Speakers: Bios and Topics

MGGNO Speakers Bureau

Hot Topics 2018-2019

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, schools, businesses, churches, neighborhood and civic organizations are invited to take advantage of this learning opportunity.

Most programs are delivered as PowerPoint presentations and typically last approximately 30 minutes.

TOPICS

PRESENTERS


Bringing Birds Into Your Backyard
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. (30 minutes required to present)


MARIEANNE ARATA
marata@mggno.com
A master gardener since 2008, Marieanne and her husband are passionate wildlife gardeners. Each year at their home on two acres in Waggaman, many bird species enjoy nesting and feeding in their magnificent native landscape. A large pond attracts many water birds, and at dusk, bats. She is also a member of Petals of North Bridgedale Garden Club and a board member of Friends of Jefferson the Beautiful.

Marieanne’s presentations are delivered as PowerPoints that will require access to an HDMI-compatible TV or a projector.


Herbs … Top 10 from Herb Society Survey
Curious what herbs are growing in the gardens of herb afficiandos? 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. (30 minutes required to present)


Salvia
A study of members of this interesting genus of 900 plants that will grow in south Louisiana. (30 minutes required to present)


The Wildlife Garden
Recollections of a wildlife gardener and suggestions on establishing one (30 minutes required to present)



ANNE BARNES
abarnes@mggno.com
A longtime member of the Herb Society of America New Orleans Unit, Anne has been growing and sharing her love of herbs her entire life. She is equally passionate about her collection of over 80 salvia that attract the butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds populating her wildlife garden, which she has lovingly cultivated for 25 years. Her uptown garden was granted the Greenbridges(TM) certification from the Herb Society of America for her use of native plants to create a habitat for pollinators. In addition to being a master gardener, Anne is also a Louisiana Master Naturalist.

Anne is not available for presentations on Fridays.

Butterfly Gardening *
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. (45 minutes required to present)


The Cottage Garden, Style and Seeds for the Gulf South *
Explore this age-old landscaping style, how it came to be and what this “style” of gardening can mean for your gardening space. Tammany gardens with lots of unusual flowering plants, many grown and self-sown from seed, in a garden that is loose and changing throughout the year. (45 minutes required to present)


Gardening with Ornamental Grasses *
Learn more about this large group of ornamental plants and how they can be used to
add special interest, movement and distinctive textures to a garden. (45 minutes required to present)

My Weeds, My Bugs and How They Matter*
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. (45 minutes required to present)


Planting for Fall Interest*
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. (45 minutes required to present)


The Scented Path: Planting to Perfume Your Garden *
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. (45 minutes required to present)

* Available only to groups of 50 or more



TAMMANY BAUMGARTEN
tbaumgarten@mggno.com
is the owner and operator of BaumGardens Landscape & Design and has designed, installed and maintained gardens throughout the New Orleans area for almost 20 years. She is a licensed Landscape Horticulturist with the State of Louisiana, a member of the Louisiana Nursery and Landscape Association, the Louisiana Native Plant Society and a Past President of the Master Gardeners of Greater New Orleans. She has a keen interest in sustainable horticultural practices and is an avid proponent of native and wildlife gardening. Her love of butterfly and hummingbird gardening brought about a lot of experimentation with growing unique and different flowers from seed and thus the love of cottage-style gardening which she practices in her Broadmoor yard and now on 35 acres in Tylertown, Mississippi.

Tammany’s presentations are delivered as PowerPoints that will require access to an HDMI-compatible TV or a projector.


