Seminars & Demos Schedule

Our show features a comprehensive lineup of seminars & demos! Use the buttons below to find what interests you! You can also see our exhibitor list here.

Demos & Seminars

Demonstrations
Educational Seminars

Schedules

Thursday
Friday

Schedules

Saturday
Sunday

Demonstrations

Stop by our NEW demonstration area to learn from local experts!

  • Bonsai Demos from the Bonsai Society of Greater Hartford
  • Bob Buettner floral arranging. Stop by to be a lucky recipient of the arrangements he creates.
    • Thursday 11a & 2p
    • Friday 12p & 3p
    • Saturday 11a & 2p
    • Sunday 1p
  • Denise Ciastko 0f Nativearth Seed – Starting Your Native Wildflower Seeds
    • Thursday 1p & 4p
    • Friday 11a & 2p
    • Saturday 12p & 4p
    • Sunday 2p
  • Len Giddix – Canning Demo
    • Thursday 12p
    • Friday 4:30p
    • Saturday 3:30p
    • Sunday 11a

Seminar Speakers & Topics

Click the name of each presenter for bios and details about their presentations!

Mar Jennings Bio

Mar Jennings is a 5-Time Emmy® nominated television show host, entrepreneur, philanthropist and influencer. He is the bestselling author of 2 books, and is known as America’s top lifestyle expert. Millions of people rely on Mar Jennings as a source of useful “how-to” information for all aspects of everyday living—décor, gardening, home renovation and real estate. Currently, the Mar Jennings brand reaches approximately 1 million consumers each month across all media platforms.

Presentation Schedule

How to Best Increase Your Home’s Value

  • Thursday – 12:30p
  • Friday – 11a
  • Saturday – 12:30p & 4:30p
  • Sunday – 2p

Amanda Morris Bio

Amanda Morris, MS is a Sales Specialist for Purina Animal Nutrition. Her personal interest in poultry and professional experiences have allowed her to expand and develop a diverse background in poultry nutrition and management. Amanda specializes in developing nutritional plans for backyard poultry and incorporating that into personalized homestead plans. What could be more fun than a pet that provides you with breakfast, works with you in your garden, and are fun to look at too! This program will focus on incorporating egg laying chickens into your vegetable, herb, and flower gardens.

Purina Animal Nutrition is a division of Land O’Lakes, a farmer owned cooperative. Purina is the leader in animal nutrition research holding over 125 patents and conducting more than 24,000 studies. Our 1,200 acre working research farm in Gray Summit Missouri provides a state of the art facility where our researchers seek vital new data in areas like digestive physiology, animal metabolism, and growth and development. Those insights drive product development and rigorous testing for new diet formulations and nutritional programs. All with a single aim- healthier, stronger animals that are the picture of greatness.

You can provide the best nutrition for your animals by visiting a Purina Independent Dealer near you! Visit www.purinamills.com or email amorris@landolakes.com for more information.

Presentation Schedule

Gardening with Chickens

  • Thursday – 11a
  • Friday – 2p

Anna Hackman Bio

Anna Hackman is a Rutgers Master Gardener and a New Jersey farmer. She is a retired lawyer who traded in her briefcase for garden tools. You can find her at The Naked Botanical, a certified organic medicinal and culinary herb, fruit and vegetable farm. She has been growing culinary herbs for over 15 years and teaches about them through the Morris County Master Gardeners Speaker Bureau program and her garden blog, Green Talk and her YouTube channel, She believes home grown herbs taste the best and why not enjoy them throughout the year.

Presentation Schedule

Growing, Harvesting and Preserving Culinary Herbs for Year Round Enjoyment.

  • Thursday – 4:30p
  • Friday – 4:30p

Bob Buettner Bio
  • CT Florist of the year 2010
  • Instructor of Floral Design MCC
  • Member of Board of Directors CT Florist
  • In business since 1960 with shop located in East Hartford, CT
  • Member of FTD
  • Member of “Flowers for Kids” program
  • Active at the Hole in the Wall Camp
  • Scuba diver & long distance bicycle rider.
Presentation Schedule

Floral Arranging – In the new live demo area

  • Thursday 11a & 2p
  • Friday 12p & 3p
  • Saturday 11a & 2p
  • Sunday 1p

Charlie Nardozzi Bio

Charlie Nardozzi is an award winning, nationally recognized garden writer, speaker, radio, and television personality. He has worked for more than 30 years bringing expert gardening information to home gardeners through radio, television, talks, tours, on-line, and the printed page. Charlie delights in making gardening information simple, easy, fun and accessible to everyone.

