Speakers: Bios and Topics

MGGNO Speakers Bureau

2022-2023 Topics

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.

* Available only to groups of 50 or more



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)

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.

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)


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


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 and member of the Native Plant Initiative of Greater New Orleans.

(Available Wednesday afternoon, Thursday or Friday. No evening presentations.)

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

Butterfly Gardening * ZOOM

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)

Historical Louisiana Landscapes. The “WHY” behind the Native Plant Movement* ZOOM NEW

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* ZOOM NEW

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. (45 minutes required to present)

My Weeds, My Bugs and How They Matter* ZOOM

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* ZOOM

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 * ZOOM

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)

Using Louisiana Native Plants in Your Garden * ZOOM NEW

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. (45 minutes required to present)* Available only to groups of 50 or more

Tammany Baumgarten is a Master Gardener with the LSU AgCenter and a licensed Landscape Horticulturist and owner of BaumGardens Landscape and Design, a full-service landscaping company serving the New Orleans area since 1997. She has always been an avid proponent of native and wildlife gardening, weaving ecological principles in her landscape designs and in public discourse when opportunities arise. As an avid wildlife and butterfly gardener, she likes to share her experiences in attracting birds, bees, and butterflies to outdoor spaces, and believes you can help to create a space where the wild visitors are as much of an attraction as the plants themselves.Tammany is heavily involved with horticultural and ecological activities and organizations in her community, region, and state. She works to improve and preserve the wildlife diversity at Beechnut Nature Retreat, her 40-acre property in Tylertown, MS. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Louisiana Native Plant Society and helped develop and administer the Louisiana Certified Habitat Program. She is the founding President of the Native Plant Initiative of Greater New Orleans, an organization dedicated to promoting and preserving native plantings in highly urban settings in the Crescent City.

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

Not All Plants Wear Capes: What’s so Super about Super Plants? NEW

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. (45 minutes available via live Zoom or prerecorded presentation.)

Chris Belser (LMG Class of 2021) is a faculty member in the UNO Counselor Education program with a background in school counseling and career counseling. He volunteers regularly with the Super Plant Demonstration Garden at City Park. He also has a passion for Louisiana native plants, has a certified habitat in his New Orleans yard, and is involved with several native plant projects at UNO.Not available Monday – Thursday.

Environmentally Friendly Gardening ZOOM

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 ZOOM

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 ZOOM

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)

Seasonal Vegetable and Herb Gardening ZOOM

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)

Born and raised in Washington, D.C., Dov now calls New Orleans his home. He has spent the majority of his career working in urban agriculture, garden education, and private landscaping. Dov is a licensed landscape horticulturist in the state of Louisiana 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 organic/low-impact growing practices and edibles.

Dov’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)

The Beauty of Southern Vines NEW

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

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.

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 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)

Recently retired after devoting 48 years as a labor and delivery nurse and nurse educator, Sandy is now pursuing her passion for gardening and photography. 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.

The Art of Incredible Edible Flowers NEW

Engage in the Art of Incredible Edible Flowers! Did you know that there are many flowers around you that you can eat? Explore the garden to find out which ones are edible and what yummy ways you can enjoy them. (30 minutes required to present)


With a global mindset and vision resting at the intersection of social justice, sustainability, wellness, and permaculture, Anandi A. Premlall is an International Agro-Ecological Educator, Writer, Grower, and Pharmacist who has mycelial roots thriving in the Caribbean, ancestral India, New York City and New Orleans. Ms. Premlall’s genuine passion for sharing her work has forged connections with like-minded communities and producers, helping to foster lasting improvements in the fields of Sustainability and Agroecology.

Anandi’s presentations are delivered virtually as PowerPoints via Zoom.

Natives for the Shade ZOOM

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)

Pollinator Protection ZOOM

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)

Winter Herb Gardening ZOOM

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 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.

The Colombian Exchange- The Movement of Plants Around the Globe ZOOM

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 ZOOM

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 ZOOM

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 ZOOM

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)

Louisiana Native Plants NEW

Learn about some of the best and showiest Louisiana native plants that deserve a place in our gardens. This presentation covers the benefits of native plants, how to grow them, where to find them, and more.

Organic Gardening Basics ZOOM

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 ZOOM

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)

Sustainable Landscaping Techniques for Louisiana NEW

Learn to design home landscapes that conserve inputs such as water, fertilizer, and labor while still being beautiful and providing important ecological services. Sustainable gardens don’t have to be messy!

Anna Timmerman is an LSU AgCenter Horticulture Agent stationed in Plaquemines and St. Bernard Parishes. Anna has a diverse background within the industry, and prior to working for LSU ran several businesses. From 1999-2006 Timmerman focused on growing cut flowers, nursery stock and market vegetables in West Michigan for sales to local chefs and at two farmer’s markets on the fourth generation family farm. From 2008-2012 she worked in Chicago, IL providing custom vegetable production services on urban properties owned by several Michelin-ranked chefs, and rooftop gardening in the downtown district. From 2012-2017, Timmerman focused on running a landscaping company in New Orleans, edible gardening, historic garden restoration, urban agriculture, and stormwater mitigation plantings using native species. Timmerman is currently finishing a Masters thesis on containerized citrus at LSU this fall and plans to pursue her PhD in Horticulture while running the new Louisiana Citrus Center of Excellence as a research farm in Meraux, LA in partnership with Docville Farm and the Meraux Foundation. She lives and gardens with her partner in the Upper 9th Ward, where they have a small nursery producing over 70 species of Louisiana native plants, many unique vegetables and herbs, as well as a “micro farm” raising chickens, quail, ducks, pigeons, and rabbits for meat and eggs, tends to a large garden and many fruit trees, and manages a public seed library project that distributes over 30,000 packets of seed per year.

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 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.


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 has been an active volunteer with the Louisiana Master Gardener program for over 20 years. She has served in various leadership roles for MGGNO and helped launch their Speakers Bureau in 2014. Currently she serves as an administrator and social media content contributor for MGGNO’s Facebook sites. An advocate of the Louisiana Super Plant program, Linda enjoys experimenting and sharing her experiences with the latest LSP introductions.

(No evening presentations.)

Linda’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