Environmentally Friendly Gardening
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. (30 minutes required to present)


Gardening for Small Spaces
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)


Learning to Live With and Love Water
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. (30 minutes required to present)


School Gardens in Louisiana
School gardens are a great tool for sparking a love of gardening and the environment in our youth. This presentation addresses how to set up a school garden, how to staff a school garden, funding sources, a basic planting plan, and more. (30 minutes required to present)

Vegetable and Herb Gardening – Fall
Vegetable and Herb Gardening – Summer
Vegetable and Herb Gardening – Winter

Recommended varieties, planting and fertilization rates and more are discussed here. LSU recommended varieties are highlighted as well as common diseases and pests to watch out for during each growing season. (30 minutes required to present)



DOV BLOCK
dblock@mggno.com
Born and raised in Washington, D.C., Dov has called New Orleans his home for over three years. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in anthropology, he has spent the majority of his career working in the urban agriculture and garden education worlds. Dov ran operations for a small urban farm in the Lower 9th Ward and has taught children and adults of all ages in the garden through numerous capacities. A Master Gardener since 2017, Dov’s horticultural interests focus on edibles and organic growing practices.

Dov’s presentations are delivered as PowerPoints that will require access to an HDMI-compatible TV or a projector.


Home Composting
How to set up and maintain a composting system at home using yard waste and kitchen scraps. This presentation includes many styles of composting, compost care, troubleshooting tips, and more. (30 minutes required to present)


Irrigation
Learn to set up a basic irrigation system using materials found at the big box hardware stores. Automatic timers, drippers, soaker hoses and other tools can make watering an afterthought while conserving water in the garden. (30 minutes required to present)


Vegetable and Herb Gardening – Fall
Vegetable and Herb Gardening – Summer
Vegetable and Herb Gardening – Winter
Recommended varieties, planting and fertilization rates and more are discussed here. LSU recommended varieties are highlighted as well as common diseases and pests to watch out for during each growing season. (30 minutes required to present)



DAPHNE FERDINAND
dferdinand@mggno.com
Dr. Daphne Ferdinand is a registered nurse with a PhD in nursing from Southern University School of Nursing in Baton Rouge. Although actively involved with community health education presentations to reduce cardiovascular disease, she is an avid vegetable gardener of 40 years having received her Advanced Master Gardener certification in 2016. Dr. Daphne has volunteered with 4H supporting community garden projects at elementary schools and faith-based institutions. She is currently a volunteer garden consultant and educator with Sankofa CDC in the Lower 9th Ward.

Daphne’s presentations are delivered as PowerPoints that will require access to an HDMI-compatible TV or a projector.


Made for the Shade
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. (30 minutes required to present)


Meet the Natives – Gardening with Natives in South Louisiana
Native plants and trees are naturally adapted to local environmental conditions. They require far less water, saving you time, money, and maintenance needs. In addition, natives provide vital habitat for birds and many other species of wildlife that imports simply cannot provide. (30 minutes required to present)


Perennials for Shade
How many of us are blessed with the deep shade of a live oak or a bald cypress tree? You aren’t beholden to one type of plant that can take that kind of shade, and there are perennials that are super happy there. Underneath these welcomed shade trees, you can grow a garden with year-round interest and beauty. Shade gardens don’t have to be boring! Punch it up with color, shape and texture. And best of all – not a blade of grass to mow. (30 minutes required to present)



NELL HOWARD
nhoward@mggno.com
Natives Enthusiast; LMG/MGGNO Natives Project Coordinator – planting natives in public places such as the New Canal Basin Lighthouse and several National Parks Service downtown locations; Tree Trooper Trained; LA Master Gardener since 2007; Certified Nursery and Landscape Professional since 2016; Parkway Partners Education Director and Greenhouse Manager 1998 – 2015.

Nell’s presentations are delivered as PowerPoints that will require access to an HDMI-compatible TV or a projector.


Adding Spice to your Louisiana Landscape with Gingers
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. (30 minutes required to present)


Heucheras — The dramatic changes in Coral Bells
What you should know about this exciting, beautiful, and wildly diverse perennial prized for its colorful foliage, texture and form. (30 minutes required to present)


Ornamentals — The Foliage Stars
A look at the incredible variety and beauty of ornamental leaves: caladiums, coleus, heucheras, and hostas. (30 minutes required to present)


GLEN LABORDE
glaborde@mggno.com
A master gardener since 2013, Glen has a masters in science education from UNO. He is a volunteer mentor for the New Orleans master gardening training classes and volunteers with the Pelican Greenhouse at their monthly plant sales. He loves tropicals, roses, camellias, and citrus.

