Featured Speakers

The Capital District Garden & Flower Show and Cornell Cooperative Extension have an outstanding line-up of speakers planned for 2017.  It’s a great combination of horticultural experts, master gardeners, authors, speakers, chefs,  business and garden center professionals.  They’ll share tips, trends, hot topics and offer live demonstrations for everyone from the novice to the expert gardener.

Below are the 2017 speakers.  You can read a description of the lecture/demonstration/workshop by clicking on the title.

To download a printable version of the 2017  Event Schedule click here.

Sponsored By

Kerry Mendez

“Garden Design Lessons from Magnificent Gardens in England, Canada and the United States ” – Saturday, March 25 @ 3:30pm
“High Impact, Low Maintenance Flowering Shrubs – the New Glamour Plants!” -Sunday, March 26 @ 12:30pm
As an award-winning garden designer, author and lecturer, Kerry Ann Mendez focuses on time-saving gardening techniques, workhorse plants and sustainable practices.
She has been on HGTV and in numerous magazines including Horticulture, Fine Gardening,Garden Gate and Better Homes & Gardens. Kerry Ann was awarded the 2014 Gold Medal from the Massachusetts Horticultural Society for her horticultural accomplishments.  She recently launched dynamic gardening Webinars that attract gardeners from across the country.  She has published three popular gardening books – her most recent, The Right-Size Flower Garden, focuses on exceptional plants and design solutions for busy and aging gardeners.  For more about Kerry Ann visit www.pyours.com.

Paul Split

“Gardening with Children” – Saturday, March 25 @ 3pm  
“Container Gardening & Raised Bed Gardening” – Saturday, March 25 @ 5pm
“Organic Seed Starting” – Sunday, March 26 @ 11am
“Edible Gardening” – Sunday, March 26 @ 1pm
Paul Split has been part of the Green Industry since 1971. He has been principal of Walden Gifts and Nursery.
Paul is the Director of Horticulture at the Comcast Center for the Performing Arts, a teacher, lecturer and nationally recognized horticultural consultant. Paul has served as judge at the New England Flower Show, Rhode Island Flower Show, and the Central Massachusetts Flower Show. He is an instructor for the Massachusetts Horticultural Society Master Gardener’s Class and the Natick Community Organic Farm.  Paul Lectures at the Boston, Rhode Island, Philadelphia and Worchester Flower Shows. Paul proudly practices what he teaches – low maintenance,sustainable and affordable landscaping and gardening.

Fred Breglia

“Promoting Plant Health Through Proper Pruning” – Friday, March 24 @ 12:30pm
“Improving Soils for Better Results In All Locations” – Saturday, March 25 @ 1:30pm
Fred Breglia, Landis Arboretum executive director, is a internationally certified arborist through the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA).
With over 27 years of experience in the green industry, Mr. Breglia is a nationally known, award winning arborist, frequent speaker, and educator. Capital Region residents know him well as the “Tree Man” a regular guest on WAMC’s Vox Pop Radio Show. Employed for over 17 years at Landis Arboretum, Fred Breglia’s reputation and influence has been paramount in expanding the presence of the Landis Arboretum. Fred is a ADK 46er … he has successfully climbed all 46 of the Adirondack high peaks.

Amy Howansky

“Landscape Design Tricks” – Friday, March 24 @ 11:30am & Saturday, March 25 @ 1:30pm
“Ornamental Grasses in the Landscape” – Friday, March 24 @ 2:30pm & Saturday, March 25 @ 11:30am
Amy Howansky is a horticulturist, landscape designer, and Certified Nursery and Landscape Professional.
As a former educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension, she coordinated the Master Gardener Program and taught pruning as part of the Citizen Pruners program. During her 32 years in the trade, she has coordinated community gardening programs and has taught extensively about landscape design, tree care, vegetable gardening, and all things horticultural.  As the owner of  Backyard Solutions, she creates landscape designs and educates employees for other area landscape businesses.