Presentation Schedule

Grow a Pollinator Garden

  • Saturday – 11a & 3:30p

Dawn Pettinelli Bio

Dawn Pettinelli is an Assistant Extension Educator at the University of Connecticut. She manages the UConn Home & Garden Education Center and the UConn Soil Nutrient Analysis Laboratory. Both facilities provide information, testing and advice to homeowners and commercial clientele. Dawn has been a Master Gardener since 1986 and was the Master Gardener Coordinator for Worcester County Cooperative Extension in Massachusetts. A lifelong gardener, Dawn was also a horticulturist at Old Sturbridge Village.

Presentation Schedule

When Good Worms Go Bad

  • Thursday – 11a

The Dirty Dozen ~ 12 Facts About Soil Every Gardener Should Know

  • Sunday – 12:30p

Denise Ciastko Bio

In 1994 Denise Ciastko organized the first solely native plant nursery in Connecticut.  Her knowledge, vision and dedication to preserving New England’s natural heritage continues today with NativearthSeed LLC.

Denise’s notable landscapes include an upland beachgrass restoration, in which two acres of invasive plant and shrub species were removed then replanted with native beach grass, thus returning the parcel to it’s natural state as a native beach grass upland located at Lynde Point in Old Saybrook, CT.

Throughout her years of living in Connecticut Denise carried on planting native wildflower meadows and native rain gardens across Connecticut.

She attended the Connecticut Flower and Garden Show frequently and received many landscape awards, Best Naturalistic Garden, Best Environmentally Sensitive Garden and many more throughout the years. She was honored to receive the “Exhibit of Special Merit and Educational Value” from The Connecticut Horticultural Society in 2003.

Denise continues her work in Vermont, in redesigning and planting the Native Rain Garden Exhibit at the Leahy Science Center for Lake Champlain in Burlington.  Her desire to educate homeowners the importance of planting their own native wildflower rain garden has led her to create a native plant seed line.

As a result, she brings to you ” THE COLOURS OF RAIN “ her Native Wildflower Seed Line, thus, the creation of the Native New England Wildflower & Rain Garden Seed Pouches for all gardeners to enjoy!

Presentation Schedule

Starting Your Native Wildflower Seeds – In the new live demo area!

  • Thursday 1p & 4p
  • Friday 11a & 2p
  • Saturday 12p & 4p
  • Sunday 2p

Diane St. John Bio

Diane St. John is the manager of Natureworks Garden Center and has a BFA in Photography from Columbia College in Chicago and a Landscape Design Certificate from Naugatuck Valley Community College. After obtaining the Landscape Design Certificate from NVCC, the UConn Master Gardener certification, and an Accredited Organic Land Care Professional Certification through CT NOFA, she became increasingly aware of the overuse of synthetic chemicals on lawns and gardens. She became a passionate educator of organic land care practices and saw the decline of the monarch butterfly as a symbol of educating the public on why organic methods are so important. She hopes to inspire others to stop the use of chemicals at home and create a safe, beautiful, healthy environment for all.

Presentation Schedule

Every Yard Matters – How to Create a Healthy Monarch Butterfly Habitat at Home

Join Diane St John as she explains the life cycle of the monarch butterfly. Learn how you can attract and raise them right in your own yard by using organic gardening techniques and planting the specific plants they (and so many other pollinators) love.

  • Thursday – 2p

George Trecina Bio

George Trecina is the owner of Land Design & Horticultural Sales LLC in Meriden CT. He received his baccalaureate in landscape design from the University of Connecticut and his masters degree in landscape architecture from Cornell University. Since the 1980s he has designed, installed and maintained commercial and residential landscapes in Connecticut. He is a certified speaker with the Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut and presents topics on landscape design and horticultural subjects. For many years George has been opening  his “display and trial gardens“ to clients, garden clubs and other organizations including The Connecticut Horticultural Society, the Garden Conservancy and, most recently Mad Gardeners.

Presentation Schedule

Diverse and Versatile Succulents

  • Saturday – 2p

A Walk Through the Seasons in My Garden

  • Saturday – 4:30p

Jeffrey Eleveld Bio

Jeff is a horticulture therapist currently working with over 70 communities and garden clubs across the tri-state area, while co-owning The Li’l Plant Shop in Plainville, CT with his wife Pat.