Glen’s presentations are delivered as PowerPoints that will require access to an HDMI-compatible TV or a projector.


Vegetable Gardening Fall
Discover techniques and proven varieties for planting a successful fall garden. (30 minutes required to present)

Vegetable Gardening Spring
Discover techniques and proven varieties for planting a successful spring garden. (30 minutes required to present)

MELISSA LUER
mluer@mggno.com
Melissa Luer has been a Master Gardener since 2008. She has been project manager for the community gardens at Hollygrove Market and for the Victory Garden at the National World War II Museum. She currently heads the MG volunteers at NOBG in the vegetable garden.

Melissa’s presentations are delivered as PowerPoints that will require access to an HDMI-compatible TV or a projector.


Container Gardening
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. (30 minutes required to present)


ADELE MANGIPANO
amangipano@mggno.com
Adele Mangipano is a retired librarian who has been a master gardener since 2006. For the past five years she has been volunteering monthly at the Gretna Farmers’ Market answering gardening questions and promoting the Louisiana Master Gardener program to interested gardeners. She also volunteers at the Pelican Green House in City Park.

Adele’s presentations are delivered as PowerPoints that will require access to an HDMI-compatible TV or a projector.


Plant Propagation
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. (30 minutes required to present)


SANDY PITRE
spitre@mggno.com
A labor and delivery nurse and nurse educator, Sandy relaxes by pursuing her passion for gardening. She has been a Louisiana Master Gardener since 1999 and loves sharing her knowledge of horticulture with other NOLA gardeners. Originally from Cut Off, she adds a little Cajun perspective to her classes, which she acquired on Bayou Lafourche.

Sandy’s presentations are delivered as PowerPoints that will require access to an HDMI-compatible TV or a projector.


Pollinator Protection
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. (30 minutes required to present)


Summer Gardening
Summer is a difficult time to grow vegetables and herbs. Learn some tricks as well as recommended varieties for home gardens to get through the challenging summer heat. (30 minutes required to present)


Winter Herb Gardening
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! (30 minutes required to present)



USHA RAMADHYANI
uramadhyani@mggno.com
Usha Ramadhyani is a retired anesthesiologist and is finally able to indulge in her passion for gardening. She is a native of the southern city of Bangalore, India and has lived in the New Orleans area since 1984. She is a Louisiana master gardener since 2017 and is a mentor for the MGGNO class of 2018.

Usha comes from a long line of gardeners starting with her great grandfather who often displayed his prize winning plants at the Bangalore Flower Show. Today she and her husband enjoy maintaining their yard of ornamentals and edibles and have passed on their passion to their children. She volunteers at the cold frames gardens in City Park where produce is grown to donate to the local teaching kitchens and to community centers like Okra Abbey. Her current interests are native plants and gardening for pollinators.

Usha’s presentations are delivered as PowerPoints that will require access to an HDMI-compatible TV or a projector.


Tool Talk
This comprehensive show-and-tell demonstration reviews the various types of tools (rakes, shovels, pruners, etc.) generally used by gardeners. You’ll learn which ones are the most useful, proper use and care including tips on cleaning, sharpening and safety. Guests are encouraged to bring their own tools for evaluation. (minimum 30 minutes required to present and table to display tools; best suited for smaller groups 25 or less)


ROGER SVOBODA
rsvoboda@mggno.com
A retired mechanical engineer, Roger’s horticulture interests include trees, edibles, rain gardens, natural yard care (using natural methods of pest control and soil improvement) and sharing his knowledge of garden tools and machinery. He recently relocated to New Orleans from Snohomish County Washington where he was a Master Gardener since 2008 and coordinated their Educational Outreach (Clinic) for the last two years.

