Garden Groups – In Person or Virtual, Zoom Presentations
Garden Speaker / Lectures ~ In Person or Virtual
Looking for a great speaker who presents entertaining talks about plants and gardens? C.L. Fornari speaks about gardening, presenting talks suitable for garden clubs, libraries, horticultural societies, flower shows, botanical gardens, neighborhood associations, garden geeks, and special interest groups. Whether you are needing a virtual presentation during the pandemic or are planning a future live event, contact C.L. Fornari for details. To read just a few comments about C.L.’s talks, in-person and virtual, click here.
Virtually present engaging and life-affirming talks to groups that are large or small. Any of the programs you see on this page can be given via Zoom.
Please contact me for availability and pricing. I make sure that every talk I give is appropriate to the region where I’m speaking, even if that talk is being given over Zoom. I also allow plenty of time for answering questions that are typed in using the chat function. I look forward to providing an entertaining and informative talk to your group.
Testimonials and accolades
You did a really great job in your presentation this week to the Lyme Garden Club! Lots of humor, which is hard to maintain without the feedback of an inhouse audience. I learned a lot. I was particularly impressed with your knowledge as you were hit with so many different questions during Q&A. – Carol in CT
“Thank you for doing the Friday evening cocktail gardening Zoom calls. They were the best think I found to do in April in the online environment. You really have a gift. Your presentations are clear, balanced and easy to understand. You make it seem effortless – though I appreciate all the effort that goes into putting the calls together. Thank you.” – Regina O.
“I just finished watching your zoom. You were so wonderful. I want to compliment you on your presentation of your virtual experience. Thank you.” – Kathleen M.
“I’ve attended many webinar, Zoom and real life seminars for gardening. I will say that CL Fornari is one of the best. She shares information in a way that even the most novice gardeners will understand, and those of us who have years of experience always seem to learn something new. The talks are lively and full of information, and I never walk away feeling like I’ve wasted my time.” – Debra L.
A Stroll Through C.L.’s Gardens
Join me for a virtual cocktail hour (or coffee break, tea party) in my gardens. I’ll give your group a garden-based cocktail recipe (with a non-alcoholic version included) in advance, for those who want to make this a party. Then we’ll stroll around Poison Ivy Acres together. You’ll get ideas for containers on porches and decks, see colorful combinations of annuals and perennials, and discover creative ways to have fun with plants in your own landscape. I’ll share some tips for growing vegetables and how to easily preserve or cook with the harvest. You’ll see my cutting garden, Annual Alley, the fragrance/bird garden and several flower beds. The handout contains names of plants that more people should know and grow, tips for easier maintenance and more. A relaxing and idea-generating program for all types of groups.
There’s Treasure Everywhere!
This virtual tour of beautiful gardens presents ideas, information and inspirations gathered from private and public gardens coast-to-coast and beyond. I’ve had the pleasure of visiting gardens throughout the USA, Canada and Europe, privately and with the GardenComm organization, and have put together a visual feast that will get your creative juices flowing for your own property. You’ll see many styles of gardens, get design ideas, learn about new plants and combinations and see how others have solved problems. The handout contains tips for design, plant names and a list of the public gardens shown so that you can plan future garden-tourism trips.
Success With Vegetables
You don’t have to be a foodie to want homegrown vegetables. Produce that’s right from the garden tastes better, is better for you because it’s fresher, and contains a deep satisfaction factor. It used to be that veggie gardens were confined to the backyard or the farm, but now even those with small yards, urban balconies, or other tiny spaces can grow their own food. This talk presents some of the newer ways to grow your own food, some “tricks of the trade” and some varieties that succeed against all odds.
Be a barber, not a butcher…from holly to hydrangeas, learn the proper way to prune your shrubs and trees.
Hydrangea Happiness, Hydrangea Hysteria
From blue mopheads and lacecaps to white “pee gees,” there are hydrangeas for every garden. Learn which varieties will live and flower well in your gardens. Find out how to prune those blue-flowering plants that produce blooms on “old wood.” Discover those types that won’t grow over the windowsills or take over the foundation bed. And celebrate the many shrubs that add color and long-lasting flowers to your garden.
In the summer of 2021, C.L. welcomed the CBS Sunday Morning crew into her gardens during the Cape Cod Hydrangea festival. See her talk Hydrangeas with Mo Rocca.
The Cocktail Hour Garden
For most of us, life is jam-packed. In the 21st century it becomes even more important to take a break at the end of the work day, put aside our digital devices and reconnect with other people and the natural world. This talk explores how we can all benefit from a garden created for the senses. Whether you sit in such a space with a cup of coffee in the morning, an iced tea in the afternoon, or a cocktail at the end of the day, The Cocktail Hour Garden will be a refuge where you can relax, recharge, and reconnect with other people and the natural world. It isn’t about what’s in your glass, although each section starts off with a toast…it’s about self-care and creating beautiful spaces.
Myths, Lies, and All the Latest Dirt
Yes, sometimes the information that’s passed from gardener to gardener is rock solid wisdom, but occasionally some commonly held beliefs about plants and gardens are misleading or out and out false, or new research contradicts traditional gardening practices. This down-and-dirty talk helps gardeners sort through the folklore and hype surrounding plants, practices and products.