Marie Iannotti

“A Gardener’s Tour of the Hudson Valley” – Saturday, March 25 @ 10:30am 
“Capturing Your Garden with your Smart Phone” – Saturday, March 25 @ 1pm 
Marie is a Master Gardener emeritus, as well as a former Cornell Cooperative Extension Horticulture Educator.
In addition to writing GardeningTheHudsonValley.com and the About.com Gardening websites, she has written and photographed 3 books: A Gardener’s Tour of the Hudson Valley, The Beginner’s Guide to Growing Heirloom Vegetables and The Timber Press Guide to Vegetable Gardening in the Northeast. At heart, she is a gardener who writes, photographs, and speaks about gardening. Slightly irreverent. Always enthusiastic.

Jodie Fitz

“Kids in the Kitchen making Better Bites” – Saturday, March 25th @ 12pm & Sunday, March 26th @ 1pm 
“Real Food Fast” – Saturday, March 25th @ 11am & Sunday, March 26th @ 2pm 
Jodie Fitz, creator & personality of the Price Chopper Kids Cooking Club, travels in a six state region cooking with both audiences of all ages.
She always has a recipe to share & a story to tell join her at (fill in event details) and always at www.jodiefitz.com

Jorge A. Padilla-Zamudio

“Simplicity and balance; The Art of Japanese Flower Design” – Saturday, March 25 @ 1pm
Dr. Jorge Padilla is a Assistant Professor of the Ikenobo School of Ikebana and holds the title of Kako.
Dr. Jorge Padilla has been studying Ikebana for over 15 years. His Ikenobo Ikebana training started in Japan while also studying his Doctorate, then when Dr. Jorge Padilla moved to the USA he continued studying in Chicago, San Diego, Northern California, New York and in Boston. Dr. Jorge Padilla has participated in yearly Ikenobo Exhibitions in Chicago, San Diego and Northern California, as well as he has assisted at San Diego Sate University College of Extended Studies summer teen academy, for the Japan Academy of Gifted Youth in Ikebana Program for high school, university students and professors interested in the Japanese culture. He has participated several times in Art Alive at the Museum of Fine Arts in San Diego California. In 2008 and 2012 Dr. Padilla attended the International Ikebana Ikenobo Seminar held in Kyoto Japan. While in Boston, Dr. Jorge Padilla has participated in the Flower Show and Art in Bloom, currently, he also exhibits at the Lacoste gallery in Bedford,and teaches privately to several students in Boston and other areas. Dr. Padilla continues to study and sharing his passion for the beauty and elegance of Ikenobo Ikebana.

Michele Peters, AIFD

“Roots, Shoots & Blooms” – Saturday, March 25 @ 2pm
Michele Peters, owner of Ambiance Florals & Events.
Michele is a versatile floral artist, with design styles from classic to modern trends. With over 20 years of experience, Michele brings creativity and energy in to her designs, weddings and events. Michele is the Capital District Garden & Flower Show Floral Design committee chair.

Chris Grigas

“Styling Cut Flowers For Your Home” – Saturday, March 25 @ 4pm
“Design in 7 Minutes Time, Designer’s Challenge” – Sunday, March 26 @ 12pm
Chris Grigas is host of the Designer’s Challenge, a Floral Design committee member and a floral designer at Fleurtacious Designs, Latham, NY.

Peter Bowden

“Spring Feeding Your Landscape” – Friday, March 24 @ 1:30pm , Saturday, March 25 @ 12:30pm & Sunday, March 26 @ 1:30pm
Peter Bowden, the most well-known gardener in the Capital Region of New York, has been writing gardening articles since the mid 1980’s.
Over 35 years of experience in the retail garden center industry as well as a life-long love of gardening make Peter’s anecdotes worth the read, every time. Not only are his articles filled with pertinent information for the North American gardener, they are also packed with amusing stories, crammed with societal insights, and peppered with poignant points of practical procedures for the home gardener.

