The following is a current list of topics available through the Virginia Beach Master Gardener Speakers’ Bureau.

Virginia Beach Master Gardener Volunteers

This talk provides an overview of the Virginia Beach Master Gardener volunteer program and the goals of the Virginia Cooperative Extension. It includes information about Master Gardener projects throughout the city of Virginia Beach, as well as how to become a Master Gardener.

Handouts Available: Yes
Power Point: Yes
Time: 30 or 45 minutes
Speaker: Betty Villers

Request This Program

African Violets

This presentation provides instruction in the care of African violets and other members of the Gesneriaceae family, which also includes gloxinia and Cape Primrose.

Handouts Available: Yes
Power Point: No
Time: 45 or 60 minutes
Speaker: Pat Knight

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Annuals

A close-up look at 20 annuals selected for colorful, long-lasting blooms and ease of care, covering selections for both sun and shade gardens.

Handouts Available: Yes
Power Point: Yes
Time: 45 minutes
Speaker: Douglas Spencer

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Backyard Composting

Let’s talk trash! Get answers to your questions about composting – even the ones you’re afraid to ask. This talk covers the basics of establishing a backyard compost, various methods of composting, and how to maintain it. Vermiculture (worm composting) is an optional topic that can be requested with this presentation.

Handouts Available:Yes
Power Point: Yes
Time: 30 or 45 minutes
Speaker: Eileen Walsh or Alice Brown

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Champion Trees of Virginia Beach

Champion Trees are the largest known specimen of a species in a particular area. This presentation provides a visual tour of the Champion Trees in our city.

Handouts Available:No
Power Point: Yes
Time: 45 minutes
Speaker: Michelli Booker

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Color in Your Autumn Landscape

Explore plants that offer great fall color in your garden. Annuals, perennials, shrubs, and trees are discussed for their flower and foliage colors.

Handouts Available: Yes
Power Point: Yes
Time: 30 or 45 minutes
Speaker: Betty Villers

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Backyard Wildlife

This talk offers a light-hearted look at the creatures you might find in your backyard, including snakes, lizards, turtles, and birds.

Handouts Available: Yes
Power Point: Yes
Time: 45 minutes
Speaker: Douglas Spencer

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Crape Myrtles

This presentation provides an in-depth look at one of Virginia Beach’s favorite plants. Learn about the different varieties and sizes of crape myrtles and how to choose the right one for your landscape, as well as general care guidelines and correct pruning practices.

Handouts Available: Yes
Power Point: Yes
Time: 30 or 45 minutes
Speaker: Betty Villers

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Outdoor Hanging Baskets

This talk provides information on several varieties of plants suitable to hanging baskets that can provide easy care and three seasons of color.

Handouts Available: Yes
Power Point: Yes
Time: 45 minutes
Speaker: Douglas Spencer

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Basics of Ornamental, Understory and Fruit Trees

This presentation covers general information on small flowering and/or fruiting trees. Learn about selection and basic care, with an emphasis on pruning for form and fruiting.

Handouts Available: Yes
Power Point: Yes
Time: 45 minutes
Speaker:Michelli Booker

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Urban Grapes

Home brewing and wine making are fast-growing trends. This talk provides an introductory look at growing grapes in the home landscape. Provides information on variety selection, planting, trellising, and pruning.

Handouts Available: Yes
Power Point: Yes
Time: 45 minutes
Speaker:Douglas Spencer

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All About Herbs

Learn how to select and grow herbs in your own garden and investigate the many culinary uses for both common and unusual herbs.

Handouts Available: Yes
Power Point: No
Time: 45 or 60 minutes
Speaker: Barbara Brawley

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Uses of Herbs in Colonial Jamestown

Take an historical look at the herbs commonly grown by the first settlers in our area and how they were used.

Handouts Available: Yes
Power Point: No
Time: 30 or 60 minutes
Speaker: Barbara Brawley

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Top 20 Houseplants

Learn about 20 varieties of houseplants. Find out which are easy to grow, provide fragrance, or are suitable for hanging baskets.

Handouts Available: Yes
Power Point: Yes
Time: 45 or 60 minutes
Speaker: Douglas Spencer

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The Art of Japanese Maples

This talk provides a look at the top six varieties as chosen by Southern Living magazine. It also provides information on the care of the 10 most common varieties found in garden centers.

Handouts Available: Yes
Power Point: No
Time: 45 minutes
Speaker: Douglas Spencer

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Jumpstart Your Garden with Seeds

Find out how to extend your garden season by starting seeds indoors. This talk covers indoor seed sowing, seedling care, and transplanting.

Handouts Available: Yes
Power Point: Yes
Time: 45 minutes
Speaker: Deb Henry

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Lawn Rangers

Discuss in-depth care of both warm and cool season grasses, including establishing, fertilizing, and maintaining the lawn.

Handouts Available: Yes
Power Point: Yes
Time: 45 minutes
Speaker: Douglas Spencer

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Yard Smart

Explore the cost-saving benefits of a warm season grass lawn versus a cool season lawn.

