Speakers: Bios and Topics

MGGNO Speakers Bureau

Hot Topics 2017-2018

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.



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.

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.

A study of members of this interesting genus of 900 plants that will grow in south Louisiana

The Wildlife Garden
Recollections of a wildlife gardener and suggestions on establishing one

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

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.

Blueberries and Bees
In this presentation, Eileen shares results of ongoing Mississippi Master Gardener projects that encourage landscaping with blueberries and native bees. Learn how to cultivate blueberries— native plants prized equally for their fruit as well as their finely textured foliage making them excellent landscape shrubs and food for wildlife.
Enabling Gardens for the Aged or Impaired
Coping with a recent disability? Want to take up a proven therapeutic hobby? Facing decreasing mobility or strength? Getting a little older and feel the yard is becoming a chore? In this presentation, Eileen discusses tools and techniques to make gardening easier and barrier-free. She shows designs that she has implemented in her own garden.
Firewise Trees and Shrubs
In this presentation, Eileen lists trees and shrubs that are highly combustible and should never be planted close to a house or building. She discusses firewise trees and shrubs that are fire resistant substitutes.

Let’s Branch into Olives
In this presentation, Eileen shares results of ongoing olive tree trials conducted at the Hammond Research Station and in her own garden. Learn how to cultivate this plant prized equally for its fruit and finely textured foliage making it an excellent specimen landscape tree.

LA Iris I. giganticarulea – LA State Wildflower
(many other LA Iris topics)
In this presentation, Eileen shares results of ongoing LA Iris activities in the Greater New Orleans area. Learn where to see Louisiana Irises and how to cultivate this native plant.

Native Bees for the Home Gardener
Can’t pick up an 80 pound hive every 21 days? Don’t want to get stung? Want to encourage efficient native pollinators? In this presentation, Eileen shares how to raise and mange orchard mason bees. No honey but add beauty, activity and pollination to our plantings.

Natives Preferred – Trees and Shrubs
In this presentation, Eileen shares results of fifteen years of volunteering at The Crosby Arboretum and lessons learned in her own garden. Learn how to select the right tree for the right place. Learn about native trees and shrubs for difficult growing conditions.

Poisonous Plants: Child-Proof/ Pet-Proof Your Garden
Learn how to keep children, pets and plants safely under the same roof. Eileen identifies dangerous plants and suggests safe and attractive alternatives

Eileen Hollander is a very active speaker in the local gardening community with expertise in a variety of horticulture topics. A Louisiana Master Gardener since 2000, she earned the designation of Advanced Louisiana Master Gardener in 2016. She frequently hosts tours of her prized Louisiana iris collection at her uptown home and currently oversees the Louisiana Iris multi-site project. In addition to MGGNO, Eileen has served on the Boards of the Greater New Orleans Iris Society, Mississippi Master Gardener Association and Southeast Daylily Society.

Eileen’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.

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.

Natives Enthusiast; Tree Trooper Trained; LA Master Gardener since 2007; Certified Nursery and Landscape Professional since 2016; Parkway Partners Education and Greenhouse Manager 1998 – 2015; current Volunteer Liaison for Parkway Partners.

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.

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.

Ornamentals — The Foliage Stars
A look at the incredible variety and beauty of ornamental leaves: caladiums, coleus, heucheras, and hostas.

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.

Tour of Vegetable and Herb Beds at NOBG
Join us as we walk through the aromatic, medicinal and vegetable beds at the New Orleans Botanical Gardens. We will discuss what’s growing and provide tips for recreating these plantings and practical uses for these plants in your own gardens. (Available only when garden is open.)Vegetable Gardening Fall
Discover techniques and proven varieties for planting a successful fall garden.

Vegetable Gardening Spring
Discover techniques and proven varieties for planting a successful spring garden.

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.

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

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.

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.
Learning to Live With and Love Water
New Orleans is surrounded by water, meaning that we live with the effects of it in our daily lives. Gardening and landscaping choices can actively impact storm water movement, soil moisture retention, and our ability to survive future weather events. Learning to work with and love our water related challenges can start right in your own backyard.
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.

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.

Winter Vegetable and Herb Gardening OR Summer Vegetable and Herb Gardening
These presentations are seasonal overviews of what to plant and how to plant it, both the winter and summer vegetable gardens present different challenges and benefits. Included is information on garden cleanup, pest control, and recommended varieties.

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. She is a member of the Herb Society of America- New Orleans Unit as well as a 4-H and FFA alumni.

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

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

Growing Louisiana Irises
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.* Only available for evening presentations.

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