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Copyright 2023. Natural Selections Garden Design. All rights reserved.


Natural Selections oNatural Selections owner and principal designer, Michele Fronk Schuckel, is an experienced, organized and detail-oriented public speaker, a Certified Master Gardener and home compost instructor, and a Climate for Health Ambassador. Programs are professional and engaging with Zoom, in-person and custom programs available.

The Well-Traveled Bloom: The Cut Flower’s Journey from Ground to Vase The flowers you bring home have had quite an adventure if you bought them at a store! Learn about how and where they are cultivated, shipped, and sold, and about the people and practices in this 8-billion-dollar industry. We’ll dip into sustainability, and healthy consumer choices including mechanics and floral foam alternatives.

Gardening in a Changing Climate The climate is changing. Weather is getting more severe. We can be stewards of our beautiful New England and protect our ecosystems, while still finding beauty, peace, and joy in our plant-based passions! We’ll discuss rain gardens, an accelerating carbon cycle (natural forest floor decomposition), shifting planting zones, and more. Come away empowered to take actionable steps to make a difference in your own backyard and beyond!

Mindfulness and the Aging Gardener This introduction to healthful practices is designed to center on the gardener’s wellbeing in a chaotic world. Learn practical wellness skills and come to understand the fundamentals of mindfulness that can be applied to daily life. We’ll also discuss ways to adjust your gardening to our changing bodies as we age.

Field to Fork: The Horticulture of the Food We Eat (Profits Donated to Combat Food Insecurity) 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-free (or not!) or Certified Organic, ways to decrease food waste, and more! Think about plants in a new way!

Native Plants, Natural Selections 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. We’ll talk about how to select natives, and ways to make it easy to incorporate the ideas from the lecture into home gardens or municipal projects.

Winter in the Yard 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. This is a natural science-meets-garden design program that gets rave reviews from participants!

Pruning: Remove the Mystery Understand the science and theory behind when to prune, the tools to use and how to maintain them. Includes demonstration of the proper use of loppers and hand saws. Members can try techniques if we meet outdoors, or we can review inside for application later!

Weed ID: What the Weeds are Saying and How to Listen If weeds are growing in our gardens and lawns there is a reason. Rather than continually weeding, treating with herbicides, and laying mulch we can decode the messages. Change the way you think about weeds! ​

Celebrate Everyday with Easy Centerpieces We’ll use plant material harvested locally or picked up at a local market, combined with household items or collections from around your home. Consider quick-to-construct centerpieces and other ways to brighten your daily routine or next gathering with friends and family. Includes 3-4 opportunity drawings for a nominal fee.

Composting: The Coolest Kind of Recycling Learn about the benefits of both home and municipal composting, options for collection, the stages of decomposition/science behind the process, and common pitfalls. Participants will get an up-close look at compost at different stages of decomposition. Includes a reference card for participants to make this practice easier to make a part of home routines.

The Botany of Beverages (Great Couples’ Event) Have you ever considered the horticultural origins of your favorite spirits? We’ll dig into how roots, leaves, stalks, and flowers are made into alcohol and spirits. There’s so much to learn! Can be customized to include a cocktail tasting for a nominal per-person fee.

Winter Blooms: Amaryllis & Paperwhites In this program 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. Can include opportunity drawings for an additional fee, or this program can be customized as a workshop for a per person fee.

Yankee Containers for Sun & Shade Why limit yourself to annuals?! Using seasonal combinations, in this demonstration 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. Can include opportunity drawings for an additional materials fee.

Homemade Wreaths & Swags Learn to make-your-own long-lasting wreaths, swags or garland at this holiday-centric workshop. Create easy bows and apply creative themes and adornments for one of a kind seasonal celebrations! The history of the holiday wreath included! Offered in November and December. Includes an opportunity drawing. Can be customized as a workshop for a per person fee.​


Small Group/Club Program $375 (under 30 members)
Large Group/Club Program $425 (over 31 members)
Conference/Symposium $725

  • Mileage reimbursable at this year’s federal rate based on round trip door-to-door via Google Maps.
  • Payment due at time of engagement/event unless otherwise arranged.
  • Our contract serves as your club/organization invoice.
  • Custom programs and opportunity drawings are available – let’s connect and discuss your ideas!
  • Flexibility and backup dates around Coronavirus, the weather or other life challenges are okay!​