David Chinery

“Growing A Great Lawn” – Sunday, March 26 @ 11:30am
David is the horticulture educator for Cornell Cooperative Extension of Rensselaer County.
He has degrees in plant scince from Rutgers University and The Ohio State University.

Ned Chapman

“University Flower Trial Gardens from around the USA ” – Friday, March 24 @ 2pm
Ned and Bonnie Chapman first opened Sunnyside in 1982 as a wholesale dish garden supplier.
As the business grew, Ned and Bonnie expanded into retail sales eventually building more greenhouses to accommodate an ever-increasing demand of high quality products. A true family business, Ned and Bonnie and their three children all still work at the garden center. Sunnyside has always promoted the “Buy Local” movement. That’s one of the reasons we have so many greenhouses! Growing our plants right onsite allows us to grow the high quality plants we’re famous for, provide year-round jobs for some local residents, and lower our environmental impact (we don’t have to transport our plants).

Linda Ford

“Mexico:  Copper Canyon Train, Wildflowers, Hikes, Culture” – Saturday, March 25 @ 10am 
“Rhubarb:  Much More Than Pies” – Saturday, March 25 @ 12pm 
Linda Ford has been an active Rensselaer County Master Gardener since 1997 and resides in Poestenkill.
Linda regularly gives presentations thoughout the Capital District.

Barbara Plantholt Melera

“Container Gardening” – Friday, March 24 @ 1pm 
“Tomatoes, Peppers, Eggplants:  Caring for the Gems of the Garden” – Saturday, March 25 @ 2pm 
“Seedy Business:  Plants That Do Best When Grown From Seed” – Sunday, March 26 @ 3pm 
Barbara Plantholt Melera from Harvesting History is former venture capitalist and lifelong gardener.

Joanne Strevy

“Successfully Getting Roses Through The Seasons” – Friday, March 24 @ 3:30pm, Saturday, March 25 @ 2:30 & Sunday, March 26 @ 12pm
“Winning the War on Weeds” – Friday, March 24 @ 5:30pm, Saturday, March 25 @ 11:30am, Sunday, March 26 @ 12pm 
Joanne is a garden consultant, designer, speaker, writer, and owner of Rosewood Gardens located in Saratoga County, NY.
She is well known for her expertise on David Austin English Roses, and the English gardens that she designs mixing fragrant roses with cottage perennials.  Joanne is passionate about teaching gardeners how easy it is to grow roses, and to help them create beautiful, manageable gardens that they can enjoy for years!

Laurel Gailor

“Why Not Invasives?” – Friday, March 24 @ 4pm
Laurel Gailor, current Capital / Mohawk PRISM (Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management) coordinator, has been working in her field for over 35 years, and for the last 29 years with Cooperative Extension.
Laurel is not new to working in the invasive species arena, as many of the programming efforts through the years have focused on invasive species – education, management, and control.

Martie Teumim

“How to Create a Faerie (miniature) Garden” – Saturday, March 25 @ 11am 
Martha (Martie) Teumim has been an Albany County Master Gardener off and on since 1982.
During the past several years she has been part of a Cornell-based team which studied climate change and created educational products on the subject. Martie is a retired English teacher who, now that the two girls are grown, lives with her husband and two cats and visits her grandchildren in Rochester as often as she can.

Denise Maurer

“Colorful Flower Companions” – Saturday, March 25 @ 2:30pm
Denise Maurer is a Master Gardener with Cornell Cooperative Extension – Rensselaer County.
As owner of Denise Maurer Interiors, she has specialized in residential interior design for 30 years.   Her sense of design is carried into her personal gardening style where she combines flowers and vegetables with ornamentation.  Denise is a frequent speaker on the subject of gardening using color and design.

