Debbie Lonnee - "New Annuals for Spring 2017" 

Debbie will educate and inform us with great information regarding new annuals for northern gardeners. There are lots of exciting new plant varieties from breeders around the world that you’ll find in your neighborhood garden center in spring and summer of 2017. Debbie will highlight colorful new annuals for your containers, window boxes and flower beds.


Debbie Lonnee has a B.S. in Horticulture from the University of Minnesota. She has worked at Bailey Nurseries for the last 20 + years, and is currently the Product Development Manager, responsible for Bailey's new breeding farm in Georgia. Debbie works with the breeders around the world and bringing new plants to Bailey brands.

Debbie is an avid gardener, a member of the Perennial Plant Association, and current Past President of the Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association, and was recently honored for her years of service byy being the first woman to be inducted into the MNLA Hall of Fame. 

Garden writing is her second job; she is the horticultural editor for Northern Gardener magazine, and also writes the ‘Plant to Pick’ article for each edition. 

Dr. Bob Olson - "Miniature Hostas, the Latest Fad"


What is a “miniature” hosta?

Are they different from the giant ones?

Why didn’t my “mini” stay small?

Why didn’t my “mini” survive the winter?

Why won’t my little hostas grow?


Bob has been growing hostas for over twenty-five years.   Bob is a member of the Men’s and Women’s Garden Club of Minneapolis . He is the past president of the National Hosta Society and has edited The Hosta Journal for the past 10 years.  His garden has been on the National Garden Tour for the American Hosta Society three times and on the Men's Garden Club of America National Tour twice.

Dr. David Zlesak - “Great Tree Options for the Minnesota Landscape"

Adding greater tree diversity to our urban landscapes is important to help spread risk from invasive pests and to provide functional and aesthetic value in our communities.  David will highlight a few dozen well-adapted tree species describing their growth habits and ornamental features.  He will also lead us through the basics of tree planting and early tree care


Dr. David Zlesak is an associate professor of horticulture at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls (UWRF). He teaches the Woody Landscape Plants and Arboriculture classes at UWRF and has been breeding woody and herbaceous landscape plants for greater adaptation to the upper Midwest since 1984.