Speaking

Presentations crafted with the particular audience in mind, to spark new ideas, and inspire them to garden or arrange with more confidence and fun!

Speaking

Talks, Workshops, and Demonstrations

My presentations are crafted with a particular audience in mind, to spark new ideas, and inspire them to garden or arrange with more confidence and fun! From travel tours of gardens around the world to putting together a ‘Porch Pot’ in a materials inclusive workshop, I speak to audiences around the country. Garden Clubs, Civic organizations, Libraries, Horticulture, and Plant Shows, ‘Lunch & Learn’, Museums, Retirement Living Communities, have all been my audiences. I have even presented Beekeeping to a fascinated nursery school! 

Audiences

  • Garden Clubs
  • Plant Societies
  • Master Gardeners
  • Flower & Garden Shows
  • Landscape Contractors
  • Church Groups
  • Civic Organizations
  • Nurseries
  • Botanic Gardens
  • Landscape Designers & Architects
  • Retirement Communities

Talks & Demonstrations

All of these programs are available to book for your organization. Please ask about customized programs and I can work with you to tailor it to your group. Most talks are available also as zoom webinars.
Starting at home, this presentation inspires participants to create their own garden oasis with appropriate plant selections, composting and recycling, maintenance, habitat creation, hardscape materials, and irrigation approaches towards a sustainable landscape in your own backyard. Emphasizing the use of native plants, the focus of this talk is proper plant selection with the spotlight on tried and true examples of plants that I use in my landscape work. The participant goes home with one of my plans for a pollinator garden.
Experienced in decorating the White House for three years during the holidays, I present a 50 minute long PowerPoint program of behind the scenes work done to transform the White House into a winter wonderland. Included are the selection process, the chores of climbing scaffolding, wiring ornaments, and the work involved in decorating the nineteen-foot official Blue Room tree. I give a room by room walk-through of the White House including rooms that aren’t on public tours. History nuggets of the White House are included to make this a fascinating look at how Christmas is planned and celebrated in the ‘People’s House’. I conclude the talk with a demonstration of a holiday arrangement that goes home with someone.
Starting in our own backyard, deck, or patio, we can make a difference for a more sustainable landscape, fostering environmental stewardship with well-informed conservation practices, to increase food and shelter for wildlife as well as beautifying our surroundings.
In addition to gaining a greater appreciation for the natural world, you will learn how to transition your landscape into a wildlife friendly oasis by creating habitat that includes pollinator nutrition, larval host plants, nesting, sheltering, and overwintering of all kinds of wildlife. Informed ‘Garden Stewardship’ - picking the right native plants, methods of eliminating lawns and adding wild areas, use of permeable hardscaping, and composting - will improve the environment around you. Project ideas like pollinator islands, revamped foundation plantings, integrating meadows, citizen science, veggie friendly beneficials, tree and shrub plantings, and lawn alternatives, will be covered and everyone will go home with ‘Claire’s Pollinator Garden Plan’ to jumpstart their efforts.
As head of garden tours for Federated Garden Clubs and the Horticultural Society of MD, I have traveled in England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales extensively and I present an hour-long powerpoint on the best of the best of the British Isles. Including the Chelsea and Hampton Court Flower Shows is a highlight of any trip to England and I have lots of photos of these iconic shows. Great Dixter, Sissinghurst, Hidcote, Bressingham Gardens, Powerscourt, and Beth Chatto’s dry garden are also covered with loads of images of plants, garden structures, garden design, and sculptures that make a British Isle Garden special. I demonstrate a twig tuteur at the conclusion that can be raffled off.
Learn how to create a centerpiece for your holiday table using a pumpkin, moss, succulents, dried fruit, and florals. Lasting for weeks, this centerpiece will be the highlight of your table and will last through Christmas! Using a variety of shapes, colors, and sizes of fresh cut succulents, I will demonstrate how to design a unique fall arrangement, using simple design techniques. In addition, I will demonstrate other holiday centerpieces for additional centerpiece ideas.
Welcome to the fascinating world of succulents! Defined only by the water stored in their leaves, succulent plants have a tremendous variety of colors, textures, growth habits, and forms. Ease of propagation, drought tolerance, and low maintenance requirements make these plants the perfect choice for practically everyone, even if you have no outdoor garden.

