Engaging, Delightful, Knowledgeable, Funny
These are just a few words used to describe Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp. As “The Hoosier Gardener,” Jo Ellen travels the United States, presenting an array of topics to experienced and novice gardeners, new homeowners, and curious individuals. She speaks at libraries, garden clubs, public gardens, home and garden shows, Master Gardener groups, and horticulture industry events.
She is longtime, self-identified hort-a-holic known for her practical, down-to-earth advice and humorous delivery. “My eyes are too big for my yard,” she says. “You just can’t ever have enough plants.”
Now Offering Zoom Garden Talks!
Is your group meeting virtually but still in need of a fun, funny, and educational garden speaker? Jo Ellen is happy to speak at your virtual garden conference or zoom meeting. Email her for more info & to schedule.
Lunch and Learn Programs
Several of Jo Ellen’s offerings work well for corporate lunch and learn programs. Green living at home and work, and things to avoid in your landscaping are just two of them. Indiana’s Hidden Treasures profiles more than a dozen historic properties on the National Register for Historic Places because of their homes and gardens.
Whether you’re hosting a room full of longtime gardening enthusiasts, newbie homeowners, curious millennials, or environmental activists, Jo Ellen offers a program that will engage, inform, delight, and empower the audience.
Hot Takes from the Audience
- “Jo Ellen knows her plants and that expertise shows in every presentation.”
- “No matter how many times I hear her speak, she never disappoints.”
- “A fun, reliably good speaker for any group.”
- “Knowledgable about all things green and growing and has a great sense of humor.”
- “Have never left one of her presentations without new ideas to try out at home.”
- “Engages her audience and keeps them happy.”
- Handouts & a PowerPoint presentation are included with each talk.
All talks are one hour unless noted.
For more topics and custom programs, email :
Here are the top hits:
Annuals: A Lot of Color for the Coin
Annuals live life in the fast lane, putting on a one season show. Ah, but what a show it is! Learn about how to grow some of the best annuals available today.
Comeback Kids: Perennials & Woodies for Containers and the Landscape
There are tons of great & underused great perennials and small woody plants for the landscape that can be planted once to enjoy over and over. Learn about their attributes, uses, and care.
Lead with leaves! Flowers fade, but foliage provides long-lasting landscape color. Learn about foliage-forward plants, including annuals, tropicals, bulbs, perennials, shrubs, and trees.
Spring Bulbs & Companions
Welcome spring with these popular and lesser-known spring bulbs and the perennials that make good companion plants.
Woody Plants Worthy of Small Spaces
No space? No problem! Learn about trees and shrubs that pack a big punch when planted through multi-seasonal interest, long-bloom cycles, or other key attributes.
Where the Wild Things Are
Invite the wild things into your landscape so they can pollinate plants, eat bugs, and add beauty. Learn which plants provide food and shelter for butterflies, birds, and other wildlife.
Thugs & Wimps
Not every plant deserves pride of place in the garden. Which plants will take over if allowed and which underperform and what should you grow instead?
Unleash your imagination with creative ideas for container gardens, including top plant picks, how-to instructions, and interesting ideas for containers.
A savory, tasteful look at some of the ways to grow edible plants in the landscape for their food and beauty.
Less is More
The Right-Sized Gardener: Growing with Life’s Changes
Making the most out of a smaller space, whether a patio, balcony, or other temporary garden areas.
Low Maintenance Landscape
Tips and techniques for reducing maintenance in the landscape, including design elements, soils, plants and other factors.
Sustainable Living at Home and Work (1 or 2-hour options)
Tips, ideas and ways to save money and live green in the home and the landscape, including easy-care, beautiful plants. This program, focused on environmentally smart practices, works well for lunch and learn programs.
Practices to avoid when working in your landscape, such as pruning at the wrong time, installing invasive plants, putting the wrong plants in the wrong places. Tips on best practices, especially those that can be accomplished with little or no effort. This program is targeted to the everyday person, with little to no knowledge of horticulture. It also serves as a good reminder for experienced gardeners. Ideal for corporate lunch and learn offerings.
Vegetable Gardening 101 and 102 (1 hour each)
Nothing’s better than a homegrown tomato or a fresh cucumber, and Jo Ellen makes sure that workshop attendees leave ready to start growing and enjoying their own edibles.
101 — Getting Started 102 — What to Grow
Lawn and Garden Basics for New Homeowners (2 hours)
New home —now what? The lawn isn’t going to cut itself. This overview of basic landscape care is perfect for first-time homeowners and homeowners looking to give their landscapes a little love. Lawn care, shrub maintenance, and flower planting & maintenance included.