What I Like to talk About

The Green/Horticultural Industry: I have several programs for professional landscapers, designers, and garden center retailers.

Plants and Gardening: These presentations are for the public, and can be aimed toward new homeowners or confirmed plant people at botanic gardens, Master Gardener organizations, and garden clubs.

Garden Weddings: I assist wedding planners or brides and grooms to prepare for an outdoor wedding. We consider the plants and gardens, from long-term planning to quick visual fixes for garden weddings. For those interested DIY weddings, we talk about easy ways to grow your own bouquets, flower arrangements and decorations.

Communication Skills:  Because I am a writer, professional speaker, podcaster, and host of GardenLine on WXTK I also speak about presentation and communication skills. I can help green industry and horticultural groups polish the ways that they connect with their own audiences and customers. I can assist with specific ways to improve their speaking, help writing company blogs and newsletters, or information about developing radio and podcast outlets for their businesses.

Personal Power: I enjoy speaking to women’s groups, businesses, conferences and civic organizations about the power we all have to make a difference and bring about change.

My Background

C.L. Fornari is a plant geek who fell into garden communications in 1995. She is the author seven books including A Garden Lover’s Martha’s Vineyard, Coffee for Roses and The Cocktail Hour Garden. These books are all fully illustrated with C.L.’s photographs.

C.L. is a regular columnist for Garden Center Magazine. She’s also written for Angie’s List Magazine, Prime Time Magazine, Fine Gardening, Coastal Home, Country Gardens, and American Nurseryman.

GardenLine, C.L.’s 2-hour live radio program has been heard on Saturday mornings on WXTK for over 15 years. For two years she was also the host of The Garden Lady on WRKO, and was a regular contributor to The Cultivated Gardener, heard on NPR stations nationwide. Along with Ellen Zachos, C.L. is the co-host of Plantrama, a podcast about plants, launched in 2017.

As a speaker, C.L. presents to a variety of horticultural trade shows, women's groups, gardening organizations and alumni associations. In addition to speaking, radio, and writing, C.L. blogs and runs a consultation service for Hyannis Country Garden, an independent garden center on Cape Cod.

In 2012 C.L. was awarded the Garden Communicator award from the Perennial Plant Association and in 2013 won three awards from the Garden Writers Association. In 2015 C.L. launched the first annual Cape Cod Hydrangea Festival, a ten-day regional celebration of gardens that raised over $45,000.00 for local non-profits in 2017.

Her not-so-secret mission is to start a gardening revival in the USA…in the meantime she grows all manner of plants at Poison Ivy Acres on Cape Cod.


From Claudia Marshall, 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!”

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!”

From K. Purdy, Garden Writer, NY  
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!

From Merry Steinley Master Gardeners Association of Rogers County, Oklahoma   “Across the board, Master Gardeners loved our keynote speaker, C.L. Fornari. Comments included: “Keynote speaker was awesome!”  “Fornari ­ excellent”. “Fornari ­ Great!”.  I was especially impressed by C.L.’s interest in learning about our local soil, weeds and pest conditions in advance of her visit to Oklahoma . We would highly recommend C.L. for speaking engagements.  Her insight as a master gardener and her likeable nature made for a great fit at our conference.”

For more refrences see C.L.'s website.

C.L. has spoken at the following green industry trade shows: Landscape Ontario, New England Grows, North Carolina Nursery and Landscape Association, Rhode Island Landcape Association, Perennial Plant Association, Garden Writers Association, The Hydrangea Society, and The Hardy Plant Society.

She has presented talks at several state Master Gardener conventions, Federated Garden Clubs, and Botanical Gardens. 

She is a professional member of the National Speakers Association; GWA: The Association for Garden Communicators; The American Society of Journalists and Authors; and The Perennial Plant Association

Previous Speech Topics


Sandwich, Massachusetts


Available Upon Request


As a speaker, author, radio host and garden retail communicator, all of my work is with the public and horticulture. I help the gardening public be more successful and comfortable with plants, and to assist others in horticultural based businesses to better connect with their clients and communities. Each talk is crafted for a specific audience.

Available to Verified Event Organizers Only

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