Day three of the WPT Garden Expo ended at 4 pm today and it was the usual crazy crunch of vendors and visitors leaving exhibition hall (Alliant Center). Judging by the volume of traffic over the course of the weekend, it looked like a great show. It will be interesting to see the final attendance numbers. The images here were ones I took early this morning before the droves of visitors came in at 10 am. Above are two shots from The Flower Factory booth which had this neat, mini billboard sign too. Note the little blue snail? head poking up from that flat of perennials. The Flower Factory is a superb nursery for perennials and I'm currently going thru their 4,000+ offerings with my highlighters in hand.
Amanda and I ran the booth this morning and I saw Ed. L. right away. I had a talk on Vertical Gardening at noon which was absolutely packed and I think it went ok based on some of the comments I heard after the presentation. With only 45 minutes allowed per program, I gave just a taste of the many options for vertical gardening. It was nice to see the educational programs so well attended for this event and I think they are just as enticing for event visitors as the vendors and other offerings. WPT has done a nice job with this event and Shelley Ryan, host/producer of The Wisconsin Gardener, is the one that started it all. Yesterday she hosted a panel discussion with Larry Meiller of Garden Talk (WI Public Radio) that took a look back at the 20 years of her show. I was part of the panel and felt out of place with all the VIPs. There was Dr. Brian Hudelson, UW Plant Pathologist, Phil Pelliterri, UW Entomologist and Neil Diboll, President of The Prairie Nursery (Westfield, WI). All of us had been on Shelley's show many times and were asked questions about gardening changes, trends, etc. over the past 20 years. I believe Shelley has filmed 14 times at RBG in the past and I was in all but one of them. It was fun, humourous and really a testament to what Shelley has accomplished with her show. The room was packed and there was no shortage of Shelley fans! Below are two smiling members of the WI Hardy Plant Society which is one of my favorite organizations. Aside from vendors selling products, it was nice to see so many clubs, groups, societies, botanic gardens, etc. also represented.
To the right (both pictures) is the display of alpines that the WI/IL Chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society set up at their booth. I love this type of gardening and I think this group will visit RBG this summer and offers some verbal and physical assistance with improvements in our alpine garden and Scottish highlands garden. The members of this group (of which I'm one) are hardcore alpine enthusiasts and I'm always amazed by their plant knowledge. Cool use of troughs too as you see here.
Jim, Mary and Jody helped at the booth this afternoon as I had another talk (Annuals of Interest) at 2 pm. Jim, Jody and I packed up the booth and made three group trips to get everything out of our booth space. I was back in Janesville by 5 pm and I'm unwinding before heading back in to work tomorrow to get moving on seed sorting, woody plant labels and the typical "day to day" activities. Tomorrow night I'll talk about Fragrant Annuals at Olbrich Botanical Gardens (Madison, WI). Some of the cool metal art I saw at the Expo is at the bottom.