FRIDAY NIGHT Pre-conference Workshops

Open to the public

Saturday Registration

is not required.







Kat Becker of Stoney Acres Farm and

Chef Clint Schultz of Urban Street Bistro

Slow Food From Seed to Table

Kat teams up with chef Clint Schultz for a slow food dining experience. This $35 dinner will include a special vegetable gardening presentation and cooking tips from the chef.

Jeff Epping - Director of Horticulture at Olbrich

Proficient Pruning

Join Jeff Epping, Director of Horticulture at Olbrich Botanical Gardens, for an in-depth look into the “how’s” and “why’s” of pruning. Pruning is one of the most misunderstood of gardening tasks, but one of the most important. It often strikes fear in new and seasoned gardeners alike, but with some basic knowledge it doesn’t have to be that way. Jeff will show how to “prune with a purpose” covering tree, shrub and vine pruning and include essential pruning pointers that they use throughout Olbrich’s gardens. He will show you the many tools available on the market to get the job done right. Jeff will cover the topic through a PowerPoint presentation and demonstrations in the classroom.

Jayna Hintz - Woodson Curator of Education

The Art of Nature

Create nature-inspired prints using leaves and flowers. Explore patterns, color, and printing processes to create one-of-a-kind prints with botanical flair. Jayna will present two sessions; one for 9 to 11 year olds and one for 12 to 15 year olds.

Bill Johnson of Nature Stock Photography

Capturing Insects With Your Camera

Have you ever wanted to try to photograph an insect but just couldn't figure out how to do that successfully? Well, that's one of the goals in this class led by photographer Bill Johnson. He will talk about the equipment that he uses, and give advice on where and how to look for insect subjects. Class participants can bring cameras if they want to. If they don't have a camera, that's okay too. Bill will show you how some cameras are limited in what they can do, as opposed to camera systems that can get amazing results. During the class Bill will show selected images from some of his photo exhibits, to show results of what he was doing in the field. Bill will have handouts and time for questions.

Sandy Lotto of Lotto's Log Cabin

Make a Freeform Twig Trellis

Here's a fun and unique opportunity 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. 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!" Class is geared towards people with little or no previous woodworking experience, but all are welcome. If participants have any of the following tools, they are encouraged to bring them: a drill w/a power cord, a cordless drill, 1/16" and 1/8" drill bits, hammer, and pruning shears or loppers.

Terri Schmidt

The Gourd Girl

Coiling With Naturals

Students will start with a cleaned, cut gourd and first apply a protective beeswax coating on the outside of the gourd. Then we will learn the technique of coiling naturals around the rim using irish waxed linen to attach the plant material. Some of the dried plants and pods that we'll use to embellish the rim can include raffia, devil's claw, walnut petioles, palm inflorescence, sweet gum pods and more. Students should wear an apron to protect their clothes (the beeswax could stain) and bring a hand pruner or scissors. Tutorial and all materials are included. Appropriate for all levels.







Carol Strand

Wine Bottle Flower Planter

Carol Strand and Christine Anderson will show you how to make a hanging flower planter from a recycled wine bottle. You will learn how to cut the bottle using a glass cutter, fire and ice. You'll then embellish the bottle with copper tubing, wire, a variety of glass beads and soldered glass decorations. You will need to bring your own empty wine bottle. We recommend a big, 19" blue bottle of Falkenburg Riesling for it's thickness, form and color. I was able to find it at Sam's Club. There is a supply fee of $10.00.



Saturday's schedule will include three break out sessions; one in the morning and two after lunch.

Keynote Speaker

Bill Johnson of Nature Stock Photography

Insect Pollinators - Beyond the Honeybee

When people think of pollinators, usually the first insect that comes to mind is the Honey Bee. Well, in this talk, you will learn about and see that there are many more, different insect pollinators in addition to the Honey Bee. This presentation will show you colorful close-up images of various native bee species, wasps, flies and beetles as well as other types of insects that engage in pollination, sometimes on purpose, sometimes inadvertently or accidentally. Some of these are quite common, where some are not usually seen. Bill's goal with this photo presentation is to help expand the knowledge of gardeners and non-gardeners alike, of the many visitors that inhabit and pass through gardens on a regular basis, but are rarely noticed. Hopefully, people will come away with a greater respect for the varied members of the insect world, and will not be as likely to act impulsively to eradicate them.

Breakout Sessions - Saturday

The schedual will be set before long but we will add information about the talks as we get it.

Nate Bremer

of Solaris Farms

Lilium...True Lilies

'A look at the major groups, how to grow them, and what to steer clear of.' Lilium can be wonderful garden plants and are very productive when the right varieties are selected. New hybrids on the market abound and not all of them are garden worthy. What is right for the Wisconsin gardener? Nate Bremer will take a close look at some of the new hybrids available, the groups and their characteristics and discuss potential for the plants in the average garden. Nate will cover propagation and problems that may be encountered with culture. This is a Power Point presentation with lots of images from Solaris Farms.