Party Crashers: Self Seeding Annuals
You didn’t invite them to your garden party but they came anyway. Maybe they arrived with another plant, or had been invited to the celebration in previous seasons. Now they show up every summer whether summoned or not. Yet these Party Crashers arrive so colorfully dressed, and with such spirit, that you allow some of them to stay. This talk is about self-seeding annuals that can’t resist a good gathering. It’s also about the gardener being a good host; how to recognize which plants will be the life of the party, and which ones we should escort off the premises.
Start Where You Are: Garden Design and Established Landscapes
This talk focuses on design principles and specific suggestions for people who already have a yard and garden and want to learn how to best make improvements. It is beautifully illustrated presentation (think “before and after”) which acknowledges that most of us don’t start with a blank slate. I explain how assorted changes – some simple and some more extensive – can enhance a garden’s appearance and functionality.
Color All Summer: Reports From Annual Alley
Anyone who’s been to my property at Poison Ivy Acres knows that I love all types of plants, from the tallest of trees to the shortest of perennials and mosses. But I wouldn’t be without annuals because most of them give me flowers all summer and into the fall. Every year I plant them among my perennials and shrubs and in the strip along my vegetable garden that I call “Annual Alley.” This talk presents annuals from several angles: great new varieties and why I love them, new ways of designing with old favorites, alternatives to Impatiens in the era of downy mildew, self-seeders, and creative containers for deck, patio, and garden.
Cannabis: Growing Your Own
For those interested in herbal medicine, Cannabis is a plant that they want to grow. Some are interested in using this plant’s CBD’s for pain relief or for dealing with insomnia and arthritis. Others want to grow it for the THC, while many gardeners wish to make cannabinoid-infused oils for topical applications. No matter what your focus, this is an interesting plant that has specific growth requirements. This presentation provides accurate information about the plant that Jeff Lowenfels calls “the new tomato.”
Note: In Massachusetts it’s now legal, within specific guidelines, to grow up to six Cannabis plants per person, twelve per household. This talk will explain how to raise Cannabis responsibly and organically, within MA state guidelines. This is a presentation about growing the plant, not about using it medically or therapeutically.
Those flowering annuals, tropical plants and tender perennials look so good at the end of the summer, that you want to know how to keep them over the winter. This talk explains how to keep the tropical, the tender, the tricky and the tried and true
Perennial Bed Maintenance
The need-to-do, the nice-to-do, and the maybe-not-necessary-to-do: everything you need to know about keeping your perennial garden beautiful.
The 21st Century Flower Garden
The 21st Century Flower Garden is more than a bed of pretty flowers. These plants have a purpose! Random acts of kindness, privacy screening, celebrations, and attracting pollinators…in addition to providing us with colorful blooms. Find out about changes in flower garden design and planting options, and how you might want to shake things up in your 21st century landscape. Hear too about how we can all raise our spirits with flowers, even in difficult times.
Home Remedies ~ The Good, The Bad, and the What Were You Thinking?
It can be fun to think that the answer to all your garden problems is already in your kitchen and bathroom cupboards, but are household products or homemade brews really effective in the garden? This amusing and informative talk looks at remedies that are passed over the backyard fences outdoors, through Facebook or on Pinterest. Learn what works and what’s a waste of time…and which “solutions” are actually garden disasters.
The Cape Cod Hydrangea Festival: Growing Something Good
The Cape Cod Hydrangea Festival is a ten day period when Cape gardens are open to the public for the benefit of local non-profits. Although it is organized under the umbrella of our signature flower, the blue hydrangea, it is our seaside gardens and landscapes that are being celebrated. This talk is about how everyone in the community benefits from garden tourism. From businesses and residents, to the non-profits and horticulture itself, such regional celebrations feed us all.
Garden Crafts & Projects
Let’s celebrate creativity in the garden! This Zoom program will inspire you with indoor and outdoor projects that will get your creative juices flowing. See what you can create with objects you might already have in your garage or closets. Learn how to plant a large trough, tree stump or other unusual containers. Find out how to make a wreath of hydrangea flowers. Discover fun plant supports and uses for older clay flower pots. Learn how to repair a favorite container that has broken. Ideas shown include indoor and outdoor projects.
Should your yard and garden be part of a pollinator pathway? Learn how individuals, schools and local businesses are discovering how they can support pollinators and other wildlife. See how the design of such plantings can fit in with your existing landscape. Hear about plants that attract and feed bees, butterflies and other pollinators and how to plant and manage such gardens. Discover how you have the power to make a difference, while creating a landscape that works for you and the natural world.
What’s For Dinner?
Preserving, cooking and serving vegetable garden produce.
You’ve planted a vegetable garden, or have decided to do so next spring. This talk shows some wonderful varieties to grow, and presents ways to easily preserve and prepare your bounty. Learn which vegetables provide the largest harvests, discover how edible flowers can be used to enliven meals, and hear how to use all of those zucchini. From traditional dishes with a home-garden twist, to more exotic recipes that take you away from the same-old-same-old, this presentation is for people who love good food.
Note: I speak on many other topics as well. Other aspects of gardening with annuals, perennials, organic gardening, flowering shrubs, container gardening and garden Q & A to name just a few subjects. If you don’t see the talk you’re looking for, please contact to arrange a program that suits your organization’s needs.
If you’ve heard me speak please leave a review of my work at Great Garden Speakers.
For details about these or other talks and workshops,
please contact me by email at: clfornari at gmail dot com
Mail: C.L. Fornari P.O. Box 355 Osterville, MA 02655