Handouts Available: Yes
Power Point: Yes
Time: 45 minutes
Speaker: Douglas Spencer

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Top 20 Perennials

Learn about 20 perennial plants chosen for color, bloom time, and ease of care. This talk covers perennials for both sun and shade gardens.

Handouts Available: Yes
Power Point: Yes
Time: 45 minutes
Speaker: Douglas Spencer

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Native Perennials

This presentation discusses the basics of design and how native plants can work as key elements. Plants are discussed in terms of their size, bloom time and color, soil and light requirements, and other garden uses.

Handouts Available: Yes
Power Point: Yes
Time: 45 minutes
Speaker: Michelli Booker

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Easy Orchids

This presentation covers three of the easiest to care for varieties and includes information on selecting plants, pruning, and fertilization.

Handouts Available: Yes
Power Point: Yes
Time: 45 or 60 minutes
Speaker: Douglas Spencer

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Ornamental Grasses

Explore 12 ornamental grasses for use in sun and shade, including native species and evergreen varieties.

Handouts Available: Yes
Power Point: Yes
Time: 45 minutes
Speaker: Douglas Spencer

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Concrete Leaf Casting

Learn how to make a concrete leaf casting for use as a bird bath, feeder, or decorative garden art. This presentation can be either a demonstration or a hands-on workshop.

Handouts Available: Yes
Power Point: No
Time: 45 minutes
Speaker: Eileen Walsh

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Native Trees and Shrubs of Tidewater

Learn about more than 40 trees and shrubs native to Tidewater, their uses in the garden and landscape, growing requirements, size and other noteworthy characteristics such as blooms, fall color, and winter interest.

Handouts Available: No
Power Point: Yes
Time: 45 minutes
Speaker: Michelli Booker

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Pruning Your Shrubs and Trees

Learn the basics of pruning the shrubs and trees in your landscape. This talk includes information on tools, when to prune, how to make correct pruning cuts, and the many reasons for pruning.

Handouts Available: Yes
Power Point: Yes
Time: 30 or 45 minutes
Speaker: Sherry Kern

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Right Tree, Right Place

Selecting the right tree or shrub for your landscape can minimize future maintenance problems. This talk will discuss factors to consider when choosing woody perennials for your yard or garden, including mature size, pruning, and soil and light requirements.

Handouts Available: Yes
Power Point: Yes
Time: 4 or 60 minutes
Speaker: Skerry Kern

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Sweet Succulents

This presentation discusses 10 popular easy-care succulents.

Handouts Available: Yes
Power Point: Yes
Time: 45 minutes
Speaker: Douglas Spencer

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The Things We Do to Our Trees (And Still Expect Them to Live!)

Learn which common practices can actually be harmful to your trees. This talk discusses the wrong (and right) way to care for trees in the landscape.

Handouts Available: Yes
Power Point: Yes
Time: 45 minutes
Speaker: Sherry Kern

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Winter Hardy Tropicals

Explore 10 varieties of cold hardy palms, cacti, succulents, and other tropical plants that are well-suited for Tidewater.

Handouts Available: Yes
Power Point: Yes
Time: 45 or 60 minutes
Speaker: Douglas Spencer

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Request This Program

Vigorous Vines

This presentation looks at 12 species of vines selected for ease of care, fast growth rate, and flowering characteristics.

Handouts Available: Yes
Power Point: Yes
Time: 45 minutes
Speaker: Douglas Spencer

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Water Quality: You and Your Garden Can Make a Difference

This presentation guides the homeowner through simple steps that can be taken in the yard to positively affect water quality.  Hampton Roads has many waterways….and even more paths to those waterways.  Everyone benefits from clean water….the oysters and you.

Handouts Available: Yes
Power Point: Yes
Time: 25 minutes
Speaker: MaryAnn Kincaid

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Keys to a Weed-Free Landscape

Learn how to identify the weeds in your lawn and garden and get information on effective methods of control.

Handouts Available: Yes
Power Point: Yes
Time: 45 minutes
Speaker: Douglas Spencer

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What's in a Name?

This talk aims at demystifying the plant label and explains what information can be found in the botanical names of plants, including the plant’s native region, foliage and flower characteristics, and growth habit. A basic understanding of the clues that botanical names provide about a plant can help in future plant and seed selection.

Handouts Available: Yes
Power Point: Yes
Time: 45 minutes
Speaker: Michelli Booker

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Our Natives Are Under Attack

Learn about both old and new diseases and insect pests that threaten our valuable native trees and shrubs. This talk discusses these pests and how to protect the trees and what to expect in the future.

Handouts Available: Yes
Power Point: Yes
Time: 45 minutes
Speaker: Sherry Kern

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Soil Test Analysis

This discussion covers how to collect soil samples from the garden, lawn, shrub border, and flower bed, how to have the sample tested, and provides an in-depth explanation of soil test results.

Handouts Available: Yes
Power Point: Yes
Time: 45 minutes
Speaker: Douglas Spencer

Request This Program