Neil Diboll of Prairie Nursery

Establishing a Prairie Garden

Prairie gardens are becoming an increasingly popular option for gardeners who want hardy, low maintenance plants that are adapted to the rigors of our challenging climate. In addition to their toughness, prairie flowers are unsurpassed at attracting birds, butterflies, hummingbirds, and other pollinators. Neil will discuss step by step procedures, special "tricks of the trade," and the best prairie flowers and grasses for Wisconsin gardens. There are beautiful prairie plants for almost every situation, no matter what kind of soil or moisture conditions you may have.

Jeff Epping

Director of Horticulture for Olbrich

Creating Spectacular Container Gardens

If your deck, patio, balcony or front entry of your home could use a little sprucing up, then this lecture is for you. Join Olbrich Botanical Gardens Director of Horticulture, Jeff Epping, as he shows you how to create breathtaking container gardens for your home. Jeff will guide you through the selection of pots, soil, fertilizers and of course, plants, to compose beautiful combinations that will be the envy of your neighbors. Sit back and enjoy Jeff’s inspiring photographs taken at Olbrich, gardens throughout the U.S. and even as far away as England, France and Thailand. (Dual screen Power Point presentation)

Sustainable Gardens: Meadows and Gravel Gardens

Green or sustainable gardens make sense for many reasons – they’re good for the environment and they’re good for us. Many people want beautiful gardens, but don’t have the time nor want to see precious resources like water and energy go into growing them. Jeff Epping, Director of Horticulture, has been researching and implementing a number of new gardens at Olbrich that are more environmentally sound and can be easily incorporated into home landscapes. Jeff will show you how they have replaced lawns and traditional perennial beds with sustainable and beautiful fescue, prairie dropseed and sedge meadows, as well as new gravel gardens, based on concepts developed by German horticulturist Cassian Schmidt. (Dual screen Power Point presentation)

Rick Eyre of Foxwillow Pines Nursery

Techniques of Gardening with Conifers

Rich Eyre has been creating conifer gardens since he was a teenager and he will share his insight and experience for choosing the right tree for any garden spot. Understanding soil percolation of water and sunlight levels are the first steps in this process. Knowing your space limitations and growth of the desired plant will help refine your choices. Conifers will improve your garden with tremendous form, phenomenal texture, unusual shapes, and seasonal color. Colorful coning attributes and interesting bark characteristics add to their appeal. There is a conifer for every garden space.

Daniel Mahr - Succulent Plant Specialist

Growing Cacti and Succulents

Cacti and other succulent plants are much appreciated for their interesting forms and beautiful flowers. But these plants, most of which originate from dry, mild, sunny climates can be a bit challenging under Wisconsin conditions. However, even the most difficult types can be successfully grown here with just a little attention to the conditions they require. This presentation will discuss the critical elements (such as soil, water, light) for growing cacti and succulents successfully as tender container plants. We will also cover some of the easier groups to grow, and touch on propagation.

Judith Reith-Rozelle - UW Researcher

Hardy Table Grape Culture

Ms. Reith-Rozelle will present a program divided into short segments on how to grow seedless table grapes, and cultivars to choose for Zone 4: including one red and several blue cultivars. She will include a brief segment on wine grape cultivars grown at the University of Wisconsin, West Madison Agricultural Research Station. Judith was instrumental in developing and working with both the seedless table grape trials and the Hardy Wine Grape Research for over seven years.

Terri Schmidt - The Gourd Girl

Growing Gourds In Wisconsin

You will learn all about growing gourds including why you would want to grow them and what to do with them. Terri will cover: seeds, soil prep, garden culture, havresting and drying.

Brian Smith

UW Fruit Specilist

Your Fruit Tree Heaven

Tips for the Backyard

The audience will learn about selecting the most adapted cultivars and rootstocks. Brian will cover staking, training and pruning as well as fruit thinning, pest management, harvest and storage principles.

Brian Smith - UW Fruit Specilist

The Dynamic Duo-Asparagus and Strawberries

Learn the keys to success. How many should I plant for my family? What varieties are best? Learn about establishment, nutrition, pest control, watering and winter protection. These strategies will make you look like the neighborhood gardening expert!

Dick Zondag of Jung Seed Company

Alternative Gardening Methods

Straw Bale and Square Foot Gardening - This presentation will highlight these two alternative ways to growing your vegetables rather than a traditional garden. Dick will cover the basics of straw bale gardening, including the preparation of the bales, along with what to plant in a straw bale. In addition, basics of square foot gardening, like soil to use, what to plant and other basics will be discussed. Next Dick will discuss growing vegetables in your garden. Soil preparation for vegetables along with composting will be presented. Then, vegetables from asparagus to watermelons and everything in between will be reviewed with "Dick's Picks", suggestions on what varieties to use along with hints on each vegetable. Questions will follow the presentation.