Natural Selections owner and principal designer, Michele Schuckel, is an experienced, organized and detail-oriented public speaker.

Please call or email for more information on any of the programs listed below or to inquire about reserving a date for your club or organization. Please see the Coronavirus Response tab for more about how we can work together to connect your group members to the gardening and horticultural resources Michele can offer as we learn to live with the "new normal" of life during this pandemic.

Native Plants, Natural Selections: Survival of the Fittest for New England Gardens – Most Popular Program – We’ll discuss using plant material native to New England in any garden (including containers!) The benefits of this practice include drawing pollinating insects and birds, seasonal weather tolerance, eco-friendly practices and garden longevity. 

Gardening for Pollinators: Draw Birds and Butterflies – Do you know why flowers not feeders are better for hummingbirds? Consider the value of easy changes to your plant-material selection to draw native butterflies, hummingbirds and songbirds to your garden. Learn about the declining populations of these beautiful creatures and how your backyard ecosystem can make a difference; a hopeful look at climate change.

Field to Fork: The Horticulture of the Food We Eat –New Program – The science, horticulture and economics of where our food is grown and how it gets to our tables is fascinating! We’ll explore the origins of cultivated crops, what it means for products to be GMO (or not!) or Certified Organic and the nutrition science behind the plants we consume every day. Learn the back-story on the agri-tourism industry and the latest developments in sustainable farming. Think about plants in a new way!

Composting How-to: Hands in the Dirt – Learn about the benefits of both home and municipal composting, options for collection, the stages of decomposition/science behind the process and common pitfalls. The program will be customized to include information on group collection in your community.  Participants will get an up-close look at compost at different stages decomposition.  Includes a handout for home-reference.

Winter in the Yard: Plants and Animals that Thrive and Survive in the ColdNew Program – The quiet season for gardeners is anything but for the plants and animals outside your windows. Learn to appreciate the seasonal survival techniques of the animals in our yards and woods and the plants that best support them and provide you with four seasons of interest.

Everyday Centerpieces & The Art of Easy EntertainingPopular Demo – Life moves fast; be sure to make time to connect with friends and family!  Consider quick-to-construct centerpieces and other ways to make party guests feel special; with a little planning you can be free to join the party. Includes a party-planning checklist and handout with party theme ideas as well as 3-4 opportunity drawing centerpieces for your club fundraising.

The Botany of BeveragesGreat Couples or New Member Event – Have you ever considered the horticultural origins of your favorite spirits? Explore plants of the world as we consider how roots, leaves, stalks and flowers are made into alcohol and other adult beverage augmentations. Can include an optional tasting for a nominal per-person fee*.

Winter Blooms: Amaryllis & Paperwhites – In this demonstration you will Learn about the origin and history of amaryllis and paperwhites, tips for forcing and care, and creative ways to pot for beautiful arrangements from start to finish. Optional opportunity drawings available for your club fundraising. Offered November-January due to availability of bulbs.

Pruning: Remove the Mystery – Understand the science and theory behind when to prune, the tools to use and how to maintain them.   Once you understand the basics and science of it all it’s quite easy to understand. Includes demonstration of the proper use of loppers and hand saws.

Healthy Gardeners: Mindfulness in the Garden & Elsewhere – What better place to be present and mindful than in the garden.  Learn mindfulness techniques that can be applied to daily life in this sight, small, touch, feel, taste tour of time in the garden

Winter Blooms: Amaryllis & PaperwhitesAlso available as a demo – Learn about the origin and history of amaryllis (there’s more than one kind!) and paperwhites, tips for forcing and care, and creative ways to pot for beautiful arrangements from start to finish. Club members will then pot an adorned amaryllis to take home Offered November-January due to availability of bulbs.

Yankee Containers for Sun and Shade (Fall/Spring) – Using seasonal combinations of annuals and perennials we'll fill containers that can last multiple seasons. Plant material will be based on seasonal availability and could include evergreens, grasses, herbs, petite woody perennials, fern, vegetables, etc.

Small Group/Club Lecture or Demonstration $375 (under 30 members)
Large Group/Club Lecture or Demonstration $425 (over 31 members)
Conference/Symposium $725
*Workshops/tastings start at rates above with an additional, reasonable per person fee

  • Handouts and mileage inside Rt. 495 included, outside mileage based on Google Maps reimbursable at Federal rate
  • Payment due at time of engagement/event or in advance via credit card if desired
  • Having run a small garden club with a limited budget and a large group with many members I understand the constraints of budgets, boards and community organizations.
  • Please contact me to discuss ways we can work together! Programs can be customized!
  • It's best for all of us to have great communication so I always work with a contract.

Please reach out to learn more: Michele@NaturalSelectionsGardens.com or (617) 417-0784

Click on the Youtube video for a 'hello' from Michele