A graduate of The Suffield Vocational Agriculture high school, Jeff has continued passionately in his career of horticulture. He brings a vast knowledge of plants and interior plant design & pairing. A true plant person with a lifetime of plant knowledge to guide you on your plant journey; the size of his personal plant collection exceeds accurate count.

A practitioner of the ancient art of bonsai for over 40 years with a collection of over 100 personally cultivated bonsai arrangements. Jeff is a perfect teacher for those who wish to learn this long loved meditative art.

Jeff is a recently published author; with his first book. “How to Kill A Houseplant”

Presentation Schedule

How to Kill a Houseplant

  • Thursday – 12:30p
  • Friday – 3:30p
  • Saturday – 12:3op
  • Sunday – 11a

Jen Plasky Bio

Jen Plasky is the Container Garden & Seasonal Decor Program Manager at Sam Bridge Nursery & Greenhouses LLC, serving clients in the greater NYC area. She is a member of the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD) and a graduate of the University of Connecticut, with a BS in Horticulture and MA in Education. Her 25 years of experience working in florists, greenhouses, garden centers, and landscape companies has instilled a passion for creating stunning horticultural accents.

Presentation Schedule

Perfect Performing Planters

From selecting the strongest performing species to tips on how to arrange plants for the best visual impact, join Jen Plasky as she shares how container gardens can be utilized to highlight the best each season has to offer.

  • Thursday – 11a
  • Friday – 12:30p
  • Saturday – 11a
  • Sunday – 12:30p

Karen Bussolini Bio

Karen Bussolini is a nationally known garden photographer, writer and speaker and an eco-friendly garden coach. Her art background and focus on environmental topics – ecological landscaping, native plants, biodiversity, xeriscaping, organic gardening, planting for wildlife, pollinators and other beneficial insects – inform every aspect of her work. Her slide talks combine beautiful original images, recent scientific findings, personal observations, hands-on experience and a touch of humor. She is a NOFA-Accredited Organic Land Care Professional and active member of GWA, The Association of Garden Communicators. www.karenbussolini.com

Presentation Schedule

The Unsung Season – Gardens in the Winter

  • Saturday – 11a

Where Bulbs Shine

  • Saturday – 3:30p

Laurie Masciandaro Bio

Laurie Masciandaro, a founding member Roseland Cottage.

Presentation Schedule

Connecticut’s Historic Gardens

Connecticut is home to many beautiful and unique gardens. Fifteen historic sites dotted throughout the state have joined to form Connecticut’s Historic Gardens. These delightful places offer visitors an opportunity to explore a variety of garden styles and time periods. Laurie Masciandaro, a founding member Roseland Cottage, introduces you to the history and beauty of these fifteen distinctive historic sites and gardens that have charmed and inspired visitors for a century or more.

  • Saturday – 2p

Len Giddix Bio

With a 20 plus year career in commercial horticulture and host of Garden Talk on WTIC-AM for almost as long.

Presentation Schedule

Rain Gutter Gardening – Sprouts, Herbs and Greens without Draining your Wallet!

At sometime in your life you’ve probably been told to “get your mind out of the gutter”.  Not so in this presentation.  Len will encourage you to shamelessly shift your gardening thoughts back into the rain gutter to produce and array of greens, herbs and sprouts this spring with little expense, space or mess.

  • Thursday – 3:30p
  • Friday – 2p
  • Saturday – 12:30p
  • Sunday – 2p

LIVE Canning Demos – In the New Demonstration Area

  • Thursday 12p
  • Friday 4:30p
  • Saturday 3:30p
  • Sunday 11a

Dr. Nick Goltz Bio

Nick Goltz was recently hired to direct the UConn Plant Diagnostic Lab. Dr. Goltz moved to Connecticut shortly after graduating from the University of Florida with a degree in Plant Medicine (https://dpm.ifas.ufl.edu). In addition to the plant health experience gained through his degree, Dr. Goltz prepared for this position by working at the UF Plant Diagnostic Center since 2019, and by working at state and federal regulatory laboratories since 2016, performing research to develop biological control options for the management of Megacopta cribrariaAchatina fulica, and Solenopsis invicta. Dr. Goltz has a passion for plant health and integrated pest management and is deeply excited to work with growers and homeowners to find holistic and comprehensive solutions for any plant problem they may be dealing with. He welcomes samples to the lab and notes that additional information and sample submission instructions may be found at https://plant.lab.uconn.edu

Presentation Schedule

Plant Problems

  • Saturday – 3:30p
  • Sunday – 2p

Pamm Cooper Bio

Pamm Cooper is a horticultural expert working at the University of Connecticut Home and Garden Education center. She has studied and documented insect, bird and pollinator species in Connecticut for over 20 years.  Pamm is a  nature photographer and presenter of topics which include  ‘Pollinators and Plants That Support Them’, ‘Native Plants and the wildlife They Support”, Good Bugs and Bad Bugs in Gardens and the Wild’, Lawns- Home on Derange’, Connecticut Butterflies and other topics. Her photographs have been used on info boards at nature centers and parks, and in conservation brochures.

