Garden Lectures 2017-05-02T10:23:10+00:00


I have spoken on garden related topics for decades and deliver informative presentations. Below are a number of my popular lecture topics.
Contact me to tailor a presentation to your specific audience.

Best Performing Perennials for Cold Climates 

Tried and True with a Hint of New

With the constant influx of new perennials and the attention focused on them, we often neglect some of the “tried and true” plants. This session will include a bit of both, but the focus will be on perennials that have had a chance to prove their reliability in our northern landscapes. Culture, care and varietal selection will all be discussed.

Compatible Perennials for the Hosta Garden

Compatible Perennials for the Hosta Garden

Adding Contrasting Form and Texture

We all love the diversity that Hostas offer in the shade but let’s face it: the garden is more dramatic if we include some other interesting perennials to add contrasting forms, textures and verticality. This presentation will highlight some of the best choices, both “tried and true” along with some “newbies”, for combining with Hostas in our northern landscapes.

Compatible Perennials for the Lily Aficionado

It is easy to get hooked an a group of perennials such as lilies and become an avid collector. Collectors gardens easily get locked into the seasonality of a given plant and monocultures are never good for many reasons. This presentation suggests other perennials that complement blooming lilies or will add interest to the garden when there are no lily flowers present.

Evolving Echinacea – A Look at Recent Developments

In recent years, the gardening world has witnessed the introduction of so many cultivar selections in the genus Echinacea. This presentation will highlight some of the more prominent hybridizing programs and some of the selections they have introduced. In addition, I will note some of the best performing introductions for our region and the reasons that they stand out.

Great Grasses and Companion Perennials

Integrating Grasses into the Landscape

There are scores of grasses that are excellent performers in northern landscapes and this presentation will highlight some of the top choices. In addition, we will explore other plants that pair well with these grasses and touch on how grasses can be successfully integrated into the landscape.

Shade Perennials to Enhance Your Landscape

Brighten your shady areas with foliage color, texture and flowers of shade-loving perennials. In this session, I recommend beautiful plants and specific combinations for various degrees of shade. After hearing these tips, you’ll be eager to experiment in the shady areas of your landscape.

Site Specific Perennials

If you are trying to select appropriate perennials for challenging sites like dry shade, dry sun, wet shade or wet sun or are looking for minimal maintenance plants, I will point out a number of possibilities for the landscape in this presentation. You can have good success on these difficult sites with carefully chosen plants.

Suggested Perennials for Water Gardening Enthusiasts

Water gardening encompasses plants that will grow in water and those that perform well at the pond or stream edge. This session emphasizes the later group and offers suggestions for both sun and shade. You will leave with a list of possibilities that offers interesting foliage color and texture along with attractive blooms.


The Art of Perennial Combinations

One of the most enjoyable things about designing with perennials is the myriad of combination possibilities in the landscape. Though we often think first about bloom aspects, foliage color and texture along with plant form are equally as important. This presentation features some exciting examples that illustrate these principals and will get you thinking about other possible combinations in your garden.

Top-Notch Newly Introduced Perennials

There is a flood of new perennials to the marketplace each year: it’s nearly impossible to learn them all. Many of these plants are sold in northern regions without regard for their long term performance here. This presentation doesn’t feature the newest of the new but will present a range of recent perennial introductions that have proven to be good performers in the North.


For consumer audiences, I charge $350 for a one hour presentation plus all related travel expenses. Vehicle mileage is charged at the current federal IRS rate. If you would like to inquire about my availability for your event, click here. The rate for multiple presentations at a specific event is negotiable.

If you are a trade organization or commercial horticultural entity, please contact me for further information.