Mary Carol White

“The Nitty Gritty of Dirt Beyond the PD” – Friday, March 24 @ 12pm
Mary Carol White, a master gardener with Cornell Cooperative Extension since 2008 – total years in the garden – close to 50.
Mary Carol White’s property has been included in the Garden Conservancy Open Days in 2001 and 1999 and in several other local garden tours. Associate member and former Presient of the Bethlehem Garden Club and the Clinton, NY Garden Club.  Founder of the Ravenscroft Garden Club. Mary Carol White is married with three children who are also gardeners and working on the next generation.

Diane Madden

“Xeriscape Gardening, It’s Not Just for Deserts Anymore” – Sunday, March 26 @ 2pm
Member of Federated Garden Clubs of NYS Third District and Greenbush Garden Club and a Cornell Cooperative Extension of Rensselaer County Master Gardener.

Cathy Miller

“Yes, They Really Are Dried Flowers” – Friday, March 24 @ 1:30pm
Cathy Miller’s work with dried flowers first gained recognition after one of her fried flower creations won a creativity ribbon at the NJ State Flower Show.
She has completed dozens of assignments for Family Circle, Women’s Day, Better Homes & Gardens, House & Garden, Country Living, Victorian Home, Victorian Decorating, Brides and many other national magazines. Her crowning achievement came when she made her first trip to the White House in Washington, D.C. to create dried garden flower arrangements.  To date, Cathy has completed 62 dried flower creations for the White House – from Carter through G.W. Bush.  It is from a 33 acre farm that Cathy grows all the flowers that she uses for drying purposes.

Dr. Joseph S. Gulyas

“Essential Herbs for Healing” – Friday, March 24 @ 3pm
After graduating from Skidmore College (Saratoga Springs) and then New York Chiropractic College, Dr. Joesph Gulyas returned to the capital region to begin his Chiropractic practice.
Now with over 25 years in service to the community in 2 locations, he believes in a lifetime approach to wellness.  His specialty is a non-surgical, non drug approach to holistic healthcare.

Matt Zacharewicz

“DIY:  Herbal Tea from Your Garden” – Sunday, March 26 @ 11:30pm
Matthew Zacharewicz, the co-owner of Short and Stout Tea Lounge, has been involved in the whole leaf tea culture for over 10 years.
He has been offering tea classes in different venues including at his specialty tea shop located at 1736a Western Avenue, Guilderland, NY. Short and Stout carries over 120 kinds of premium whole leaf tea as well as herbal and fruit tisane. Many blends are hand crafted in house using local ingredients whenever possible.

Felicia Ramos-Peters

“Easter Made Easy” – Sunday, March 26 @ 2:30pm
From a young age Felicia Ramos- Peters  always had a passion for Holidays.
She is a self proclaimed “Fest-Diva” because she is  the most festive one in the office and bakes the best Holiday treats. She is festive all year round!  In 2015 She started her blog  www.GetHolidayHappy.com, a go-to guide for the Holidays. She  shares  recipes, DIY projects, Gift Guides and more! She participates in expos/events where she does live demonstrations of Holiday/seasonal themed recipes and crafts. From Halloween to the 4th of July  and everything in between, this Holiday Expert is here to ensure your Holiday season  is a happy one.  She is no stranger to television.  Since 2012  she has made appearances on The Rachael Ray Show, The Dr. Oz Show, The Today Show and most recently The Chew.  Her exuberant personality and enthusiasm will surely put you in the Holiday spirit.

Rachel Levy &  Scott Weaver

“Better Next Year / Food Demo” – Friday, March 24 @ 12:00pm
Presented by Rachel Levy, BSW, MPH and over two decades helping seniors and Scott Weaver Divisional Culinary Director.

Debi Chowdhury

“Chelsea Flower Show 2016″ – Saturday, March 25 @ 12:30pm
Past chair of HADS, HVIDS, Capital District Iris Society, memer of RHS, member of ther gardening groups.