February 2018

Five ★★★★★ Speaker’s Topics

Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp talks about ground covers at a garden center.

Most programs consist of lecture illustrated with a PowerPoint presentation. Demonstration programs are available for some topics. Other topics available per request. Handouts provided for each program. Basic fee is $500 for in state and $750 for out of state, plus travel expenses, but may be willing to work within certain budgets. For reviews of her presentations, please visit Great Garden Speakers.

For tips on booking a speaker and what to expect, check out Great Garden Speakers and Tony Avent’s blog at Plant Delights.

To schedule, please contact:

Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp


P.O. Box 20310 Indianapolis, IN 46220-0310

Here are topics:

A Selection of the Best Plants for the Indiana Landscape (1 hour)

  • Looks at the best selections from The Indiana Gardener’s Guide Revised Edition (Cool Springs Press, 2004), including bulbs, annuals, perennials, trees and shrubs.

Annuals: A Lot of Color for the Coin (1 hour)

  • Annuals are in the fast lane of plants, performing for only one season. But their show makes them indispensable for consistent color throughout the season. Learn about some of the best, their attributes and care.

Composting Basics (1 hour)

  • Learn how to turn yard waste into black gold for the garden.

Container Gardening (1 hour)

  • Only imagination and drainage limit gardeners when it comes to containers. Program includes how-to-plant pots, great plant combinations and unusual containers that fuel the imagination.

Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp talks about cut flowers during a summer program for tourists in Indianapolis for a convention.

Cut Flowers for Home and Garden (1 hour)

  • You don’t have to have a lot of land to have a cutting garden. Learn how to grow plants in the ground or in containers that you can cut for indoor enjoyment.

The Downsized Gardener (1 hour)

  • What gardeners need to know when they move from their home and landscape to a condo or apartment.

Edible Landscape (1 hour)

  • A savory, tasteful  look at some of the ways to grow edible plants in the landscape for their food and beauty.

Fabulous Foliage (1 hour)

  • Foliage plants give a new meaning to color and texture in the landscape or containers. Take a visual stroll through a collection of some of the best annuals, tropicals, bulbs, perennials, shrubs and trees that make a statement by their leaves.

Ground Covers: More than Ivy and Myrtle (1 hour)

  • A ground cover is any plant that covers the grounds. These are diverse plants, from junipers to daylilies, and dozens of selections in between.

Lawn and Garden Basics for New Homeowners (2 hours)

  • Overview of basic landscape care and maintenance, including fertilization, watering and what to do about insects or disease.

Low Maintenance Landscape (1 hour)

  • Tips and techniques for reducing maintenance in the landscape, including design elements, soils, plants and other factors.

Meet the Perennials and Other Plants You Can Learn to Love (1 hour)

  • Get acquainted with some great, but under used, perennials and small woodies for the landscape and learn about their attributes, uses and care.

Natives for the Hoosier Garden (1 hour)

  • Native plants are programmed to grow in Indiana, so they spell success for most gardeners. Native plants also attract our native birds, bees and butterflies. Program includes a sampler of familiar plants and a few lesser-known ones and their care.

Natural Lawn Care (30 min.)

  • Tips and techniques for basic lawn care without using synthetic chemicals.

New Plant Sampler (1 hour)

  • Get a sneak peek at some of the best new annuals, perennials and shrubs for the garden, including introductions from the last few years. Program changes regularly to stay current with new plants as they come on the market.

Party in the Garden

  • Tips for planning a garden party for a birthday, graduation, wedding, reception or other event.

Snippets from the Garden (1 hour)

  • Changes with the season. Flowers, seed heads or stems are snipped from the landscape for a show-and-tell discussion about the plants’ attributes and care.

Spring Bulbs and Companions (1 hour)

  • An overview of popular and lesser-known spring bulbs and perennials that make good companion plants.

Sustainable Living at Home and Work

  • Tips, ideas and ways to save money and live green.

Sustainable/Low-Maintenance Landscape Techniques (2 hours)

  • Reviews practices homeowners can take to cut down on the work in their landscape and provides a sampler on easy-care, beautiful plants.

Thugs & Wimps (1 hour)

  • Examines which plants want to take over your garden world and which ones do not have long-lasting beauty, with suggestions for respectable alternatives.

Vegetable Gardening 101 and 102 (1 hour)

  • 101 — Getting Started
  • 102 — What to Grow

Where the Wild Things Are (1 hour)

  • Make sure the wild things are in your landscape, where they pollinate plants, eat bugs and add beauty to the scene. Learn which plants provide food and shelter for butterflies, birds and other wildlife.

Woody Plants Worthy of Small Spaces (1 hour)

  • Explore the trees and shrubs that earn the space they take in the urban and suburban landscape by multi-seasonal interest, long-bloom cycles or other attributes.