No Restriction in Travel

Susan Betz
Fresh Start Herbs
1477 East Hastings Lake Rd.
Jonesville, MI 49250

(517) 849-2470
(517) 212-6032 cell
Preferred method of contact:  any of the above

Honorarium: $500.00 & up - sometimes, depends on the group.  
Travel: I travel all over the US and Canada, again depends on the organization.

Presentation Topics:

Herbs for Pleasure and Purpose -
Pretty and practical plants, herbs are very adept at multi-tasking in and out of the garden.  Whether tucked in a pot or planted in a plot herbs bring a spirit of creativity and comfortable sense of connections to the natural world.  Growing herbs contributes to the development of sustainable natural communities by attracting beneficial insects, birds and other wildlife.  Easy to grow, they are useful for crafting highly personal landscapes or gardens in keeping with family interests, health needs and hobbies.  Their ornamental attributes and fragrant foliage blend artfully with annuals, biennials and perennials to create lovely high performance landscapes.  Susan’s presentation will cover the fundamentals of choosing herbs that blend with and complement your lifestyle and home landscape.  Choosing the right plant, for the right place and the right person.

Thymely Tips and Sage Advice -
Herbs serve a multitude of household uses.  This presentation will focus on drying, freezing and storing your herbal harvest for future use.  Learn how to make herb seasonings, vinegars, drinks, fragrant potpourris and natural cleaning products.  Samples and recipe handouts will be included in the presentation.  

Magical Moons & Seasonal Circles
Mother Nature keeps a date book, an exciting schedule of mysterious and magical events unfolding daily in our backyards and beyond.  She does not want you to wait for an invitation or schedule an appointment; she is ready and willing to entertain and educate on a moment’s notice.  Phenology is the study of the timing of natural periodic events in the plant and animal world influenced by the local environment, especially weather, American Indians’ daily tasks, economy and celebrations.  Their knowledge of “nature’s calendar” kept them in harmony with the natural world.  Magical Moons and Seasonal Circles follows nature’s annual cycles according to Algonquin full moon names, demonstrating how seasonal weather patterns and climate effect the ice cycles and interactions of common native plants, animals and insects living in our backyards and local communities.  Based on my book: Magical Moons & Seasonal Circles Stop-Look-Listen Stepping into the Circles of the Seasons.

Native Treasures:  Tales from The Plant Kingdom
Prairies and savannas are a rare and unique part of Michigan’s natural legacy.  Up until the 1800’s they represented two of the most significant plant communities occupying lower portionsof south central Michigan.  Today these dynamic and varied communities have nearly vanished (less than 1% remain) along with the numerous species that rely on the habitats they provide.  Susan has been working with pubic and private conservation groups, volunteer and students to restore and preserve the Hastings Lake Fen and Oak Savanna located in Hillsdale County, Michigan.  Her presentation chronicles the process of restoring a natural landscape.  The steps taken to remove invasive species, harvest trees and carry out a prescribed fire will be presented.  The native plants, insects and wildlife that have developed and co-evolved over centuries within this ecosystem play the starring roles in this exciting tale of restoration, preservation and celebration.  

GreenBridges: Safe Passages for Plants and Pollinators
A family friendly program created by the members of the Herb Society of America to help develop a nationwide web of green corridors to increase the number of avenues through which pollinators may safely and successfully travel from one plant population to another to increase and protect the genetic diversity of our native plants.  GreenBridges gardens serve as corridors for the safe movement of birds, bees, and butterflies that are pollinators for native herbs.  The program provides encouragement and support for gardeners who want to connect more closely with our environment and each other.  I am chairperson for the HSA program.

Gardening Education:
Susan Betz is a charter member and past president of the Michigan Herb Associates, founded in 1987 to educate the public about the joy of growing and using herbs.  She has been actively involved with community and youth herb gardening projects for the past 30 years and the Michigan State Master Gardener program for over 25 years.  She worked at Slayton Arboretum as Education and Outreach Coordinator.  Susan has been a member of the Herb Society of America for thirty years, and served on The Society’s board as Education Chair.  She is the past owner of a Michigan herb shop.  Susan is a member of the International herb Association, Garden Writers Association and the Ecological Landscape Alliance.  She serves on The HSA’s Native Herb Conservation Committee and Green Bridges, the Society’s sustainable garden initiative.  She is currently working with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and conservation groups to document and preserve the native plants and animals in the Hasting Lake Prairie Fen & Oak Savanna located on her property in Jonesville, Michigan.  Author of the book Magical Moons & Seasonal Circles Stop-Look_Listen Stepping into the Circles of the Seasons.


Jan Bills                                                 

Email Address:

Business Phone: 248-891-0548

Mobile Phone: 248-891-0548

Best Way to Contact Me: Email, Business Phone

Topics I Speak About: 

Sustainable gardening for the homeowner
Favorite ornamental plants
Garden design for the home gardener
Create winter interest in your gardens
Simplicity in the garden
Create beauty and harmony
Comfort and ease
Relaxation and letting go
Celebrate life with food from the soil

Gardening Education:  Certified Landscape Designer & Advanced Master Gardener

Gardening Experience: I own and operate Two Women and a Hoe, a boutique landscape company in Royal Oak, Michigan. I have 28 years of experience and have toiled in thousands of gardens; I know what works and what does not! And I have many (hands-on) dirty little secrets to share with my audiences.

