Wisconsin Programs | The Wisconsin Gardener
Meet Shelley Ryan
The Wisconsin Gardener, with producer and host Shelley Ryan, is your complete source of gardening information. Since the show’s premiere in 1992, Ryan and her guests have consistently presented gardening tips specific to Wisconsin and have become a valuable resource for viewers like you.
"Gardening is America's number one hobby, but gardening isn't the same everywhere, and sometimes it's hard to find the answers you need when you have problems in your own garden."
Ryan, who earned the status "Master Gardener" from the Dane County Horticulture Extension Office, became interested in plants during high school. "I had two great teachers who really inspired my interest," she says. "I remember going on a field trip to the University of Wisconsin Arboretum and being really impressed that our guide could identify all of the plants. I was hooked from then on."
Her first garden consisted of only a few vegetables planted in a gravel ditch near a rented apartment. Today, she and her husband Dennie tend their gardens of heirloom and native species surrounding their Victorian home in Blue Mounds.
Since the birth of their son Kably in 1996, gardening has become a real family affair with mother and son sharing time together in the vegetable garden. With his sandbox inside the fenced-in vegetable garden, Kably grew up snacking on home-grown produce such as peas, beans, zucchini, tomatoes and raspberries. With the help of his garden diet, Kably is now 14 years old, almost six feet tall and still growing.
Ryan considers herself a true gardening enthusiast, and could talk about gardening all day and every day. That's why hosting and producing The Wisconsin Gardener is the perfect job for her.
"I have found horticulturists, scientists and master gardeners to be some of the nicest and most enjoyable people to work with. They all love to share their gardening experiences, and I get the opportunity to learn while talking with my guests."
Ryan also enjoys joking with the camera crew who keeps telling her that she has to limit use of her favorite exclamation "Oh Really!" to only once or twice in a program. All joking aside, Ryan credits the continued success of The Wisconsin Gardener to having learned more about the art of television production and, of course, gardening.