The Colombian Exchange- The Movement of Plants Around the Globe
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. (30 minutes required to present)


Farm to Table: A History
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. (30 minutes required to present)


A History of Garden Design
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)


Home Citrus Tips and Tricks
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. (30 minutes required to present)


Organic Gardening Basics
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. (30 minutes required to present)


Parterre Gardens
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. (30 minutes required to present)



ANNA TIMMERMAN
atimmerman@mggno.com
Anna Timmerman is the LSU AgCenter Agent in Jefferson Parish. She has been working in the horticulture industry for fifteen years in a variety of applications, including greenhouses, residential landscaping, urban farming, and large-scale organic market gardening.

Anna’s presentations are delivered as PowerPoints that will require access to an HDMI-compatible TV or a projector.


Basics on Raising Backyard Chickens
Gain basic knowledge on raising chickens in your backyard and the life cycle of chicken eggs. (30 minutes required to present)


Growing Louisiana Irises 101
Learn how to grow this most prized perennial–the Louisiana iris. This presentation will include tips on identifying LA irises, planting, caring, propagating and controlling common diseases. (30 minutes required to present)

LINDA VINSANAU
lvinsanau@mggno.com
Linda Vinsanau was born in New Orleans and raised on a farm in rural St. James Parish; she earned a BS degree from LSU in Business Administration. She was a founder and principle owner in a document management computer company from 1992 to 2008. She now spends most of her time doing volunteer work. After Hurricane Katrina, she earned her certification as a Louisiana Master Gardener. Most varieties of annuals, perennial, and shrubs she grows in her garden and greenhouse are those that grew in her grandmothers’ gardens. She loves growing vegetables and annuals from seed. Her special interest is native plants. Currently, she is working on replacing the amaryllis and orchid collections she lost in 2005.

Linda’s presentations are delivered as PowerPoints that will require access to an HDMI-compatible TV or a projector.


Online Resources for NOLA Gardeners
Googling gardening information online is fast and easy but does not always guarantee you’ll find answers appropriate for our NOLA climate. In this presentation, you’ll learn how to ensure you find reliable information every time you search the Internet. Plus we’ll share the favorite sites and resources followed by LSU AgCenter experts and New Orleans master gardeners. (30 minutes required to present)


Super Plants for Your Louisiana Landscape – Summer Selections
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. (30 minutes required to present)


Super Plants for Your Louisiana Landscape – Cool-Season Selections
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. (30 minutes required to present)


LINDA WEGMANN
lwegmann@mggno.com
Linda Wegmann has been an active volunteer with the Louisiana Master Gardener program since 1999. She has served in various leadership roles and currently chairs the MGGNO Speakers Bureau, which she helped launch in 2014. An advocate of the Louisiana Super Plant program, Linda enjoys experimenting and sharing her experiences with the latest LSP introductions. She is also a volunteer at Our Lady of Wisdom Healthcare Center in Algiers.

Linda’s presentations are delivered as PowerPoints that will require access to an HDMI-compatible TV or a projector.


Integrated Pest Management for Home Gardens*
Learn how to identify common garden pests and beneficial insects, and strategies for naturally balancing their populations. This topic includes information on chemical biological, organic, and cultural controls. IPM works to utilize less chemical inputs and relies on nature to do the rest. (30 minutes required to present)


Plant Pest Identification*
Learn how to properly identify insect pests in your home garden as well as control them naturally and chemically. (30 minutes required to present)


Perennials for NOLA*
This presentation explores the herbaceous perennials best suited for our NOLA climate. Learn the varieties recommended for sun and shade, how to grow, propagate and maintain these plants for year-round interest in your landscape. (30 minutes required to present)


TRICIA WRUBLESKI
pwrubleski@mggno.com
A native New Orleanian, Tricia loves sharing her passion for perennial gardening. She has been an enthusiastic master gardener volunteer since 2005 and enjoys the learning opportunities the LMG program continues to give her. A licensed CPA, Tricia is also a devoted mom and grandmother.

Tricia’s presentations are delivered as PowerPoints that will require access to an HDMI-compatible TV or a projector.

* Available March through December for evening presentations only. Available for Eastbank presentations only.

* Available only to groups of 50 or more
PowerPoint presentation – requires HDMI-compatible TV or projector