Remembering ‘The Wisconsin Gardener’s’ Shelley Ryan

Join Wisconsin Public Television as we celebrate the life and career of the late Shelley Ryan, beloved host and producer of The Wisconsin Gardener.

Portrait of Shelley Ryan

Shelley Ryan

For 21 years, Shelley Ryan inspired thousands of gardeners to express creativity in their own homes, lawns, gardens and landscapes. As a Master Gardener, Ryan’s vast knowledge of gardening in Wisconsin’s range of seasons made her a trusted source for green thumbs across the state.

Ryan endured a long battle with breast cancer, and in 2013, she announced to viewers her cancer had spread and that the 21st season of The Wisconsin Gardener would be her last. She died earlier this year after completing work on the series.

Now, Wisconsin Public Television commemorates Shelley Ryan’s life and career with a special that features memorable moments and guests from throughout The Wisconsin Gardener’s 21 seasons. The Wisconsin Gardener: Celebrating Shelley Ryan airs 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 2 and is streaming online nowJoin us in celebrating Shelley Ryan and the contributions she made during her decades of service to gardeners throughout Wisconsin.

The following is a list of episodes featured in the special, in order of appearance. Search for full segments and watch online on The Wisconsin Gardener webpage.

Ep. 1303 – Huitlachoche, Bad Plants Go Good, Emerald Ash Borer, Growing Plant Communities
Ep. 704 – Dividing Iris/Iris Borer
Ep. 1803 – Growing an Edible Wall
Ep. 2102 – Vertical Gardening
Ep. 1204 – Concrete Leaf Sculptures, Multi-colored Asian Ladybeetle
Ep. 1402 – Secret Gardens
Ep. 2002 – The Fossil Record of Ancient Gardens
Ep. 1301 – Dyeing with Herbs/Scarves
Ep. 1104 – Making a Whimsical Garden Statue
Ep. 1906 – Eat Local at La Merenda Restaurant, Vegetable Diseases, Eagle Heights, How to Grow in a Burlap Bag
Ep. 2103 – Junkyard Garden, Artful Shade Garden, Moss Roses, Drought Long and Short Term Effects
Ep. 1903 – A Rock Quarry Garden, Plants for Clay
Ep. 2005 – A Terra Cotta Sculpture Garden, Sisson’s Peony Gardens, Allen Centennial Gardens
Ep. 1603 – Preserving the Harvest, Bounce, Ridges Sanctuary
Ep. 1901 – How Not to Take Care of Container Plants, How Not to Plant Trees
Ep. 1704 – Cancer Announcement, Tree Peonies
Ep. 2001 – How to Buy Plants That Will Live
Ep. 1904 – Riverside International Friendship Gardens, A French Garden in Alma, Growing Lotus Plants in Sturgeon Bay
Ep. 1701 – A Northern Wisconsin Garden, Winter Greenhouses, West of the Lake Gardens, Children’s Garden at Green Bay Botanical, West Madison Agriculture Research Station
Ep. 803 – Creating With Gourds
Ep. 1801 – Longenecker Gardens
Ep. 101 – Rock Gardens
Ep. 1002 – Let’s Go Shopping
Ep. 304 – Native Prairie Plants
Ep. 204 – Bug of the Month, Tent Worms
Ep. 1001 – A Wisconsin Tropical Garden, A Dinosaur Garden, A Horticulturalist Garden
Ep. 2004 – Cicada Killer Giant Wasps
Ep. 1706 – Controlling Buckthorn & Honeysuckle
Ep. 1002 – Staking Perennials
Ep. 2101 – Anderson Japanese Gardens

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Penguins, submarines and spies: New ‘Nature’ Special

The sly and stealthy Emporercam in action.

Fun fact for the weekend: Emperor penguins can dive deeper than most submarines, to an incredible 1,850 feet. They can also stay submerged for around 20 minutes.

Another fun fact: I am a sucker for adorable, exotic animals – especially anything that waddles – but aside from being fluffy, I have to say, these flightless birds are pretty incredible creatures.

For an up-close and intimate look at the legendary journeys and daring adventures of penguins all over the globe, check out the new three-part Nature special: “Penguins: Spy in the Huddle.” Go undercover with the stealthy PenguinCam to learn about the love and perseverance needed to raise a family in the Antarctic and elsewhere. Watch part one online here.

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All-New Wisconsin Life and Around the Farm Table Coming in October

We have a couple great reasons to be excited here at Wisconsin Public Television!

