speakers

 

The Master Gardeners of Greater New Orleans Speakers Bureau is a free, community outreach service providing educational programs in Louisiana horticulture to groups and organizations. Speakers are Master Gardener volunteers who have completed the Louisiana Master Gardener training provided by the LSU Cooperative Extension Service.  Programs are selected and prepared by Master Gardeners that reflect both their expertise and interests.
Master Gardeners will speak to groups in the Greater New Orleans area. Garden clubs, plant societies, schools, businesses, churches, neighborhood and civic organizations are invited to take advantage of this learning opportunity.  Most programs are delivered in-person or by Zoom as a PowerPoint presentation and typically last approximately 45 minutes.  Questions:  Please contact speakers@mggno.com.

Request Speaker

To request a speaker, please click on the presenter’s name following the topic of your choice.   Then  complete and submit the Speaker Request form.  Please note that some speakers present only by Zoom or may have availability restrictions.

Speaker Profiles

Topics (by category)

Birds & Wildlife

“Bringing Birds Into Your Backyard”
 In person / No evening presentations

Presented by Marieanne Arata

This Program shows how to attract native and migrating birds into our yards by growing shrubs for nesting and using seeds, flowers and berries to keep them coming back for more.

Butterflies & Pollinators

“Butterfly Gardening”
Available in person or by Zoom / Requires minimum of 50 guests

Presented by Tammany Baumgarten

Get a thorough introduction to the variety of Butterfly species that can be seen in our area and how you can support and attract these very important insects to your space with special plants and features in your garden.

 

 

 

“Pollinator Protection”
Available in person or by Zoom

Presented by Usha Ramadhyani

Pollinators are in trouble due to disease, pest, and insecticide pressures. Conserving pollinators begins with protecting them from pesticide use and setting aside appropriate habitat. Learn how to help the bees, butterflies, and other insect pollinators in this presentation. 

 

 

 

Water, Plants, and Pollinators: Drip watering systems, Pollinator plants made possible by the systems, and Pollinators visiting the pollinator plants” 

Presented by Seth Nehrbass

Seth Nehrbass shares many of his tips and tricks for maintaining a vibrant pollinator garden in New Orleans. (30 minutes required to presen

Containers & Small Spaces

“Container Gardening”

Presented by Adele Mangiano

Containers can be a good tool for gardeners facing challenging growing conditions or limited space. Learn how to choose containers and potting mix, how to design stunning, visually balanced displays, and more. 

 

“Gardening for Small Spaces”
Available in person or by Zoom

Presented by Dov Block

Gardening in a small space can be beautiful and productive. Learn how to get the most out of small spaces by utilizing creative containers, successive cropping, and dwarfed varieties. (30 minutes required to present)

Design & Landscaping

Historical Louisiana Landscapes. The “WHY” behind the Native Plant Movement”
Available in person or by Zoom / Requires minimum of 50 guests

Presented by Tammany Baumgarten

The last 300-400 years have seen drastic changes in the Louisiana landscape. Learn about some of the specific ecosystems in our state, then and now, and how the native plants endemic to those systems defined and supported special habitat.

 

 

A History of Garden Design”
Available by Zoom only

Presented by Anna Timmerman

From the ancient world to contemporary times, gardens have gone through many changes. Tracing the history of gardening is an interesting way to observe our changing relationship to the natural world as well as our impact on the environment. This lecture touches upon new and old utilitarian designs, gardens as contemporary art, as well as the role gardens play in our lives today as compared to the past. (30 minutes required to present)

 
“Parterre Gardens”
Available by Zoom only
Presented by Anna Timmerman
This presentation covers the history and basic design principles of traditional French parterre gardening. Also included is local development into a Creole version of French formal gardening in New Orleans. Information on plant material, design, and how gardening related to global politics is also covered.
 
“The Scented Path: Planting to Perfume Your Garden” 
Available in person or by Zoom / Requires minimum of 50 guests

Presented by Tammany Baumgarten

Fragrance is yet another dimension of all gardens that we can plan with and use to enhance the experience of our outdoor spaces. Learn how scent is transmitted and how best to enhance the enjoyment of your garden through fragrant plant choices and design decisions designed to make the most of them. 

Herbs

“Herbs … Top 10 from Herb Society Survey”
No evening presentations / Not available Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday morning

Presented by Anne Barnes

Curious what herbs are growing in the gardens of herb aficionados? This presentation shares the Top 10 Herbs published by the Herb Society of America. Learn how to grow and use these flavorful and fragrant plants from a local expert in herb culture.

 

 

“Seasonal Vegetable and Herb Gardening” 
Available in person or by Zoom

Presented by Dov Block

Recommended varieties, planting and fertilization rates and more are discussed here. LSU recommended varieties tailored to the current growing season are highlighted as well as common diseases and pests to watch out for during each growing season.