Presentation Schedule

Gardening for Butterflies, Bees & Birds

  • Friday – 12:30p

Peter Picone Bio

Peter Picone, lifetime Connecticut native, has been working as a wildlife biologist for over 25 years and will share his insights on creating seasonal habitat for songbirds using native plants. Have you ever wondered…

  • What does the American Goldfinch really eat in the wild: does it only eat thistle from a feeder?
  • What do songbirds like the Scarlet Tanager or Wood thrush feed on in the fall when the frost hits and there are no more insects to eat?
  • What variety of foods does the Wild Turkey feed on in your neighborhood?
  • Is the Wild Turkey dependent on food from your feeder?
  • In the dead of the winter, what do our resident songbirds feed on?
  • What plants provide winter food sources at a time of food scarcity?
  • What kinds of trees do Mourning Doves select for nesting in early spring?
  • Where do Cardinals rest at night?
  • When you choose a plant for your property are you considering its “ecological function” and how it enhances wildlife habitat?

Come to Mr. Picone’s lecture and you will learn that you can make a difference for wildlife in your surroundings by the plants you choose to plant and their arrangement.

Presentation Schedule

Plants Make a Difference for Wildlife

Plants are the foundation of habitat. Habitat quality and quantity depends on plants. Want to learn what plants provide songbirds, hummingbirds and beneficial insects with seasonal food and cover? Peter Picone, wildlife biologist, will present an educational powerpoint on ways to create and enhance wildlife habitat in your surroundings.

  • Friday – 11a

Robert Townsend Bio

Robert Townsend began his career began 25 years ago with his own landscaping business. Always on the lookout for new challenges and opportunities, in 1991 Rob built his first pond. So satisfying was the planning and execution of this project, his mind was made up to enter a new phase of landscaping design. He began his search for information on Pond Ecosystems.

Presentation Schedule

Water Garden Basics

  • Thursday – 12:30p
  • Friday – 3:30p
  • Saturday – 4:30p
  • Sunday – 11a

Steven Walowski Bio

Steve Walowski is co-owner of Hillside Landscaping and HLC Organic. He founded the company in 1984 upon graduating from Delaware Valley University, with a degree in Ornamental Horticulture. For over three decades Steve and co-owner John Wilcox have been creating award winning, custom landscapes for the people of Connecticut. After years of experimentation with methods and products of organic lawn care on their own lawns, Steve launched HLC Organic, a company dedicated to creating and maintaining beautiful lawns in Connecticut using safe, science based, and chemical free strategies.

Presentation Schedule

Organics 101 – An Organic Approach To Lawn Care

  • Thursday – 3:30p
  • Friday – 12:30p
  • Saturday – 2p
  • Sunday – 12:30p

Thomas Mickey Bio

Thomas Mickey, Professor Emeritus of Communication Studies at Bridgewater State University, graduated from the Landscape Institute at the Boston Architectural College.  He is the former garden writer for Brockton Enterprise, Quincy Patriot Ledger and Seacoast Media.  He has written five books, including his newest All about Flowers: James Vick’s Nineteenth-Century Seed Company.

Presentation Schedule

Victorian Flowers We Still Love

Rochester, N.Y. seed company owner James Vick (1818-1882) sold America flowers for the home garden. Today his recommendations remain popular. They include favorites like dahlia, marigold, nasturtium, geranium, and petunia.

Vick had customers around the country.  Through his catalogs and his magazine Vick convinced them that their home would not be complete without a flower garden.  Many wrote to thank him for spreading the love of floriculture.

The flowers Vick recommended could be native plants, exotics from China or South America, long-time favorites from the English garden, or new hybrids that were coming on the market on a regular basis.

  • Friday – 2p

Trish Manfredi Bio

Trish Manfredi, National Garden Club Master Judge, will show how to create fun floral designs with interesting and unusual items that are easy to find.  Learn how to use color, texture, contrast and rhythm to good advantage.

