Mid-American Gardener’s Dianne Noland announces retirement
After 25 years with the show, Dianne Noland is retiring from her Mid-American Gardener hosting duties. “I’m not completely leaving, as I may do an occasional video segment, but I will no longer host and produce,” said Noland. Her final night hosting the gardening how-to television show will be Thursday, August 31, 2017.
Originally called Illinois Gardener, Mid-American Gardener began back in 1992 as an effort to increase local programming at WILL while also engaging the local audience in a personal way. Noland—a horticulture teacher at the University of Illinois—had recently done some U of I Garden Talk TV spots and was brought on as a panelist for the show’s very first episode on May 21, 1992.
“To me, television is just teaching on film, and I love teaching. The show was a perfect fit for my personality,” explained Noland.
Seven years later, Noland was chosen as the full-time host. Since then, she has decided which panelists would be on the show from week to week, taking pride in making sure Mid-American Gardener always explores a wide variety of topics: landscaping, entomology, plant identification, etc.
Maintaining the show’s conversational, warm feel is also source of pride for Noland, “I’m already enthusiastic, but I get myself into high gear before every show. I want the audience to feel we are just sitting in their living room, casually talking about their gardens.”
Mid-American Gardener broadcasts live Thursday nights at 7 pm on WILL-TV. After hosting the show for 18 years, Noland and her family are looking forward to a little more flexibility with their time moving forward. However, she mostly plans to spend that extra time in her garden, “I’d spend a full eight hours in the garden every day if I could. I like seeing the results of my labor,” she said.
For Noland, the joy of flowers is universal, and her garden has room to grow. In fact, her goal is to have something blooming year-round “I have a plan in mind of how I want things to look, but I’ve learned that the flowers always have a better plan. If I let the plants do what they do, let them sow, it’s always even better than I imagined.”
While she won’t be in homes every week, a little bit of Noland will there for every episode. “The set is loosely based on my front porch! So I’ll always be a part of things in spirit.”
The show isn’t going anywhere, however. Until a new full-time host is identified, Mid-American Gardener will continue on with guest hosts—most of whom have been panelists throughout the years and with whom viewers are familiar.