Looking  for a presentation for your garden club meeting or other event? Below, you'll find a list of available programs. Please contact me for pricing and availability.


Hydrangeas 360:
The straight talk on hydrangeas for new england

With endless gorgeous hydrangea cultivars flooding our nurseries, it can be challenging to choose just one (or a few!). Don’t let the size and color of magnificent blooms lead you to plant hydrangeas that will not thrive in your garden. Join Jen Kettell for a lively discussion on the what the species are behind the hot trade names, how to match your site conditions to those species, why knowing that you have a “lacecap” or “mophead” type is not enough, how to prune to maximize flowering, which are drought-tolerant or benefit pollinators, and other essential growing tips. Jen will focus on hydrangeas that are hardy in Zones 5-7. [Slideshow or Slideshow + Walkabout]

Snow White and the Many Dwarfs

How do dwarf conifers become so small? Attend this lecture to learn the different ways majestic conifers become diminutive dwarf specimens. Using twig and cone samples, Jen will share basic conifer identification and life cycle information. Learn the benefits of and requirements for these unique evergreen beauties! [Slideshow only]


A Camel’s Garden:
Drought-tolerant plants for a changing climate

When the dog days of summer hit, many of us are faced with water bans that limit our ability to water our lush gardens. We find ourselves carefully monitoring the water level in rain barrels and hoping for the next rainfall. What if we started to incorporate plants that simply need less water? In this lecture and walkabout, Jen will share the effects of drought on woody plants and describe plant adaptations for dealing with drought. Most importantly, she will introduce you to a new palette of plant material that will decrease your water use while increasing species diversity and beauty in your home landscape. [Slideshow or Slideshow+Walkabout]


The Smaller Cut: Early Training of Young Trees

Correcting structural defects in large, mature trees can be a risky business. Taking the time to assess the framework of young trees at planting is an often neglected and crucial step in ensuring their future health. Jen will begin by reviewing sound tree selection that matches habit with function.  She will then present the markers of healthy tree architecture and demonstrate pruning techniques using her 10-step guide for correcting structural defects in the early years. [Slideshow or Slideshow+Demonstration]


Winter Pruning

Late winter is an ideal time to start pruning trees, shrubs, and woody vines. Find out why this time of year is so significant with respect to pruning, and learn the techniques to begin pruning in your own gardens. In this primer, participants will learn about pruning objectives, appropriate tools and personal protective gear; pruning techniques, and where to seek additional resources. Bundle up, let’s do some pruning! [Slideshow or Slideshow+Demonstration]


Avoiding the Green Helmet (shrub pruning)

In some ways, pruning flowering shrubs can be a bit more complicated than pruning trees. When shrubs have been improperly pruned or just left to their own devices, they begin to resemble what Jen calls “The Green Helmet.” In this workshop, you will learn how to avoid The Green Helmet by selective and timely pruning using her 10-step guide, along with the appropriate tools and personal protective gear. [Slideshow or Slideshow+Demonstration]


Taming the Early Season Bloomers

During the summer excitement, it can be challenging to remember to return to the early-season lovelies! Once spring-blooming shrubs have flowered, we need to assess and complete any pruning before next year’s flower buds develop. Jen will focus your attention on the kinds of shrubs that should be pruned midsummer, demonstrate proper pruning technique, and discuss the types of thinning cuts that will encourage healthy, vibrant blooms for years to come. This training will serve as a reminder to “get to it!” [Offered mid-summer only; Slideshow or Slideshow+Demonstration]


Be a Pollinator Wingman

Now more than ever, pollinators need some help “working the room”—the garden rooms around us. By choosing your garden additions wisely, you can provide the long and vibrant season of bloom needed to keep pollinator populations healthy. Discover outstanding native trees, shrubs, and vines that host our pollinators in this lecture and walkabout. Annual and perennial flowers often get all the credit, but don’t forget that the larger “anchor” garden specimens can also provide nectar and pollen. Jen will review who’s doing the pollinating, why they need these plants, and how to select and maintain species that will thrive in your garden. [Slideshow or Slideshow+Walkabout]


Woody Vines for the Garden

Looking to dress up a boring stockade fence? Maybe soften a new stone wall? Add an elegant trellis to your garden? Come explore the ornamental characteristics of climbers like honeysuckle, wisteria, clematis, and other lesser-known species--both native and non-native.  In this lecture, you will also learn how vines climb, the support structures needed for each type of vine, best planting practices, and maintenance.  [Slideshow or Slideshow+Walkabout]


Gardening with Native Woody Vines

Have you always believed that Boston ivy is really from Boston? Not so! This Asian vine has traveled far to take residence on many of the city’s brownstones, but there are plenty of beautiful native vines that can take residence in your garden.  Come explore the ornamental characteristics of climbers like honeysuckle, wisteria, clematis, and some lesser-known North American species.  In this lecture and walkabout, you will also learn how vines climb, the support structures needed for each type of vine, best planting practices, and maintenance.  [Slideshow or Slideshow+Walkabout]


Fall Planting

Take advantage of cooler temperatures in the fall and plant something new before winter begins! It’s a very satisfying feeling look upon a tree that you have planted yourself--even years later--but there is much more to ensuring that a tree is off to a healthy start than simply digging a hole.  In the lecture portion of this class, participants will learn tips for nursery selection, site preparation, proper planting technique, and aftercare for trees, shrubs, and woody vines. Following the lecture, we will go outside to plant both a ball-and-burlap and a container-grown plant to reinforce the skills presented in the classroom. [Slideshow or Slideshow+Demonstration]


Small Plants, Big Bang!

Spring is an ideal time to be transplanting woody plants, and this class will introduce you to new and old favorites that make the most of small spaces.  In the excitement to create a beautiful outdoor living space, many gardeners overplant (in number or size). Learn about the long-term consequences of overplanting, and how to avoid it by introducing the smaller gems of the plant world into your garden. Design your next garden bed with some unique native groundcovers, dwarf conifers, and more! [Slideshow only]