After 21 years, Shelley Ryan is retiring as the host of "The Wisconsin Gardener'' on Wisconsin Public Television.
"It is not a decision I make happily or lightly," Ryan said. "Last year I learned that my breast cancer had returned and spread to my bones. A year later, the good news is that it's still bone cancer only with no major organ involvement. However, my treatment this last summer and fall have really taken a toll on me, and I need to focus on my health."
Her final season as the host and producer of the popular gardening show began last week and includes three more new episodes:
» "The Eyes Have It": 7 p.m. Thursday. Ryan visits the world's largest potato gene bank in Sturgeon Bay, where researchers are working to create frost-resistant potato crops and exploring how certain varieties could be used in the fight against breast cancer.
» "Problem Solvers": 7 p.m. May 9. Ryan and her guests learn how to cultivate a garden on shady property, uncover the lasting effects of drought and discover the hardy moss rose.
» "Climate Change for Gardeners": 7 p.m. May 16. Ryan talks to University of Wisconsin experts about the role changing climates in Wisconsin are having on growing zones, insects and weeds.
Since the series premiere in 1992, Ryan and her guests have presented gardening tips specific to Wisconsin.