Well-loved Ohio plants will get the VIP treatment from gardening VIP Melinda Myers at the 63rd annual Dispatch Spring Home & Garden Show at the Ohio Expo Center.
Myers, a popular garden writer and TV and radio host, will offer visitors an in-depth look at plants that Buckeye gardeners should and do adore during an appearance this Sunday. (She’ll give a second presentation, about gardening to attract pollinators, the same day.)
“I’m so happy to be coming back to Columbus,” said Myers, who received her undergraduate degree in horticulture from Ohio State University and now lives in Wisconsin.
“It’s always great for me to come back home.”
Myers, 61, is the author of more than 20 gardening books including “The Midwest Gardener’s Handbook” and “The Ohio Lawn Guide” and is a member of the Garden Writers of America Hall of Fame.
She is also the host of the nationally syndicated “Melinda’s Garden Moment” segments, which appear on radio and television across the country, including WOSU-TV (Channel 34).
Myers is well-known by gardeners throughout the country, said Mike Hogan, an extension educator and associate professor at Ohio State.
“A lot of people have really good gardening expertise, but may not excel at connecting with people,” Hogan said.
But Myers is a terrific communicator, he said, and noted that she is a popular speaker at some of the biggest and most prestigious garden and horticulture events in the county.
Getting to hear and meet her is “an incredible opportunity for central Ohio gardeners,” Hogan said.
Myers also writes a column for Birds & Blooms magazine, answering gardening questions from readers.
“Melinda is the best,” said Kirsten Sweet, deputy editor of the magazine.
The column “is one of the best-read departments in Birds & Bloom,” Sweet said.
“Everybody gets to learn something from Melinda’s answers.”
And Myers, said Sweet, is also “very likable and very relatable.”
“I’ve seen her do several shows at the Wisconsin State Fair and afterward people literally line up to talk to her,” Sweet said.
“And she takes the time to talk with every single person. She genuinely cares and genuinely wants to help people with their lawns and gardens.”
For Myers, connecting with people is a cherished opportunity.
“One of the things I love about traveling is speaking to gardeners around the country,” Myers said.
“I love science and its application to gardening but I love people, too,” she said.
“I was lucky to combine all my passions into something I enjoy.”
After her presentations Myers always looks forward to meeting gardeners who have questions, she said.
“Even if I’ve answered a question 100 times, it’s the first time that person has asked that question. And I always walk away with some new bit of information, myself.”
Although gardening is about plants, it’s also about the gardeners who plant those plants, Myers said.
“Your garden should be fun and reflect your personality,” she said, a lesson she shared while filming “Yardworks,” a nationally syndicated TV program about celebrity gardeners, including entertainers George Takei, Phyllis Diller, Shirley Jones and Eddie Albert.
Albert, who portrayed city-slicker and wannabe farmer Oliver Wendell Douglas on the TV comedy “Green Acres” (1965-71) was as passionate about plants as his sitcom counterpart, Myers recalled.
The actor “actually grew 18-foot high corn in Pasadena,” Myers said. “He was very proud of that.”
Myers’ Home & Garden Show presentation on pollinators will examine the role of birds, bees and butterflies in the garden and what gardeners can do to attract them.
“We all depend on those pollinators,” Myers said.
“As gardeners we’re in tune with role they play and we’re always looking for even more opportunities to create great habitats.”
Her presentation on well-loved plants will feature native Ohio species as well as easy maintenance plants that grow well in the Buckeye State.
“Melinda is from Ohio and really understands Ohio gardening,” Hogan said.
“This is an incredible opportunity for central Ohio gardeners” who come to see her.”