All-new episodes of Around The Farm Table and Wisconsin Life are coming Monday, Oct. 6 at 8 and 8:30. Watch a preview with Around the Farm Table host Inga Witscher below.

You can find exclusive sneak-peeks at new Wisconsin Life segments now online here, and see an all-new episode of Around the Farm Table, with special guest Michael Perry, online here.

Mondays are Made in Wisconsin on Wisconsin Public Television.

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WHLA-TV in La Crosse Off-Air for Tower Maintenance

WPT's Transmission Coverage Map

Click to enlarge.

UPDATE: 3 p.m. Sept. 25 — Maintenance was completed at 12:45 p.m. today.

On Wednesday, Sept. 24, crews will perform maintenance on the WHLA-TV transmitter tower in La Crosse. The work means Wisconsin Public Television’s over-the-air broadcast in the La Crosse area will be unavailable for a portion of the day Wednesday. This maintenance will not affect WPT viewers who watch on cable or satellite, nor will it affect over-the-air viewers in the rest of the state.

Online video at, including The Wisconsin Channel livestream and WPT’s video archive, will remain available during the maintenance. Parents and caretakers can find PBS Kids video at We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for supporting Wisconsin Public Television.

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The Story of ‘The Roosevelts’ Continues Online

For many public television viewers, a seven-night TV viewing marathon came to a close Saturday with the final on-air broadcast of The Roosevelts: An Intimate History.

The critics praise for The Roosevelts

The critics loved Ken Burns’ film.

For anyone who didn’t sprint to the finish (myself included) there’s still time to watch Ken Burns’ latest documentary online. Watch all seven episodes of The Roosevelts now through Sept. 28 on or on your Apple TV, Roku, Xbox or Amazon Fire. But don’t delay much longer, all seven episodes are only available until Sunday, Sept. 28. (After that, the series will be available for purchase on iTunes, Amazon and Google Play).

If you’re already through watching and want more history documentaries, there’s a whole world of video waiting in the archives at For example, if Episode 2 of The Roosevelts left you wanting to learn more about TR’s achievement in building the Panama Canal, you can check out American Experience “The Panama Canal”.

To get you started, here’s a list of documentaries and clips, segmented by each Roosevelt episode, that dive deeper into the history of major events in which Teddy, Franklin and Eleanor were a part of. If you know of additional Roosevelts-related video, please share it in the comments below.

Episode 1: 1858-1901 “Get Action”
TR’s famous “Rough Riders” fought in the Spanish American War. PBS’ Latino Americans looks at the expansionist ideals that led to the United States’ involvement in Cuba. For more on the “Rough Riders” look to member station KNME’s report, “Rough Riders in New Mexico.”

Episode 2: 1901-1910 “In the Arena”
American Experience “The Panama Canal” tells the complete story of how the Panama Canal connected the world’s two largest oceans and signaled America’s emergence as a global superpower.

Episode 3: 1910-1919 “The Fire of Life”
When TR abandoned the White House, President William Howard Taft carried on with similar progressive policies and even broke up Standard Oil, owned by John D. Rockefeller. For more, watch “The Rockefellers” from American Experience.

Episode 4: 1920-1933 “The Storm”
In 1921, FDR was diagnosed with infantile paralysis – polio. Once nearly eradicated, polio appears to be making a comeback in 2014. PBS NewsHour reports on this modern public health emergency.

Episode 5: 1933-1939 “The Rising Road”
FDR’s New Deal led to public works projects throughout the nation, including the Camp Madison Civilian Conservation Corps, which completed the nation’s first prairie restoration on the University of Wisconsin Arboretum. Learn more about Camp Madison CCC and Aldo Leopold from In Wisconsin. Also, hear Woody Guthrie sing “The Great Dust Storm” in the intro to another great Ken Burns film, The Dust Bowl.

Episode 6: 1939-1944 “The Common Cause”
TR and FDR both served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, and both championed strong military defense budgets during their time in the post. University Place “Science and Engineering in WWII takes a look at technology and design of two aircraft that helped the U.S. and its allies win World War II.

Episode 7: 1944-1962 “A Strong and Active Faith”
After FDR’s death in 1945, Eleanor Roosevelt never lost sight of the goals she and her husband fought for and in her later years championed for civil rights and women’s rights. She even hosted her own TV show, Prospects of Mankind with Eleanor Roosevelt on PBS member station WGBH. Watch ER’s conversation about the Peace Corps and public service with President Kennedy.


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