Trish teaches floral design through demonstrations and workshops  in New England and Eastern New York State.  Her designs have been featured in 5 National Garden Club calendars, including 2022.  She won the People’s  Choice Award at Wadsworth Atheneum’s Fine Arts and Flowers, and has participated in Museum and Garden Club Design Exhibitions and Challenges in Connecticut and Massachusetts.  She serves as Judges  Council Chair for the Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut.

Presentation Schedule

Creative Floral Design with Fun and Flair

  • Thursday – 2p

Thursday’s Presentation Schedule

Turn your device horizontal for optimum view.

Thursday TimeSpeakerTopicLocation
11aDawn PettinelliWhen Good Worms Go BadRoom 11
11aAmanda MorrisGardening with ChickensRoom 12
11aDiane St. JohnEvery Yard Matters; How to Create a Healthy Monarch Butterfly Habitate at Home Room 13
12:30pRob TownsendWater Garden BasicsRoom 11
12:30pJeffrey EleveldHow to Kill a House PlantRoom 12
12:30pMar JenningsHow to Best Increase Your Home's ValueRoom 13
2pTrish ManfrediCreative Floral Design with Fun and FlairRoom 11
2pRoom 12
2pJen PlaskyPerfect Performing PlantersRoom 13
3:30pLen GiddixGutter GardeningRoom 11
3:30pSteve Walowski Organics 101 - Organic Approach to Lawn CareRoom 12
3:30pAnna HackmanGrowing, Harvesting and Preserving Culinary Herbs for Year Round Enjoyment.Room 13

Friday’s Presentation Schedule

Turn your device horizontal for optimum view.

Friday TimeSpeakerTopicLocation
11aPeter PiconePlants Make a Difference for WildlifeRoom 11
11aRoom 12
11aMar JenningsHow to Best Increase Your Home's ValueRoom 13
12:30pPamm CooperGardening for Butterflies, Bees & BirdsRoom 11
12:30pSteve Walowski Organics 101 - Organic Approach to Lawn CareRoom 12
12:30pJen PlaskyPerfect Performing PlantersRoom 13
2pLen GiddixGutter GardeningRoom 11
2pAmanda MorrisGardening with ChickensRoom 12
2pThomas MickeyVictorian Flowers We Still LoveRoom 13
3:30pRob TownsendWater Garden BasicsRoom 11
3:30pJeffrey EleveldHow to Kill a House PlantRoom 12
3:30pRoom 13

Saturday’s Presentation Schedule

Turn your device horizontal for optimum view.

Saturday TimeSpeakerTopicLocation
11aKaren BussliniThe Unsung Season - Gardens in the WinterRoom 11
11aCharlie NardozziGrow a Pollinator GardenRoom 12
11aJen PlaskyPerfect Performing PlantersRoom 13
12:30pLen GiddixGutter GardeningRoom 11
12:30pJeffrey EleveldHow to Kill a House PlantRoom 12
12:30pMar JenningsHow to Best Increase Your Home's ValueRoom 13
2pGeorge TrecinaDiverse and Versatile SucculentsRoom 11
2pSteve Walowski Organics 101 - Organic Approach to Lawn CareRoom 12
2pLaurie MasciandaroConnecticut's Historic GardensRoom 13
3:30pKaren BussliniWhere Bulbs ShineRoom 11
3:30pCharlie NardozziGrow a Pollinator GardenRoom 12
3:30pDr. Nick GoltzInvestigating Plant Problems - Damage, Disorder, or DiseaseRoom 13
4:30pRob TownsendWater Garden BasicsRoom 11
4:30pGeorge TrecinaA Walk Through the Seasons in My GardenRoom 12
4:30pMar JenningsHow to Best Increase Your Home's ValueRoom 13

Sunday’s Presentation Schedule

Turn your device horizontal for optimum view.

Sunday TimeSpeakerSunday TimeLocation
11aRob TownsendWater Garden BasicsRoom 11
11aJeffrey EleveldHow to Kill a House PlantRoom 12
11aDawn PettinelliThe Dirty Dozen ~ 12 Facts About Soil Every Gardener Should KnowRoom 13
Room 11
12:30pSteve Walowski Organics 101 - Organic Approach to Lawn CareRoom 12
12:30pJen PlaskyPerfect Performing PlantersRoom 13
2pLen GiddixGutter GardeningRoom 11
2pDiane St. JohnEvery Yard Matters; How to Create a Healthy Monarch Butterfly Habitat at HomeRoom 12
2pMar JenningsHow to Best Increase Your Home's ValueRoom 13