Speaker's Bureau Topics

The following programs are offered by St. Louis Master Gardeners.

Included in the list are five guided walking tours at the Missouri Botanical Garden. These tours are of the following specialty gardens: Goodman Iris Garden, Jenkins Daylily Garden, the Native Woodland Garden, the Sun Prairie, or a personalized tour of the Garden’s annual Orchid Show. The Orchid Show is presented at the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Ridgeway Center in February. The other tours are outdoor programs designed to discuss the growing of plants specific to each garden. The walking tours are available during their peak blooming period which is normally 4-6 weeks each year. Contact the speaker for specific dates.

If you have any questions pertaining to programs, please contact our Speakers Bureau Coordinator, Betsy Alexander at betsyace@earthlink.net

Speaker's Bureau Programs

A Dark Side to Your Garden

Plants that Prickle or Poison. There are villains lurking in the garden. Find out if you are harboring one.

A Perfect Perennial - Daylily Magic for Your Garden

Go beyond Stella D'Oro! The modern daylily gives a spectacular display of color, color patterns, bloom and plant size when other garden plants are wilting in the heat and humidity.

ABC's of Honeybees

An introductory frolic through the intriguing world of all things honeybee.

All About Orchids
Orchids, the largest of all plant families, are the most diverse, fascinating and exotic plants on earth.
Annuals & Perennials
This session gives you an opportunity to learn the differences between annuals and perennials and the care needed for each.
Autumn Spectacular
Travel in a photo journey to witness the spectacular changes of autumn.
Backyard Composting
Composting yard waste is one of the most environmentally sound things you can do.
Best Gardening Practices for a Sustainable Garden
This program offers an outline of sustainable/organic practices for use in your home garden to create an attractive, peaceful garden that rarely needs pruning, watering, fertilizing or pest control.
Botanic Garden Arm Chair Tours

Ten botanical gardens are available for you to take an arm chair tour. Choose 3 of the listed gardens for your personalized adventure. They are all sites that have ben visited by Master Gardener, John Hensley.

Boxwood: the Oldest Garden Ornamental

This talk gives a comprehensive look at the ornamental, boxwood.

Bring the Natives Home
Learn how to include Missouri native plants in your home garden. This talk features photos of native wildflowers.
Chocoholic? even better a chocoholic gardener? Walk through the earliest history of chocolate, learn how it is cutivated and processed, and then consider ways to take your chocolate addiction into your garden with 'chocolate' plants.
Companion Planting

Companion Planting covers the history, benefits, implementation details, and the impact of plants on the insect populations present in your garden, both beneficials and pests.

Critical for Gardening - Get the Dirt on Soil

A critical aspect of gardening is creating the soil necessary for lush, healthy plants.

Designing A Perennial Garden
A humerous look at desiging her perennial garden includes the struggles encountered when putting in a new garden.
Designing with Nature in Mind

Attract more birds, butterflies, and pollinators to your yard by creating an appealing design to welcome the natural world.

Extend Garden Interest into Late Summer, Fall

As we move through summer, days get shorter, fall starts, it is time to consider the steps we need to take to prolong the beauty of our gardens.

Flowering Shrubs
Would you like to add some color to your foundation plantings? Or add structure to a perennial garden? How about creating a focal point near the front door to welcome guests?
Forest Park from a Gardener's Perspective

A history of Forest Park from the region's shaping by glaciers to the present landscape renovation efforts on Government Hill, Pagoda Circle.

Glades of Missouri

Glades of Missouri - Nature's Gems

A picture program on the unique environment of Missouri's glades, their magnificent plants and unique animals.

History of Missouri Botanical Garden

Enjoy a history lesson on the growth and development of MBG.


A new talk that covers growing hydrangeas in St. Louis. 

Landscape Design - two topics

Do you want to change your outdoor space? Revise or modify what you have? Increase your property value? 2 talks are available from Terry Milne.


Landscaping with Native Trees and Shrubs

Ready for low maintenance, plus more birds and butterflies in your garden? Incorperating native shrubs and trees into your landscaping will achieve both.

Missouri's Wild Mushrooms Is It Edible?

There are many common, edible mushrooms in Missouri. This program gives information on finding mushrooms in the wild or even in your own backyard!

Orchids of Missouri Botanical Garden: Behind the Scene of the Orchid Show and Greenhouses
Find out what it takes to 'put on' the annual orchid show at the Missouri Botanical Garden. Learn how the Botanical Garden's world famous orchid collection is maintained.
Orchids: Lure and Legend

This program explores the history, magic, and beauty of orchids.

