garden show porter county 2016

Meet the 13th Annual Garden Show Speakers

The 13th Annual Garden Show is to be held on January 23rd, 2016 at the Porter County Expo Center, in Valparaiso Indiana. The show is an Indiana Bicentennial Legacy Event and the speakers will be  “Celebrating Our Roots – Growing Our Future.”
The speakers will dazzle you with the many delights of the peony – our state flower – and teach you more about our natural landscape and its plants and birds. Organic urban and heirloom gardening will be made accessible, and the lore of Indiana’s native trees will be explored.
And with a seminar on the land-grant legacy of Purdue University – which eventually led to the Master Gardener Program, we’ll see the history behind who we are as gardeners today, and how we can better garden for the future.

Meet the Seminar Speakers . . . 
(All seminars and demonstrations are included in your ticket price.)

Keynote by Roy Diblik, Plantsman, Designer, Author
A recognized plantsman, designer and author, Roy served as the regional perennial expert during the creation of the Lurie Garden at Millennium Park in Chicago and is still the garden’s official grower. He helped to create the Shedd Aquarium Oceanarium garden, designed not only to be beautiful, but also to provide shelter and food for migratory birds, featuring 60-to-70 percent native plants. Roy received the 2010 Mayor’s Award for the garden at the Louis Sullivan Gateway Arch for the Modern Wing of the Art Institute in Chicago. He is co-owner of Northwind Perennial Farm in Burlington, Wis., specializing in the aesthetic as well as the sustainable through traditional and Midwest native perennials. For more on Roy, click here to visit the Farm’s website.

LaManda Joy
LaManda brings two of her passions together in her work: service and gardening with a lineage – in other words, heirlooms – the darlings of today’s gardening scene. She is an award-winning Master Gardener and the founder and executive director of Peterson Garden Project, which manages seven community gardens and nearly three thousand gardeners in Chicago, IL. A nationally recognized expert, lecturer, and writer on urban edible gardening, she is the author (with Theresa Gale) of Fearless Food Gardening in Chicagoland and creator of the acclaimed blog, The Yarden. LaManda has lectured on historic victory gardens at the Library of Congress and the Field Museum in Chicago. Visit her blog at

Dr. Frederick “Fred” Whitford
Fred has written three books on the main players in the history of agriculture in Indiana, and he brings a real sincerity and animation to the story of Purdue and agriculture. He is the Clinical Engagement Professor – Purdue Pesticide Programs in the department of Botany and Plant Pathology, and received his bachelor’s degree in wildlife management from Louisiana Tech, and his master’s and doctorate degrees in entomology from Iowa State University. Fred is the author of The Grand Old Man of Purdue University and Indiana Agriculture: A Biography of William Carroll Latta, and the co-author of The Queen of American Agriculture: A Biography of Virginia Claypool Meredith. In recognition of his significant contributions to Extension outreach efforts, he has received numerous awards, including an Excellence in Extension Award from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities.

Jean Starr
A member of the Midwest Peony Society, Jean has planted over 40 different peonies in her garden in Northwest Indiana. Jean is an award-winning writer whose first published article appeared in the American Horticultural Society’s magazine in 1992. The topic was how to keep a garden journal. Since then, Jean has spoken and written about a wide range of topics for a number of national and regional print and online publications. Today, her garden journal consists of detailed records of plant purchases. Successes and failures are recorded in her blog,

Victoria Jostes
Victoria is a Lake County Master Gardener, speaker, award-winning amateur photographer and writer of “The Gift of Healing Herbs.” She is passionate about the natural world and has brought her love of nature and ecology to groups and garden clubs across Northwest Indiana, including Purdue North Central and Taltree.

John Woodmansee
John is the Purdue University Extension Educator for Agriculture and Natural Resources in Noble and Whitley Counties, and is the past Extension Educator in Fountain and Grant Counties. He holds a Master’s of Science degree from Purdue, and grew up on the family farm in Grant County, where they raised corn, soybeans, wheat, oats, hay, hogs, cattle, rabbits, and occasionally horses. He has made tree identification both a hobby and a specialty of his from high school through the present day.

Kris Krouse and Jim Erdelac
Kris is the Executive Director of the Shirley Heinze Land Trust. He serves on the Indiana Lake Michigan Coastal Advisory Board, the Executive Council for Chicago Wilderness, and the Environmental Management Policy Committee of the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission.
Jim is the Education and Volunteer Manager of the Shirley Heinze Land Trust. He worked previously for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources as an Ecologist Aide. He serves on the board of the Northwest Indiana Paddling Association. For more information on Shirley Heinze Land Trust,


Sue Baxter