As winter settles over Wisconsin, the 27th-annual PBS Wisconsin Garden & Landscape Expo brings a bit of spring-like warmth to the Exhibition Hall at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison Feb. 7-9. Event hours are: noon to 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 9.
PBS Wisconsin hosts the community educational event and fundraiser in partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Madison Horticulture Division of Extension. All proceeds support PBS Wisconsin’s quality programming, educational initiatives and events that serve to enrich the Wisconsin community. Advance discounted tickets are available now at wigardenexpo.com.
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 delicious bounties from home gardens and Wisconsin farms.
Visitors are invited to explore the sixth-annual Garden & Landscape Expo Farmers' Market in the Exhibition Hall Atrium 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 9. The Farmers' Market will feature farmers, food artisans and local food retailers. Products available at the Farmers’ Market include pickles and preserves, artisan cheeses, coffee, kombucha, olive oil, chocolate, spice blends and maple syrup.
Highlights from this year’s event include:
- Hundreds of exhibitor booths selling seeds, plants, landscaping services, books, tools, lawn equipment and other exciting merchandise for gardens and yards of all sizes.
- More than 150 free educational seminars and demonstrations on topics such as container gardening, African violets, homesteading, growing orchids, designing with succulents, growing food in urban areas, horticultural lighting and gardening for climate change.
- Attendees can meet and learn from Growing a Greener World TV's Joe Lamp'l, PBS Wisconsin's Around The Farm Table host Inga Witscher, nationally-known gardening expert Melinda Myers, Wisconsin author Jerry Apps, Wisconsin Public Radio's Larry Meiller, Laura Manthe and Lea Zeise of Ohe∙láku - Among the Cornstalks, a cooperative of Oneida tribal corn farmers, The Houseplant Guru Lisa Eldred Steinkopf, WKOW 27 meteorologist Bob Lindmeier and Dr. George Archibald from the International Crane Foundation.
- New this year! Nature Cat’s Backyard - All day Friday through Sunday in the Exhibition Hall. Sunday is Family Day! Cultivate a love for gardening and the outdoors with your entire family in Nature Cat’s Backyard! In addition to a variety of educational gardening activities, the area will feature a swing set, sandbox, basketball court, trampoline and putting green. While activities will take place throughout the three-day event, Sunday is Garden & Landscape Expo's official "Family Day." Stop by to meet PBS' Nature Cat from 10 a.m. until Noon Sunday. The first 50 kids in Nature Cat’s Backyard on Sunday will receive a signed copy of Sally the Stone & Friends: Spread Kindness and Joy!
- A Beer Garden Hosted by the Wisconsin Brewers Guild Friday from 3-7 p.m. in the Exhibition Hall. Attendees can enjoy top quality craft beers from Wisconsin breweries while enjoying a stroll through beautiful plant and flower displays.
- New this year! The Garden & Landscape Expo Window Box Competition. Talented amateurs and seasoned professionals are challenged to transform a standard-sized window box into a garden with color, design, texture, height and fragrance-while also incorporating this year’s theme: “kaleidoscopes and optical illusions.” Vote for your favorite for the Viewers’ Choice Award.
- The Garden & Landscape Expo Photography Contest brings another form of art, imagery and perspective to the event. See stunning work from amateur photographers capturing the natural beauty of the Midwestern region.
- Uprooted: Plants in a Changing Climate Exhibit - All day Friday through Sunday in the Exhibition Hall. Attendees can view a selection of pieces from the exhibit “Uprooted: Plants in a Changing Climate,” presented by The Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters. The contributing artists focus on diverse plant communities across the state that are at risk from climate change. Their work is informed by direct observation in the field as well as consultation with naturalists and scientists. One of the artists, Bethann Moran-Handzlik, will provide a live painting demonstration on Friday 1 to 4 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m.to 2 p.m.
- University of Wisconsin-Madison Horticulture Division of Extension experts will be available to offer insight, plant identification and tips to gardeners and amateur landscapers of all levels.
- Beautiful plant and flower displays put together by the Wisconsin Nursery and Landscape Association (WNLA) provide a welcome spring-like respite in February.
- Nonprofit organizations specializing in various plant species, rain gardens, rock gardens, conservation efforts and more will have booths to share their information.
- An exciting Garden & Landscape Expo raffle for prizes including landscape packages, equipment, decorations, tools and more. Raffle ticket proceeds support PBS Wisconsin.
Single-day tickets for Garden & Landscape Expo cost $8 in advance and $10 at the door. Children 12 and under are admitted free. Two-day passes are available for $13 in advance and $15 at the door. Three-day passes are available for $16 in advance and $18 at the door.
Advance ticket vendor outlets are located conveniently around the state at various supporting businesses. A complete list is available at wigardenexpo.com. Visitors also can purchase advance tickets on the website through Feb. 3. There is an additional charge for parking at the Alliant Energy Center.
PBS Wisconsin is a service of the Educational Communications Board and University of Wisconsin-Madison.
PBS Wisconsin 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.