I will introduce everyone to both hardy and non-hardy succulents and give out information on how to grow both kinds in containers and arrange with them in craft projects like decorated pumpkins for the fall. I will demo a decorated pumpkin and we can raffle it off to a lucky winner.
Experienced in decorating the White House for three years during the holidays, I present a 45-50 minute long PowerPoint program of Christmas inspired decorations from Colonial Williamsburg, Biltmore, Hampton Mansion, Tryon Palace, and The White House. Covering colonial decorations with the traditional fruit and dried flower decorations of Williamsburg, including Tryon Palace colonial decorations, I segue into more current decorating techniques used at Biltmore and The White House with some behind-the-scenes pictures.

Concluding the slide presentation, I demonstrate either a fresh greens arrangement or a colonial wreath that would fit into any Williamsburg décor. I also bring examples of handmade decorations and a handout on Christmas decorating techniques.
Have you wondered how professional florists do those fabulous arrangements? Or about some new techniques and mechanics? Or how to win a blue ribbon in a flower show? Revealing some tricks of the trade, and basics of floral design in a demonstration of three different arrangements, I will go through the classics – line, line/mass, and mass. Using a Spring theme with a variety of spring flowers, branches, and accessories, the arrangements will be raffled or auctioned off (your choice). Flower show schedule rules will be covered with tips on what a judge is looking for. A one page hand-out will be included summarizing the techniques discussed with some sources included that I use for materials.
Providing all the materials to create a stunning and unique pot to place on your deck or patio, I cover all the evergreens, berries, and other accessories that can make your arrangement stand out from the crowd. People create and go home with a large centerpiece type of floral arrangement that will last for months.
Containers are gardens in miniature. I will demonstrate how to create a unique container with a combination of plants, matching the right plants to the right containers. A powerpoint will accompany the demonstration with container ideas that people can try at home, like a pollinator container, shade container, or an edible garden.I will share my tips for making the containers last and how to change and refresh with the season.
Why grow houseplants? If you are a city dweller, the reason is simple.....to bring nature in. But also, growing things that you wouldn't normally do outside, like growing a pineapple! Or improving your air quality and removing toxins. Or maybe you are fascinated with citrus..... you can easily grow limes, lemons, kumquats, or oranges. I present a slide program on what is possible with houseplants and new introductions and gadgets, followed by a quick demonstration of creating a container full of houseplants.
Love to garden but have limited space? I bring all the fixin’s to create your own miniature garden, including miniature plants, mini accessories, and inspiration. You go home with a miniature masterpiece that you can set up inside with full care instructions.
I share my expertise of over 25 years of landscape design experiences and address common problems that homeowners encounter in their landscapes. Learn tips and tricks of solving those tricky slopes, deer damage, drainage issues, and the wrong plants in the wrong space. Learn which plants are the best ones to use and the proper planting techniques that should be used for the best success in having a beautiful garden.
I cover starting veggies inside to planting transplants outside in a planned garden that will provide you with produce, herbs, and flowers all season long. From raised beds, irrigation, composting, soil amending, weed suppression, deer problems, and which veggies are best for your area are included in this Powerpoint. Everyone will go home with seed packets and transplants to jump start their own garden.
Many people consider taking up beekeeping as a hobby and a boost to pollinate their garden, but aren’t sure how to start. I demystify the start up costs, time involved, and how difficult managing 80,000 females can be! With lots of advice on starting, equipment, sourcing, and how to have fun at it, beekeeping is fascinating to people even if they don’t want the commitment of becoming a beekeeper.

Booking Information

Prices on all demonstrations, workshops, and talks depend on the topic, distance to travel, and size of the audience. My schedule fills up quickly, so please call or email early.

TESTIMONIALS

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