Horticultural, IGC, Landscapers & Green Industry Trade Talks

Live or Virtual Zoom Presentations for Green Industry Conferences and Meetings

C.L. Fornari presents talks for horticultural trade shows, landscapers, garden centers, designers, nursery retailers, and other green industry professionals.

Note: any of the talks listed for Garden Groups can also be given with professionals in mind. Since I am a gardener, garden center employee, and garden consultant I take pride in presenting professional landscapers with information that they can immediately put to use.

I always tailor my talks to the specific audience I am addressing.

Zoom Presentations

I can present engaging virtual talks to groups that are large or small. Any of the programs you see on this page can be given via Zoom.

To get a feel of what my virtual presentations are like, click here.

Please contact me for availability and pricing.  I make sure that every talk I give is appropriate to the region where I’m speaking, even if that talk is being given over Zoom. I also allow plenty of time for answering questions. I look forward to providing an entertaining and informative talk to your group.

Testimonials and accolades

“Thank you for doing the Friday evening cocktail gardening Zoom calls. They were the best think I found to do in April in the online environment. You really have a gift. Your presentations are clear, balanced and easy to understand. You make it seem effortless – though I appreciate all the effort that goes into putting the calls together.  Thank you.” – Regina O.

“I just finished watching your zoom. You were so wonderful. I want to compliment you on your presentation of your virtual experience. Thank you.” – Kathleen M.

“I’ve attended many webinar, Zoom and real life seminars for gardening. I will say that CL Fornari is one of the best. She shares information in a way that even the most novice gardeners will understand, and those of us who have years of experience always seem to learn something new. The talks are lively and full of information, and I never walk away feeling like I’ve wasted my time.” – Debra L.

C.L. Fornari’s column for Garden Center Magazine has been awarded a silver metal of achievement by GardenComm: Garden Communicators International.


Keeping Perennially Connected With Customers

Perennials are always popular with clients. IGC’s and designers can events – in person and virtual – to keep your customers connected to your business, new plants, and their gardens. In this talk C.L. offers idea for a variety of programs. Hear how to host an educational session when you have no seating or event space. Learn how virtual classes can be content that promotes your business, and attract scores of people without having to set up chairs or stay open after hours. Discover how to present programs featuring “perennials with purpose” that speak directly to your customers’ needs, hearts and dreams.

Keeping Virtually Connected With Customers


Using Zoom To Grow Brands and Businesses

The pandemic has given us an amazing opportunity: people have become comfortable with connecting virtually! Whether it’s a family gathering, church service or meeting, even the most tech-challenged became comfortable with virtual events. As we move into the future, using these tools provides many opportunities for staying connected with clients and customers. This talk explains how to present a compelling talk using Zoom or other connection software. I give tips for success, outline possible pitfalls, and give you a recipe for compelling presentations that will drive customers to your business. We’ll discuss the advantages for IGC’s or other businesses to hold events virtually, and how to market such programs.


Containers For Clients: Color and Cost

Custom Container Services ~ Planting and Maintenance

Our clients love to have containers filled with flowers on their porches, patios and decks. This talk covers planting strategies for success, plants that provide summer-long color, design tips and maintenance. In addition, we cover how to think about billing for creating and maintaining pots and boxes over the season, and how to turn summer containers into year-round opportunities for repeat business.

Guidance to Go


Consultation Services for IGCs, Landscapers and Garden Coaches

Does your garden center or landscaping business make house calls? This talk explains how on-site consultation services can build customer loyalty, boost sales, and position you as the local go-to source for landscaping needs. Learn how a coaching/consultation service builds trust, drives sales and becomes a profit center for your business. Hear why a paid consultation is better than a free estimate. See materials that can make consultations more efficient and productive. After twenty years of providing consultation services for a family-owned, independent garden center, C.L. is pleased to provide how to tips and profit-driving practices that can be put into action for your business.

Cannabis - growing your own

Cannabis: The New Tomato

Designing Education and Consultation Programs for Customers and Clients

It’s the plant that many customers want to grow, and every year more states are making home Cannabis cultivation legal. This talk is for Landscapers and IGC’s who want to assist these growers, while staying within their state guidelines and respecting the emotional responses from others. C.L. Fornari has been teaching outdoor Cannabis growing at Hyannis Country Garden, a family-owned IGC, for seven years, and she shares what she’s learned about creating educational or consultation programs around this plant. Discover what your customers need to know for success with Cannabis. Hear about the common problems home growers face and the products or practices for helping them. Learn how to serve home Cannabis growers while not upsetting those who still equate this plant with opioids. And hear how to navigate the tricky waters of helping customers grow the plant, without giving medical or recreational drug advice.


Rave Review from Claudia Marshall, Former Director of Good Works and PR for Gardener’s Supply Company. 

“C.L. has a clear and inspiring message, delivered with humor and wit.  Her presentation left our whole team charged up.  We’d gladly have her back!”

