a Comment

It might feel like the doldrums of winter, but spring is just around the corner. Wisconsin Public Television’s Garden & Landscape Expo is ready to inspire you.

Join us Friday through Sunday, Feb. 8-10, at the Exhibition Hall of the Alliant Energy Center in Madison.

Out of the many experts, vendors and garden lovers you’ll meet at the Expo, Melinda Myers is a longtime favorite – and, naturally, a lover of PBS programs. She sat down to share some of her favorites with us.

Read on to learn what inspires her – and how she uses it!


Nationally known gardening expert, TV/radio host, author & columnist Melinda Myers has over 30 years of horticulture experience. She has written over 20 gardening books, including Can’t Miss Small Space Gardening, the Midwest Gardener’s Handbook, and The Garden Book for Wisconsin.

Melinda appears regularly as a guest expert on national and local television and radio shows and hosts the nationally-syndicated “Melinda’s Garden Moment” program which airs on over 115 TV and radio stations throughout the U.S.

Melinda also hosts the internationally distributed Great Courses “How to Grow Anything” DVD series, including the latest Food Gardening for Everyone DVD set. She is a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine and writes a nationally distributed newspaper column. Melinda also writes a regular column for Chicagoland Gardening and Wisconsin Gardening.

What are some of your favorite PBS programs?

My viewing has changed over time; some has stayed consistent, and other parts have changed. It’s kind of across the board, which is one of the wonderful things about public television: it’s educational, inspirational and has something for everyone.

When my daughter was young – she’s 33 now – we watched Arthur and all of those kids’ shows. Now, I have grandchildren who like to watch as well.

My 11-year-old granddaughter loves cooking and baking. When she’s over, we watch The Great British Baking Show. That’s a fun thing we do together. We both love to bake; she loves the competition, and I love seeing all of those ideas – and sometimes it’s fun to see what happens when things don’t go quite right!

Of course, I love any of the nature, science and garden shows. I was lucky enough to be a guest on Around the Farm Table, and it was fun to be part of a show you can see.

My mom taught me to sew and even though I don’t have as much time as I like, I love Sewing With Nancy. It makes me think of my mom, who has passed away. I saw another segment the other day about sewing rooms, and I thought, “I have got to organize mine again!”

Public television is such a great resource that I’m happy to support it as a speaker at the event, as a participant and a viewer.

How do you watch your favorite shows?

Everyone works weird hours, whether you’re a 9 to 5er, have kids, whatever. My schedule is pretty crazy, like so many people. Having the option to watch things whenever I can fit them in is such an asset.

If you have 15 minutes or an hour, you can watch parts of a complete show. Or you can go online and get individual segments; sometimes there’s a fascinating three-minute segment that was part of another whole show.

I watch most online, especially in my office. I have huge screens, so sometimes I’ll have the show on one screen while I’m working on something else. Sometimes you need inspiration while you do stuff that’s not as fun!

If we watch The Great British Baking Show, we end up in the kitchen – making a mess, which is what Grandma is all about.

Not only is PBS a great resource for me personally, but it’s a wonderful tool for my work as a speaker and horticultural communicator. I can get inspiration for myself, and I can also pass tips along to others by sharing these segments.

It’s such a wonderful asset.

What are your favorite PBS gardening-related shows, past and present?

I was doing my show The Great Lakes Gardener at the same time as Wisconsin Gardener was on, so it was fun to see what Shelley Ryan was doing. What a great legacy this Garden & Landscape Expo is for her. She still has a lot of fans, and she did such a nice job.

I was an Extension agent early in my career here in Wisconsin, so I loved seeing all the specialists and experts she’d bring on the show.

Around the Farm Table reminds me a little of The Great Lakes Gardener, in that Inga’s highlighting different locations around the state and highlighting food as well as agriculture.

When I want to go high-end, I watch P. Allen Smith – Garden Home, or Garden to Table.

It’s that inspiration, or rethinking things sometimes, that helps me enjoy and learn, number one, but also have fun while I’m learning.


Melinda Myers will be presenting at Garden & Landscape Expo, as well as signing books and meeting fans. Stop by her booth – as well as the WPT booth! – to say hello and pick up some warm-hearted inspiration for the blooming season ahead.

Ask the Plant Doctor Q&A in Melinda’s booth
Friday, Feb. 8: 12-2:30 p.m. and 3:45-8 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 9: 9-11:30 a.m. and 12:45-6 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 10: 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and 1:45-4 p.m.

A dynamic speaker – with the top rating on GreatGardenSpeakers.com – her presentations are not to be missed!

Everything You Need to Know About Hydrangeas & The Best Companion Plants for Them! 
Friday, February 8 at 2:45 p.m. OR Sunday, Feb. 10 at 12:45 p.m.

Enjoy tips on selection, planting and care for hydrangeas. Plus, Melinda will demystify pruning techniques for various types of hydrangeas. She’ll also provide examples of the best companion plants for hydrangeas to create beautiful plantings in your landscape.

Unique Ways to Use Containers to Expand your Planting Space & Beautify your Landscape
Saturday, Feb. 9 at 11:45 a.m. 

It’s not just what goes in the pot that makes a container garden special. Find ways to include containers in your garden, on your patio and just about anywhere you can set a pot. Incorporate containers that will bring the vegetable garden to your kitchen door and attract pollinators to your window. Containers can also help you define space, create privacy, dress up a blank wall or simply increase your planting space while adding beauty and texture to your landscape.  

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