 

 

Winter Herb Gardening
Available in person or by Zoom

Presented by Usha Ramadhyani

Winter is when many of our most favorite herbs really thrive in New Orleans. Learn how to prepare beds and containers, as well as what herbs can be directly sown and planted in the winter months. Enjoying herbs is a year round proposition here!

History of Gardening

The Colombian Exchange- The Movement of Plants Around the Globe”
Available by Zoom only

Presented by Anna Timmerman

Humans have moved plants far outside of their natural range, greatly altering the botanical world in the process. This presentation traces the early movement of many of our most popular crops, spices, and vegetables across thousands of miles and many of the oceans in the holds of ships, the bottom of canoes, and the baggage of caravans. This early globalization and trade of plants is a fascinating window into human history and just how truly “global” our gardens truly are. 

 

 

 

Farm to Table: A History”
Available by Zoom only
Presented by Anna Timmerman
The farm to table movement is one that began with a rise in ecological consciousness in the 1960’s, gaining traction into the 21st Century. This lecture takes listeners through a history of the movement, from its grassroots based in local farmers markets; through the modern movement of food hubs, seasonal menus, and home-based efforts to source ingredients locally. 
 

 

Historical Louisiana Landscapes. The “WHY” behind the Native Plant Movement” 
Available In Person or by Zoom / Minimum of 50 guests required

Presented by Tammany Baumgarten

The last 300-400 years have seen drastic changes in the Louisiana landscape. Learn about some of the specific ecosystems in our state, then and now, and how the native plants endemic to those systems defined and supported special habitat.

 

 

 

A History of Garden Design” 
Available by Zoom only

Presented by Anna Timmerman

From the ancient world to contemporary times, gardens have gone through many changes. Tracing the history of gardening is an interesting way to observe our changing relationship to the natural world as well as our impact on the environment. This lecture touches upon new and old utilitarian designs, gardens as contemporary art, as well as the role gardens play in our lives today as compared to the past. 

Louisiana Super Plants

“Not All Plants Wear Capes: What’s so Super about Super Plants?”
Available by Zoom only

Presented by Chris Belser

This presentation provides an overview of the Louisiana Super Plant program can benefit home gardeners. The educational session includes information about various categories of Super Plants, recent additions to the program, Louisiana native Super Plants, and pollinator benefits of Super Plants.



Super Plants for Your Louisiana Landscape – Cool Season Selections”
Not available for evening presentations

Presented by Linda Wegmann

Fall is the ideal time to plant many Louisiana Super Plants particularly hardy shrubs and trees in addition to cool-season annual color. Discover the latest plants tested and recommended by LSU AgCenter that will grow reliably in our climate.



Super Plants for Your Louisiana Landscape – Summer Selections” 
Not available for evening presentations

Presented by Linda Wegmann

Want to ensure you get the most bang for your bucks when planting your summer garden? Discover the latest Louisiana Super Plants tested and recommended by the LSU AgCenter. All guaranteed to add color and curb appeal plus many attract butterflies, hummingbirds and bees.

Natives

Historical Louisiana Landscapes. The “WHY” behind the Native Plant Movement”
Available in person or by Zoom / Requires minimum of 50 guests

Presented by Tammany Baumgarten

The last 300-400 years have seen drastic changes in the Louisiana landscape. Learn about some of the specific ecosystems in our state, then and now, and how the native plants endemic to those systems defined and supported special habitat.


The Louisiana Certified Habitat Program”
Available In Person or by Zoom / Requires minimum of 50 guests

Presented by Tammany Baumgarten

This program was designed and implemented in early 2021 by the Louisiana Native Plant Society. It differs from other certification programs in highlighting the absolute necessity of the native plants to provide real quality wildlife habitat. The application for the certification even contains a great Native Plant Checklist that you can use to improve your habitat. The presentation reviews the parameters of the program, some of the facts on the importance of native plants and, best of all, great pictures of some of the local gardens that have qualified for the program in the past year and the plants in them.


Natives for the Shade” 
Available in person or by Zoom

Presented by Usha Ramadhyani

Shade gardens don’t have to be boring. Punch it up with color, shape and interest. And best of all – not a blade of grass to mow! My own front yard is covered by the deep shade of the graceful branches of a live oak tree. Underneath it grows a garden with year round interest and beauty. Let me show you how.


“Using Native Plants in Your Garden”
Available in person or by Zoom / Requires minimum of 50 guests

Presented by Tammany Baumgarten

There are many trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants that are native to Louisiana that can add interest, ease and functionality to our gardens. Most ornamental landscapes consist of 90-95% plants from other parts of the world, but native plants are the basis of the natural food web and many insects, pollinators and birds need them to thrive. Learn about the many possibilities for adding native plant material to your gardens and how important it is for the health of our ecosystem.