Organic Gardening
Organic gardening promotes a healthy, sustainable environment. Enhance your gardening, your plants, and your life with these simple and effective techniques.
Photosynthesis - It's not just about plants

Learn how nature figured out solar energy eons before man did.

Plants of the Bible
From Genesis to Revelations, there are numerous references to plants in the Bible. This is a presentation on plants that were important to the people of the Bible and are referenced in their stories.
Plants that Changed the Course of History

This talk is on a subset of plants taken from Bill Laws' book, Fifty Plants that Changed the Course of the History.
​It includes plants that the speaker has identified as of special interest.

Plants, Pollen, and Allergies

Have you ever suffered from pollen allergies? This talk will take you through the plant physiology involved and how to select plants that minimize allergen occurrence and your exposure to them.

Problems Common to Perennials and Annuals

Trying to perfect your home garden to the Better Homes and Gardens ideal? It is frustrating to do all of the right things and then find insects and plant diseases challenging your best attempts. Learn about common garden pests and diseases and how to manage them using safe, sustainable tactics.

Pruning Basics
Ever wonder the best time to prune that favorite shrub? This basic primer will help you determine the right tool for the job, the type of cuts to make, and when to prune certain flowering plants to ensure lasting beauty.
Rain Gardening
What's all the talk about 'rain gardens'? The 'Rain Gardening' program gives an overview of the concept and outlines details for creating one in your home garden.
Right-sizing Your Garden

Learn tips and tricks to make your garden less work and easier on your joints as you and your garden mature.

Safe, Ergonomic Gardening

Get information for easy ways to protect yourself while you are working in your garden, including general safety tips and safe ways to lift, turn, carry, operate garden tools.

Secrets to Growing Roses in St. Louis
Learn the information to successfully grow roses in the St. Louis metro area.
Spring Wildflowers of Missouri
Go on a photo spring hike looking for Missouri wildflowers with advanced Master Gardener, Carol Gravens.
Ten Ways to Add Biodiversity to Your Garden

Learn specific ways to increase the biodiversity of your garden

The Art of Container Gardening
A step-by-step guide for creating a gorgeous container garden for your home.
The Blooming Prairie

Using the speaker's own photography, the program follows the succession of prairie plants from spring, summer, fall to winter.

The Fragrant Garden

Learn about adding the diminsion of fragrance to your garden.

The Linnean House at Missouri Botanical Garden
Follow the history of the Linnean House from 1890 through the 2010-2011 renovation. This program is an achival photo tour, including recent photo's of the new interior layout.
Top 10 Orchids for the Home
This talk discusses one orchid hobbyist's favorites and how to grow them in the home, without a greenhouse or special equipment
Tour - Daylily
Walking/teaching tour through the MBG Jenkins Daylily garden.
Tour - Iris
Walking/teaching tour through the Iris gardens at MBG
Tour - Native sun/prairie

Walking/teaching tour through the Native Sun/prairie Garden at M.B.G., Kemper Center.

Tour - Orchid Show
Walking/teaching tour of the Orchid Show at M.B.G.
Tour - St. Louis Herb Garden at MBG
Walking/teaching tour of the St. Louis Herb Garden at MBG.
Understanding the Shade Environment
This presentation covers factors to consider for a successful shade garden, including degrees of shade, moisture, soil composition, and maintenance of trees.
Vertical Gardening

Expand your gardening space by incorporating vertical elements into your overall design.

Victorian Gardens

Garden design during the Victorian Period had unique elements.  The overall look is described as opulent. Follow the program to learn the details of this fascinating period in gardening.

Wildflowers of the High Sierra

This program is a naturalist hiker's photo collection from exploring the High Sierras.

Wildflowers of the Swiss Alps

Take an arm chair trek thru Switzerland to view Alpine wildflowers. Your guide is Master Gardener/Master Naturalist Carol Gravens.

Winter Damage

While you are snug in your home on a winter evening, there are several types of damage that can be happening outside in your garden.

Winter Prearation for Your Spring Garden

As you prepare your garden for winter, it is time to think ahead about the coming spring. This program is designed to help you determine the basic steps needed to prepare ornamentals, trees, shrubs, and overall garden for the spring.

Winter's Natural Beauty
Take an alternate look at Missouri winter scenery. Things we take for granted as a gray, bleak season find an attractive, creative look thru the lense of Carol's camera.