Talks

I am available for speaking engagements on the topics below, as well as other topics you might suggest. Use the Contact button for more information or to arrange a talk for your group.

Re-Imagine Your Landscape

Whether you are starting with a bare lot or want to renovate an overgrown yard, there are several principles for turning your property into a beautiful landscape that meets your functional needs. Come and learn the basics that professionals use to create pleasing outdoor spaces. Discover how to devise a master plan for your property, or how to rework just one area of your garden. We will also discuss hardscaping, the elements of form, color, and repetition of plant material, and how you can incorporate these into your overall site design. PowerPoint presentation.

 

 Creating a Natural Look in the Garden

Do you wish for a more natural-looking garden? Or are you starting a new garden and want it to look harmonious? The best way to start is to learn from the master—Mother Nature. This program provides you with inspiration and tips to get you started on the path of creating a more natural-looking garden for your property. PowerPoint presentation.

 

Selecting the Best Trees and Shrubs for Your Property

Woody ornamentals form the long-lasting framework of a garden. They provide shade, structure, habitat, and a real presence in the landscape. Choosing the right ones for specific garden conditions is essential since they are long-lived and can be costly to maintain or remove. This talk showcases some of the best trees and shrubs for area gardens in our region based on adaptability, beauty, ease of care, flowering, fruit, and other attributes. While North American native plants are the preferred choice, worthy non-native woody plants are included too. PowerPoint presentation.

 

Ornamental Edibles—How to have a Delicious and Beautiful Landscape

Many of the trees, shrubs, and perennials in our yards are edible, but do you know which ones? Discover which plants in your landscape are edible and learn about gorgeous ornamental edibles you can add to your garden. PowerPoint presentation.

 

Plants for Pollinators

Looking to improve your garden’s habitat for bees, butterflies, and other pollinators? This class profiles beautiful perennials, annuals, shrubs, and trees they especially adore and will help you learn which are best suited to your garden’s growing conditions. We’ll also discuss ways you can make your garden more enticing to pollinators and birds, and how to have your property certified as a wildlife habitat. PowerPoint Presentation.

 

Vegetable Gardening Basics

Growing your own food is one of the most satisfying forms of gardening. Vegetable gardening provides the opportunity to select varieties you like, plus it provides your family with fresh produce that is free from harmful pesticides. This class will cover the basics of planning your vegetable garden, preparing the soil, selecting plant and seed varieties (including hybrids and heirlooms), starting plants from seed, planting, tending your plants, troubleshooting problems, extending the season, and getting the most out of small plots. PowerPoint presentation.

 

Easy Herbs You Can Grow and Use

What’s not to love about these useful, easy to grow, and downright beautiful plants? Perennial herbs like oregano, thyme, and sage live for years in the garden and can be harvested practically year round. Tender herbs like basil, dill, and cilantro are culinary powerhouses and are easy to grow too. Whether you have garden space to grow herbs, or want to grow them in pots on a deck or balcony, this class will help you learn how to choose, grow, harvest, and use several of the most popular, useful herbs. Lecture and demonstration.

 

All about Garlic

Love garlic? It’s surprisingly simple to grow! This talk covers everything you need to successfully grow this useful crop: fall planting, what to expect in the spring, harvesting, curing, storing, and using your bounty. Different garlic varieties are covered and recipes are provided. Powerpoint presentation and demonstration.

 

Tough Customers—Today’s Best Perennials for Your Garden

Perennials are a mainstay of beautiful gardens. They return year after year, bloom reliably, and can offer other benefits, such as nectar and seeds for wildlife. Not all are created equal though. Come learn which perennials are the best ones for area gardens in terms of hardiness, flowering, deer resistance, and other attributes. Some might surprise you! New and improved varieties of old favorites will also be covered. PowerPoint Presentation.

 

Annual Flower Power

Long-lived perennials are great in the garden, but their flowers come and go. Adding annuals bridges those blooming gaps and brings megawatt flower power to your garden. Some even bloom from spring to frost. We’ll discuss some of the most floriferous annuals to look for, including new varieties and tried-and-true, old-fashioned favorites. We’ll cover how to place annuals for maximum effect and how to include annuals if you are on a budget. Ideas for combining annuals and container plantings will also be covered. PowerPoint Presentation.

 

An Abundance of Plants—How to Have More

Watching a seed sprout and grow into a plant is truly one of life’s miracles! Starting your own seeds enables you to experiment with varieties you can’t find at the local nursery. Taking cuttings and dividing perennials is a great way to increase the number of plants in your garden, plus you can share the extras with gardening friends. This talk will teach you how to start seeds indoors, as well as direct-sow seeds in your garden. You will also learn how to take and care for cuttings, and how to and divide various perennials. Lecture and demonstration.

 

Prune Like a Real Pro

Pruning is one of the least-understood gardening tasks, yet is critical for a healthy and attractive landscape. Knowing when to prune is just as important as knowing how to prune. When done correctly, pruning can rejuvenate overgrown trees and shrubs, increase plant vigor, and improve appearance. Proper formative pruning also gets young trees and shrubs off to a good start, resulting in healthier and more beautiful assets in the landscape. This class will cover pruning tools and techniques for trees and shrubs. PowerPoint presentation and demonstration.

 

Harvesting and Preserving the Garden’s Bounty

Rejoice in the bounty of your garden! This class provides tips for harvesting vegetables, fruits, and herbs at the peak of flavor, as well as the basics of hot water bath canning, freezing, and drying. You will gain confidence to try these simple techniques at home so you can savor the harvest long into winter. Lecture and demonstration.

 

Fall Gardening

Fall is a great time to be in the garden. The weather is cooler and there is still time to create new beds, divide perennials and tackle hardscaping projects. We can also enjoy the outdoors as we “put the garden to bed.” Learn tips and techniques for preparing your garden for winter. Not only will you be rewarded with a healthier garden next summer, your garden will also be more beautiful all winter long. PowerPoint presentation.

 

The Winter Garden

Some say that the test of a true gardener lies in how their garden looks in winter. Come learn how you can make your garden look great and interesting even through this neglected season through the use of form, structure, color, texture, and yes, even flowers! PowerPoint presentation.

 

Easy Houseplants to Enhance Your Life

Houseplants are making a comeback! It’s no wonder: houseplants add oxygen to our homes, help purify and humidify the air, and add life and beauty to interior spaces. Learn which houseplants are easiest to grow and see a sampling of flowering and foliage plants to consider trying. We’ll also cover how to choose pots and decorative containers, potting soil, light, feeding, watering, and how to care for orchids. Lecture and demonstration.

 

Oh My Aching Back! How to Keep Gardening as We Age

Gardening is great exercise, but it can become more difficult through the years. Aging knees and backs, and overall muscle loss make it harder to do the kind of gardening we once enjoyed. This talk provides suggestions for making your garden less labor intensive while still providing joy and a beautiful setting for your home. Lecture.