• Keynote speaker

  • Garden center, nursery and landscape industry events and conferences

  • TV appearances

I do a lot of speaking to gardeners and horticulture industry professionals all over the dang place.

I've spoken for...

  • The Lurie Garden

  • IGC Chicago

  • Cornell University

  • Proven Winners Outdoor Extravaganza

  • Chicago Flower and Garden Show

  • Chicago Public Library Harold Washington Branch Maker Lab

  • Morton Arboretum

  • Northwest Flower and Garden Show

  • Philadelphia Flower and Garden Show

  • Boston Flower and Garden Show

  • Lake Bluff Garden Club

  • The Growing Place

  • Chicago Ridge Library

  • Idaho Landscape Conference

  • Porter County Master Gardeners

  • Covington's Be Awesome Mini-Conference

If you're interested in booking me as a speaker, shoot me and email and I will send you a form to get the bowling ball rolling...



As of April 2019 I will be promoting my new book, Backyard Adventures (Storey Publishing) and speaking on messy outdoor play and landscaping for kidplay.

New Classes for 2019

Adult Learners

Backyard Adventures: Creating Outdoor Spaces for Free Play and Discovery

Studies show that outdoor, “risky” play helps develop skills that help develop critical thinking skills, creativity and social interactions. So let’s unplug those kids, get them outdoors and give them permission to make a mess. In this class we will discuss how to encourage a love of nature in children, how to set rules and boundaries and what materials may help in getting kids to engage in self-directed, outdoor, risky play. You will also learn how to dedicate your yard, or parts of it, to free play with low-cost, easy changes that work for any yard.

Adults & Kids

Backyard Adventures: How do we play outdoors?

In this fun class, kids and their parents will learn how dirt is actually good for everybody, how to get ready to play, get ideas for new activities and ways that parents can help to foster a love of the outdoors. Part presentation and part hands-on, parents and kids can build structures together out of loose parts at the end of class.


Backyard Adventures: Be a Wild Child!

This kid-centered class is best with outdoor access. Children will learn how to plan and tackle all kinds of messy, fun outdoor play. From rules, protective clothing and boundaries to materials and budgets, there is a lot to learn when you’re all about play! We will have activities but none of them will be messy.

Green Industry Professionals

Backyard Adventures: Why Care About Kids & Messy Outdoor Play?

We will talk about the risky play movement and how garden centers, landscapers and public parks can cater to the needs of every wild child.

2018 presentations:

150 Ways to Create a Fantastic Yard Totally Tailored to You- This quirky presentation is sure to give an idea or 15 to every gardener in the audience. From things you never thought of to things you didn't think you were brave enough to try, you will leave this presentation INSPIRED!

Weeder's Digest-This funny, informative presentation is partially based on the Q&A after my other presentations. Think of it as my GREATEST HITS! Lots of focus on insects, diseases and plants that rock and plants that can solve headaches (not literally).

My 50 Favorite Plants- Just what it sounds like. Some might be familiar but most are weird! Perennials, annuals and edibles, something for everyone and where to get them.

Weird Vegetables- A 90 minute presentation about how to grow weird and what to grow to be weird.

The A to Z of Landscaping Questions You Forgot to Ask- 

A humorous look at all the things that can go wrong, or just weird, when planning and planting your garden. From insects to letting your freak flag fly, there's something for everyone in this snappy presentation. 

Quick and Dirty- Gardening 101 with a humorous twist

Winter Greens- Learn all about how to make winter pots, wreaths, garland and anything else you can think of.

Seed Starting- Everything you need to know to grow your own...vegetables

How to Create a Great Backyard (for not a lotta dough)-- Ideas for smaller, city yards

COMPOST CLASS! I get excited about compost and I'll find a method for just about anyone. 

Professional Series

Let's Figure Out Gen X,Y &Z

Keep It Fun & Funky (At the Garden Center)

Risk Taking VS. Ho Hum Boredom

How to Talk to the Ladies