Organic/Environmentally Friendly Gardening
“The Art and Science of Composting”
Available in person

Presented by Angela Theresa Henderson

Creating your own garden humus not only helps the environment by reducing kitchen waste, it also enhances even the worst soil, and aids veggies and ornamentals with the nutrients they need to grow. During this discussion Angela will share with you the art and science involved in composting and equip you with the knowledge you need to start, maintain, and troubleshoot your own compost project.

 
Environmentally Friendly Gardening” 
Available in person or by Zoom

Presented by Dov Block

Learn to garden while making a gentile impact on the environment. Tips for soil and water conservation, integrated pest management, composting, wildlife-friendly spaces, and pollinator plants are included.

My Weeds, My Bugs and How They Matter”
Available In Person or by Zoom / Minimum of 50 guests required

Presented by Tammany Baumgarten

Tammany will share wisdom and discoveries from her years of gardening research and experimentation in and around New Orleans. You’ll learn about naturalistic garden design in the reality of small-scale urban lots, including specific methods and plants that have proved successful in drawing and sustaining insect life in our city setting. She will finally address some paths forward to a greater good in our neighborhoods, city and state. 

“Organic Gardening Basics” 
Available by Zoom only

Presented by Anna Timmerman

Organic gardening has become increasingly popular in our society. This presentation covers just what the term organic means, how to implement organic and sustainable practices in your yard and garden, good basic organic pest solutions, as well as touches upon the USDA guidelines for organic labeling for food products. 

Ornamentals 

“Adding Spice to Your Louisiana landscape with Gingers”

Presented by Glen Laborde

Stunning tropicals that thrive in our South Louisiana gardens are revealed. Learn how to take advantage of our warmer climate and create excitement in your garden with butterfly gingers, shampoo gingers and hidden gingers.

 

“The Beauty of Southern Vines” 

Presented by Glen Laborde

Stories, pictures and growing tips about the most beautiful vines of the South.

 

“Ornamentals – The Foliage Stars”  

Presented by Glen Laborde

A look at the incredible variety and beauty of ornamental leaves: caladiums, coleus, heucheras, and hostas.

 

“Planting For Fall Interest”
Available in person or by Zoom / Requires  minimum of 50 guests

Presented by Tammany Baumgarten

Fall is such an important time of year to Louisiana gardeners! Along with the welcome break from a long summertime of heat, Fall brings the colors, textures and wildlife of a late season landscape. Learn which plants can provide additional accent and interest to your garden this time of year.

 

 

“Salvia” 
No evening presentations / Not available Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday morning

Presented by Anne Barnes
A study of members of this interesting genus of 900 plants that will grow in south Louisiana.

 

 

“The Scented Path: Planting to Perfume Your Garden”
Available in person or by Zoom / Requires minimum of 50 guests

Presented by Tammany Baumgarten

Fragrance is yet another dimension of all gardens that we can plan with and use to enhance the experience of our outdoor spaces. Learn how scent is transmitted and how best to enhance the enjoyment of your garden through fragrant plant choices and design decisions designed to make the most of them.

Propagation

“Plant Propagation”  

Presented by Sandy Pitre

Plant propagation is a fun way to produce endless plants for your garden and to share with others. This presentation covers asexual and sexual reproduction of plants, including seed saving, cuttings, layering, grafting, and more. Learn about hybridizing and breeding plants true to type also. 

Urban Farming

“Basics on Raising Backyard Chickens” 

Presented by Linda Vinsanau

Gain basic knowledge on raising chickens in your backyard and the life cycle of chicken eggs. 

Vegetables & Fruits

Home Citrus Tips and Tricks”
Available by Zoom only

Presented by Anna Timmerman

Citrus remains a popular crop to grow in Southeast Louisiana. With new diseases and insect threats to the citrus industry, home gardeners need to remain vigilant and care for their trees now more than ever. Learn about proper fertilization, pest control strategies, and more to ensure a bumper crop of citrus year after year.

 

“Seasonal Vegetable and Herb Gardening”
Available in person or by Zoom

Presented by Dov Block

Recommended varieties, planting and fertilization rates and more are discussed here.  LSU recommended varieties tailored to the current growing season are highlighted as well as common diseases and pests to watch out for during each growing season.

Water Management

Learning to Live With and Love Water”
Available in person or by Zoom

Presented by Dov Block

Designing garden spaces to trap and utilize excess water is an important component in mitigating soil and land loss in Southeast Louisiana. Learn about water friendly plants and how to install them.

 

 

“Water, Plants and Pollinators”

Presented by Seth Nehrbass

Learn how to maintain a vibrant pollinator garden in New Orleans and sustain hanging pollinator plants with a drip watering system.  

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