Also, I am very excited to say I have a signed contract with St. Lynn's Press, my 'garden' book will be published this fall.

Late Bloomer Cover.jpg

Specialties: Sustainable gardening, designing, and maintenance

Honorarium: Yes

Amount You Charge: Varies on a case by case basis

Travel Restrictions: Unlimited

What Else Should We Know About You?: In 2006, I developed my business plan and strategy to exit corporate American. In 2008, I replaced my corporate high heels for Wellies and never looked back. Today, I am living my dream and mixing business with pleasure.

I am a professional gardener, business owner, and fun-loving speaker with hands on experience. I deliver practical gardening tips and solutions to my audiences. I have an engaging personality and passion for my work. And, a lot of energy! 


Name: Mary Gerstenberger

Email Address:

Address: 21885 Dunham Rd., Suite 12, Clinton Twp., MI 48036

Home Phone: 586-773-0762

Business Phone: 586-469-6085

Mobile Phone: 586-596-4240

Best Way to Contact Me: Email

Topics I Speak About: Water Quality - An audience participation program on water in all of its aspects. Through visual aids and using volunteer participants, we explore the importance of water and the impact of human activity on it.

Backyard Composting - a PowerPoint presentation covering everything you need to know about backyard composting.

Container Gardening - A PowerPoint presentation on what you need to know to chose the correct type of plants and successfully design and grow a container garden. 

Basic Vegetable Gardening - A PowerPoint presentation on basic vegetable gardening from the ground up. What to consider for site location, vegetable growing requirements, choosing seeds or transplants, and more is covered in this presentation.

Community Gardens - This PowerPoint presentation covers all the basics on how to start or participate in a Community Garden.

Wetlands - A PowerPoint presentation on the types of wetlands in Michigan, the function they serve and how to protect them.

Children's Gardening - This PowerPoint presentation covers ideas for children's gardens, how to work with children and ideas for activities and gardening resources.

Gardening Education: I am a Master Gardener, Master Composter, have a B.S. in Biology, and have attended numerous classes in my position as Consumer Horticulture Coordinator for Macomb MSU Extension.

Gardening Experience: I have worked in various types of gardens from childhood on. I helped in establishing the Center Line Community Garden and serve as the Secretary.

Specialties: Water Quality, Vegetable Gardening, Community Gardening

Honorarium: No

Amount You Charge: Would appreciate the mileage cost being covered and if an overnight stay is required then the hotel cost as well.

Travel Restrictions: Unlimited

What Else Should We Know About You?: I have worked for MSU Extension in various capacities since 1997. My experiences with MSUE include working in 4-H, Environmental Education, and now Consumer Horticulture.



Name: Cindy Klement

Email Address:

Address: 2345 S. Huron Parkway, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Business Phone: 734-975-2444 - Kimberly is my assistant.

Best Way to Contact Me: Email, Business Phone

Topics I Speak About: Herbal Medicine
Medicinal Properties of Plants
Health and Wellness

Gardening Education: Self-taught

Gardening Experience: Avid gardener for over 40 years

Specialties: Medicinal Plants

Honorarium: Yes

Amount You Charge: Depends on the length of the presentation

Travel Restrictions: Unlimited

What Else Should We Know About You?: I have been a professional herbalist for almost 35 years. My private practice has been in Ann Arbor's premiere holistic health medical building, The Parkway Center, for 25 years where I have worked with medical doctors' patients utilizing plant medicine. I teach Functional Medicine at Eastern Michigan University and a good part of that graduate-level course is on plant medicine - including herbs and essential oils. Please visit my website at and feel free to contact me with any questions. I have extensive experience with lecturing on medicinal plants.



Susan Martin
4211 DeFeyter St. Holland, MI 49424
616-399-7868 [home]
616-886-6671 [cell]
Preferred contact method - email or home phone

Honorarium:  $350 - $500 per presentation.  Package rates available or multiple talks per event.

Travel:  Susan is willing to travel anywhere someone hires her to go.  Travel expenses including transportation costs, mileage, and hotel are requested in addition to honorarium.

Presentation Topics:
Everything to do with perennials, garden design, marketing for retailers, general gardening topics.

Gardening Education:
Susan is a lifelong gardener.  Professional positions she has held in the industryinclude garden center retail, wholesale, merchandising garden design and installation, marketing sales, writing, speaking, and photography.  She also is a regular contributor to trade and consumer gardening magazines including Michigan Gardening for which she is a columnist.  

More about Susan:
Because of my diverse background, I understand the industry on many levels from the creation of new plants, through their production, sale, installation, and maintenance.  I specialize in perennials and have first-hand knowledge about new plants coming to market.  Gardening is both my job and my hobby.  I have spoken at many Master Gardener events in the Midwest.  I am interested in speaking for annual events and conferences rather than monthly meetings.  I am also a regularcontributor to trade and consumer magazines including Michigan Gardening for which I am a columnist.  


