I am often asked to speak to groups, garden clubs, and organizations. I have a wide range of lectures and discussions that can be easily adapted for any group. I am passionate about connecting with other gardeners, designers, and landscape architects. If you're interested in having me speak, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Past topics are listed below, but if you want to discuss something else, I'm happy to tailor a topic to your group and needs. Many of the topics listed on this blog would make excellent topics.
Native Plant Composition Based on Artful Interpretations of Plant Communities
This talk offers a critique of the horticultural approach to using native plants and suggests an alternative: composition based on artful interpretations of native plant communities. This requires the designer to carefully understand native plant communities and abstract the visual essence of these spaces in order to create modern interpretations that convey a native community's sense of place and visual harmony.
Native Plants for a New American Cottage Garden
It's time to take a fresh look at the cottage garden. This traditionally British form can be easily adapted for American gardens using American plants. The charming jumble of perennials and shrubs can be a truly sustainable and beautiful model for small gardens. American gardeners can have all the advantages of a cottage garden--the romantic appeal, the low maintenance, and the goopy prettiness of it all--with a wildlife friendly native mix.
The End of Groundcovers
The use of groundcovers may be the single most pernicious thing that gardeners have done to the environment since DDT. Groundcovers represent a failure of imagination. This talk examines the use, origin, and philosophy behind groundcovers and proposes real, workable alternatives for our toughest garden spaces.
Using Perennials and Grasses in Tough Spaces and Public Gardens
Why do we reserve our toughest landscape spaces for only trees and sod? Why can't we use large masses of perennials and grasses in tough, low maintenance areas? This talk explores how to use the most ephemeral of garden plants--perennials and grasses--successfully in tough, barren, landscapes. It time for our parks, commercial landscapes, and private gardens to embrace the seasonal beauty, bold color, and ecological richness of perennials and grasses. Proven strategies for success.
Planting Style and Groundbreaking Planting Designers
This talk explores how to use plant selection and design to introduce personal style into gardens and landscape. We will look at some of the top planting designers over the last century and examine how they use plants as an expressive an artistic medium. How to create distinctive planting designs and elements of style are explored.
Advanced Compositional Strategies for Planting Design
This talk looks in detail at some of the latest innovations in planting design. We will talk about how to confidently mix shrubs, perennials, and grasses in a new, more modern, and more ecological style. Strategies include interplanting, matrix planting, block massing, and plant massing based on ecological succession models.
Designing with Bulbs and Annuals
Bulbs (or geophytes--plants with underground storage) are often used for temporary effects, but many bulbs can be long-term performers in the garden. This talk will focus on how to use bulbs for both impact planting and as a complement to perennial planting. In addition, we'll explore how to intermix annuals into planting beds for heightened effect.
Planting that Responds to the Site
American landscapes are an amalgalm of washed-up ideas from the last century. The real-estate market and our general conservatism when it comes to design limits our gardens from reaching their true, dynamic potential. This talk focuses on how to create plantings that respond to the site, how to select plants that fit within its context, and how to make plantings that endure.