Perennials for Professionals


Matching Plants, Planting, and Maintenance Practices to Your Clients

Your client wants perennials that “are low maintenance” and you want to keep the customer happy. As a garden professional, however, you know that a perennial garden can be the most high-maintenance landscape there is. This talk is about picking the best perennial plants, planting them appropriately, and caring for them with methods that create beautiful gardens with less involvement. Yes, it’s possible to please your clients, create beautiful gardens and simplify maintenance for the customer and your employees.


Rave Review from Jeanie Gillis of Parterre Garden Services, Cambridge, MA

“CL gave a great presentation ‘Perennial Care for Pro’s’ to Parterre Garden Service. The talk was current to perennial trends, informative and funny with lots of practical techniques and solutions that many of our Gardeners were able to use the very next day!”


Plant Picks that Please Clients

(Some Plants Aren’t For Everyone)

There are thousands of great plants, but not every plant is right for all people. As an avid gardener I recognize that some of the selections that are appropriate for people like myself are not good choices for most of my customers or clients. Plant geeks have different standards for their gardens than home-landscapers or the general public. This talk is designed to help landscapers and garden center employees recognize which plants will make their customers happiest. In this talk I’ll show a few examples of gardeners’ plants and explain why they may not be the best choices for your clients. This is followed by a large range of annuals, perennials, and shrubs that will keep your customers content and coming back for more.

Retail Revival

 Ideas and Inspiration for Garden Centers

It’s easy to keep on doing the same-old-same-old. But as we compete with everything from box stores to everyone’s fixation with their phones, garden centers need to shake things up and climb out of our ruts. This talk gives specific suggestions to IGC’s on a variety of topics including customer communications, display, events, employee education and more. Here some of the ideas that C.L. has written in regular articles for Garden Center Magazine. Find new ways to connect with your customers, generate sales, and bring the public’s attention back to the garden.


Sell The Excitement!

Communication Skills for the Green Industry

I’m sure you’ve attended many trade events where the speakers failed to excite the audience and missed opportunities to convey important information. Frequently, PowerPoint Poisoning is the rule. This is unfortunate because dynamic presentation skills can be learned. Whether you are the owner of a horticultural business, volunteer master gardener, grower, or an employee of a garden center, you may be called to speak in front of an audience. This talk will help  you improve your presentations so that you can truly sell the excitement of plants and gardening. This one-hour talk can be expanded into a four to eight hour workshop for those who want to better promote their business or passion. It’s also a valuable presentation for those who wish to expand a career as a professional speaker.

Note: C.L. is also available as an individual speech coach to help those in horticultural-related professions improve their presentation skills.

Rave Review from GreatGardenSpeakers.com
“Gave me confidence”
I have wanted to branch out into public speaking and CL’s presentation at the GWA symposium in Quebec has given me the confidence to get started. She certainly practices what she preaches when presenting a talk on presenting! I learned as much by watching her in action as I did from what she said. I am so glad I went to this workshop!
K. Purdy, Oxford NY

Annuals That Deliver

If your clients and customers are paying for new annuals every summer, they want plants that deliver color. From the brand new to the tried and true, this talk shows plants that are an asset in the garden from planting to hard frost. You will come away with a list of annuals that will flower all summer in a variety of growing conditions.

This talk is far more than a group of photos with the usual accompanying plant list. Learn new ways to plant groups of annuals that go beyond color bedding. Find ideas to talk about annuals in new ways that excite customers.


Landscape Design Bloopers

This talk looks at design mistakes that are commonly made by landscapers and home-gardeners alike. By looking at where things have gone wrong, and sometimes seeing a corrected version through the magic of Photoshop, I explain the reasons why some garden designs look better than others. Learn how to provide plantings that please your customers on the day the job is finished, and for years afterwards.

Garden Tourism: Growing Something Good

This talk is about how everyone in the community benefits from garden tourism. From businesses and residents, to the non-profits and horticulture itself, such regional celebrations feed us all. As the founder of the Cape Cod Hydrangea Festival, I can speak to how others can get such annual events off the ground. Learn what it takes to plan, market and build a garden tourism event that “has legs.”

The Cape Cod Hydrangea Festival is a ten day period when Cape gardens are open to the public for the benefit of local non-profits. Although it is organized under the umbrella of our signature flower, the blue hydrangea, it is our seaside gardens and landscapes that are being celebrated.  In the third year of the festival, 2017, over $45,000.00 was raised for local non-profits.


Rave Review From Great Garden Speakers

“Informative & Humorous!”
C. L. shared her speaking expertise in February 2013 with aspiring and experienced Garden Writers Association members in a full day workshop. C. L. delivers valuable information in a relaxed, confidant style with humor and personal anecdotes. Her tips were invaluable in helping me polish my delivery, such that my most recent audience wants me for a return engagement. Wow!
L. Clarke, PA

Contact information:
All my talks are customized to the audience where I’m presenting. How can I assist your group or event?

clfornari at gmail dot com
Mail: C.L. Fornari P.O. Box 355 Osterville, MA 02655
Phone:  508  728  4165


C.L. presented her talk about annuals to the NCNLA in 2018.

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