Kerry Ann Mendez


Email Address:
Address: 7 Cambridge Court, Kennebunk, Maine 04043
Home Phone: 207-502-7228
Business Phone: 207-502-7228
Mobile Phone: 207-205-3359
Best Way to Contact Me: Email, Home Phone

Honorarium: Yes
Amount You Charge: Varies on a case by case basis
Amount You Charge: Varies on a case by case basis
Travel Restrictions: Unlimited

Topics I Speak About:
Perennials, flowering shrubs, annuals, Shade gardening, Foliage plants, Garden Design, Sustainable flower gardening,
Garden maintenance, Right-Size Flower Gardens - exception plants and design solutions for time-pressed and aging gardeners

Gardening Education: 30 years of gardening. Awarded horticultural Gold Medal from the Massachusetts Horticultural Society;

Gardening Experience: *Prior Director of Marketing and perennial department as well as home consulting services for large, full service garden center in Upstate NY
*speaker for many Master Gardeners symposiums, horticultural societies, flower shows (Philadelphia, Chicago, etc.) and botanical gardens
*have written three top selling gardening books
*have taught the perennial section for Master Gardeners training programs
Specialties: low-maintenance, high impact flower gardening incorporating sustainable plants and practices

What Else Should We Know About You?: I love to speak to Master Gardeners and other passionate gardeners. I'm dedicated to teaching the art of low-maintenance perennial gardening and landscaping. As a garden designer, author and lecturer, I focus on time-saving gardening techniques, workhorse plants and sustainable practices. I have been featured on HGTV and in numerous magazines including Horticulture, Fine Gardening, Garden Gate and Better Homes & Gardens. I was awarded the 2014 Gold Medal from the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, an honorary medal presented to those who have made significant contributions to the enjoyment and appreciation of plants and the environment. I've published three popular gardening books, the most recent The Right-Size Garden featuring exceptional plants, design solutions and sustainable practices for busy and aging gardeners. For more about me and my business Perennially Yours, please visit


James Rizzo
1451 Odette
Hartland, MI 48353
(877) 632-5515
(810) 333-2553 [cell]
Preferred contact method:  email or cell phone

Honorarium:  depends on location and there is a mileage fee

Presentation topics:  
Living Walls  
Vertical Gardening

Gardening Experience:  7 years Living Walls / Grow Roots.

More about James:  Bright Grow is a Michigan Manufacturer of Living Wall products.


Vincent Simeone
1395 Planting Fields Road
Oyster Bay, NY 11771

Email Address:
Home Phone: 516-922-6189
Business Phone: 516-922-8601
Mobile Phone: 516-419-1769

Best Way to Contact: Email

Topics I Speak About:
*Garden Sustainability
*Trees and Shrubs
*Winter gardening
* Plant Selection
* General Woody Plant Maintenance and Pruning
* Four Season Gardening
* Integrated Pest Management
* Historic Landscape Preservation
* Garden Travel
* Public Garden Management
* Low Maintenance Gardening

integral part of our everyday lives and family. It can be a challenge
for gardeners to balance a healthy, safe and beautiful garden with the
needs of their pets. This lecture will focus on how to make your garden
safe and enjoyable for both your dogs (and cats) and their human
companions. Helpful ideas will be presented such as using safe, durable
surfaces and materials, reducing landscape wear and tear, avoiding toxic
plants, using containers effectively and even growing fruits, vegetables
and herbs that can be used as edible treats for your pets.

 I. Creating pet friendly spaces (conversion areas)
a. Protecting the landscape with fences and other physical barriers
b. Dog repellents
c. How to maximize a lawn in a pet friendly garden and lawn alternatives

 i. Patios, pathways and other hardscape features

 II. Pet friendly plants
 III. Container gardening
 IV. Poisonous plants to avoid or be aware of
 V. Pet safety (using pet friendly products and composting)

Gardening Education: AAS in Ornamental Horticulture and BS in Ornamental Horticulture

Gardening Experience: 27 year veteran in public garden management and maintenance, teaching horticulture and writing.

Specialties: Trees and shrubs, garden sustainability, landscape preservation, tree maintenance, low maintenance gardening

Honorarium: Yes, $500 and up plus travel

I have taught many MG training courses and participated in symposia throughout the country


Joseph Tychonievich
address:         2731 International Dr. Apt. 1724a Ypsilanti, MI 48197
cell phone:    (517) 303-0865
preferred contact:  email
Honorarium:   $550.00
Travel:             anywhere, gas money and a place to stay overnight if needed

Speaking Topics:

Plant breeding for the home gardener, rare and unusual plants, understanding genetic engineering, and many more.

Gardening education:       BA in horticulture
Gardening experience:     Worked at nurseries in Michigan and Japan, life long gardener
More about Mr. Tychonievich -  Author of "Plant Breeding for the Home Gardener (Timber Press 2013).  Working on a book about rock gardening that will be released in 2016.