Horticultural and Green Industry Trade Talks
Live or Virtual Zoom Presentations for Green Industry Conferences and Meetings
Note: any of the talks listed for Garden Groups can also be given with professionals in mind. Since I am a gardener, garden center employee, and garden consultant I take pride in presenting professional landscapers with information that they can immediately put to use.
I always tailor my talks to the specific audience I am addressing.
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
“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.
Keeping Virtually Connected With Customers
Using Zoom To Grow Brands and Businesses
The pandemic has compelled us to re-think some of the ways we have educated and connected with our customers in the past. Most live presentations have been canceled or postponed, and even our one-on-one time in nurseries, stores or on a client’s property are often truncated or made stilted by the use of face masks. But these difficulties have also presented opportunities to build relationships through virtual means, and there are distinct advantages for those in the green industry This talk explains how to present a compelling talk using Zoom or other connection software. I give tips for success, outline possible pitfalls, and give you a recipe for compelling presentations that will drive customers to your business. Attendees will learn why even once the pandemic is over you may find that virtual presentations is a great marketing tool that you’ll use into the future.
Containers For Clients: Color and Cost
Custom Container Services ~ Planting and Maintenance
Our clients love to have containers filled with flowers on their porches, patios and decks. This talk covers planting strategies for success, plants that provide summer-long color, design tips and maintenance. In addition, we cover how to think about billing for creating and maintaining pots and boxes over the season, and how to turn summer containers into year-round opportunities for repeat business.
Guidance to Go
Consultation Services for IGCs, Landscapers and Garden Coaches
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.
Horticulture and Popular Culture
Maintaining the Renewed Interest in Plants and Gardens
Horticulture and Popular Culture
Sustaining the renewed interest in plants and gardens.
Popular culture is defined as: “Practices, beliefs, and objects that are dominant or ubiquitous in a society at a given point in time.” At one time gardening and horticulture would have fit in this definition, but in the late 20th century and early oughts, we began to worry about “plant blindness” and how to attract younger people to horticulture.
Twenty years after the turn of the century, people have begun to turn back to plants. Starting with the renewed interest in houseplants and vegetable gardening, and reinforced by image driven social media, plants began to once again enter the mainstream. This was kicked into high gear during the pandemic of 2020, and the demand for plants and interest in gardening that started when people were quarantined at home continues to grow.
This talk looks at where and how we can continue to build on these trends. C.L. offers ideas for how IGC’s and others in the green industry can keep new gardeners interested and help them to be successful. We’ll look at how we can meet the public where they are, and make links between plants and what they care about.
Rave Review from Claudia Marshall, Former 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.
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, events, employee education and more. Here some of the ideas that C.L. has written in regular articles for Garden Center Magazine. Find new ways to connect with your customers, generate sales, and bring the public’s attention back to the garden.
Sell The Excitement!
Communication Skills for the Green Industry
I’m sure you’ve attended many trade events where the speakers failed to excite the audience and missed opportunities to convey important information. Frequently, PowerPoint 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. This talk 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 business or passion. It’s also a valuable presentation for those who wish to expand a career 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 GreatGardenSpeakers.com
“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.
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.
Rave Review From Great Garden Speakers
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
C.L. presented her talk about annuals to the NCNLA in 2018.