| Horticultural, Green Industry Speaker
Talks for green industry professionals - landscapers, retailers, and designers - from someone who "walks the talk." Marketing plants in the 21st century.
speaker landscapers, speaker garden center employees, green industry talks, horticultural presentations, talks for professional landscapers, green industry talks, speaker for professional gardeners, speaker for garden center owners
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Horticultural Trade Talks

Presentations for Green Industry Conferences and Meetings

C.L. Fornari presents talks for horticultural trade shows, landscapers, garden centers, nursery retailers, and other professionals. (Note: any of the Garden Talks presentations can also be given with professionals in mind. I always tailor my talks to a specific audience.)

Garden Tourism: Growing Something Good

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. As the founder of the Cape Cod Hydrangea Festival, I can speak to how others can get such annual events off the ground. Learn what it takes to plan, market and build a garden tourism event that “has legs.”

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.  In the third year of the festival, 2017, over $45,000.00 was raised for local non-profits.

Note: On Cape Cod I will give this talk free to groups such local Chambers of Commerce, Rotary organizations, garden clubs and neighborhood associations. Contact me to see if I have openings in my speaking schedule. Off-Cape my normal speaking fees apply.

hydrangea festival

Guidance to Go

Consultation Services for IGCs

Does your garden center or landscaping business make house calls? This talk explains how on-site consultation services can build customer loyalty, boost sales, and position you as the local go-to source for landscaping needs. Learn how a coaching/consultation service builds trust, drives sales and becomes a profit center for your business. After fifteen years of providing consultation services for a family-owned, independent garden center, I’ve learned a trick or two which I’m happy to share with other IGC’s.

Becoming Better Plant Pushers

Selling Plants and Gardening in the Internet Age

Delivering plant and product information alone is no longer enough; we need to step up our game as garden communicators. Landscapers, garden centers, growers, designers and journalists are challenged to find new ways to cultivate gardeners and plant purchases. In order to keep a love of gardening alive, and to continue to make a living doing what we love to do, we are called upon to enlarge our thinking about how we present gardening information and who our audiences can and will be. This presentation gives specific ideas and techniques for resonating with audiences by connecting what we care about with what they care about.

Rave Review from Claudia Marshall, Director of Good Works and PR for Gardener’s Supply Company. 
“C.L. has a clear and inspiring message, delivered with humor and wit.  Her presentation left our whole team charged up.  We’d gladly have her back!”

Perennials for Professionals

Matching Plants, Planting, and Maintenance Practices to Your Clients

Your client wants perennials that “are low maintenance” and you want to keep the customer happy. As a garden professional, however, you know that a perennial garden can be the most high-maintenance landscape there is. This talk is about picking the best perennial plants, planting them appropriately, and caring for them with methods that create beautiful gardens with less involvement. Yes, it’s possible to please your clients, create beautiful gardens and simplify maintenance for the customer and your employees.

Rave Review from Jeanie Gillis of Parterre Garden Services, Cambridge, MA
“CL gave a great presentation ‘Perennial Care for Pro’s’ to Parterre Garden Service. The talk was current to perennial trends, informative and funny with lots of practical techniques and solutions that many of our Gardeners were able to use the very next day!”

Plant Picks that Please Clients

(Some Plants Aren’t For Everyone)

There are thousands of great plants, but not every plant is right for all people. As an avid gardener I recognize that some of the selections that are appropriate for people like myself are not good choices for most of my customers or clients. Plant geeks have different standards for their gardens than home-landscapers or the general public. This talk is designed to help landscapers and garden center employees recognize which plants will make their customers happiest. In this talk I’ll show a few examples of gardeners’ plants and explain why they may not be the best choices for your clients. This is followed by a large range of annuals, perennials, and shrubs that will keep your customers content and coming back for more.

Retail Revival

Ideas and Inspiration for Garden Centers

It’s easy to keep on doing the same-old-same-old. But as we compete with everything from box stores to everyone’s fixation with their phones, garden centers need to shake things up and climb out of our ruts. This talk gives specific suggestions to IGC’s on a variety of topics including customer communications, display, programs and more.

Sell The Excitement!

Communication Skills for the Green Industry


I’m sure you’ve attended many green industry trade events where the speakers either failed to excite the audience or missed opportunities to do so. Frequently Power Point Poisoning is the rule. This is unfortunate because dynamic presentation skills can be learned. Whether you are the owner of a horticultural business, volunteer master gardener, grower, or an employee of a garden center, you may be called to speak in front of an audience. I will help you improve your presentations so that you can truly sell the excitement of plants and gardening. This one-hour talk can be expanded into a four to eight hour workshop for those who want to better promote their passion and/or make a living as a professional speaker.

Note: C.L. is also available as an individual speech coach to help those in horticultural-related professions improve their presentation skills.

Rave Review from
“Gave me confidence”
I have wanted to branch out into public speaking and CL’s presentation at the GWA symposium in Quebec has given me the confidence to get started. She certainly practices what she preaches when presenting a talk on presenting! I learned as much by watching her in action as I did from what she said. I am so glad I went to this workshop!
K. Purdy, Oxford NY

Annuals That Deliver

If your clients and customers are paying for new annuals every summer, they want plants that deliver color. From the brand new to the tried and true, this talk shows plants that are an asset in the garden from planting to hard frost. You will come away with a list of annuals that will flower all summer in a variety of growing conditions.

This talk is far more than a group of photos with the usual accompanying plant list. Learn new ways to plant groups of annuals that go beyond color bedding. Find ideas to talk about annuals in new ways that excite customers.

Landscape Design Bloopers


This talk looks at design mistakes that are commonly made by landscapers and home-gardeners alike. By looking at where things have gone wrong, and sometimes seeing a corrected version through the magic of Photoshop, I explain the reasons why some garden designs look better than others. Learn how to provide plantings that please your customers on the day the job is finished, and for years afterwards.

Rave Review From Great Garden Speakers
“Informative & Humorous!”
C. L. shared her speaking expertise in February 2013 with aspiring and experienced Garden Writers Association members in a full day workshop. C. L. delivers valuable information in a relaxed, confidant style with humor and personal anecdotes. Her tips were invauable in helping me polish my delivery, such that my most recent audience wants me for a return engagement. Wow!
L. Clarke, PA

Download my Green Industry Speaker’s One Sheet pdf file here

Read speaking endorsements of C.L.

Contact information:
All my talks are customized to the audience where I’m presenting. How can I assist your group or event?

 clfornari at gmail dot com
Mail: C.L. Fornari P.O. Box 355 Osterville, MA 02655
Phone: 508-428-5895

C.L. presented her talk about annuals to the NCNLA in 2018.