Rooted in Maine Techniques That Get You Growing

Dig into Maine horticultural and gardening techniques! Maine Flower Show Seminars, located at the Thompson’s Point event space, provide a popular draw for attendees who pack in as many as their schedule will hold as well as those who pop in to just hear their favorite speaker.

This year’s packed seminar schedule features 4 consecutive days of presentations from regional horticultural experts, community leaders, master gardeners, and local farmers offering tips and techniques that are exclusively Rooted in Maine. Learn about native plants, trees and shrubs, local pests, sustainable growing practices for Maine growers, and advice for outdoor Maine living – or simply join us and meet the knowledgeable professionals that live and work in Maine!

Learn, have fun, and get inspired!


Presenter Lineup for Thursday, March 22

Session: “Casco Bay Begins in Your Backyard”

Presenter(s): Mary Cerullo, Associate Director, Friends of Casco Bay

Date/Time: Thursday, March 22 – 10:30 a.m.

Join Mary Cerullo, Associate Director for Friends of Casco Bay for a discussion on why and how to make small changes to your lawn care practices to ensure a green lawn and a healthy Casco Bay.

Stormwater sampling by Friends of Casco Bay has found lawn chemicals flowing into Casco Bay. As more is learned about the impact of lawn chemicals on our children, pets, and waterways, some local communities are considering banning pesticides and fertilizers.

As Associate Director for Friends of Casco Bay, Mary is responsible for publications, public relations, and educational outreach for Friends of Casco Bay. She works with communities on BayScaping, an education program on environmentally-friendly lawn care, and has authored 21 children’s books on topics ranging from phytoplankton to giant squid.

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Session: “Gardening for Pollinators”

Presenter(s): Barbara Longstaff and Kathleen Marty, Garden Club Federation of Maine

Date/Time: Thursday, March 22- 12:30 p.m.

Join members of the Garden Club Federation of Maine for an in-depth look at gardening for pollinators, including how to grow habitats for conserving and protecting pollinators such as birds, bees, bats, butterflies, moths, wasps, etc.; the dangers of pesticides for pollinators; and why gardening for pollinators one garden at a time can make a real difference.

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Session: “The Budget-Wise Gardener: Plant the Best for Less!”

Presenter(s): Kerry Ann Mendez, Award-Winning Garden Designer, Speaker and Author at Perennially Yours, LLC

Date/Time: Thursday, March 22 – 2:30 p.m.

Award-winning garden designer, speaker, and author Kerry Ann Mendez will offer a wealth of budget-friendly ideas for getting the best price and value for exceptional plants. Also covered are striking design and container concepts to achieve eye-popping, pollinator-friendly plantings which require less maintenance and watering.


Session: “The Garden Tourist”

Presenter(s): Jana Milbocker, Author of “The Garden Tourist: 120 Destination Gardens and Nurseries in the Northeast”

Date/Time: Thursday, March 22 – 4:30 p.m.

Do you enjoy visiting beautiful gardens? Take a virtual tour of some of the best public gardens and specialty nurseries in the Northeast with The Garden Tourist! Attendees will enjoy lovely photos and learn about each garden’s highlights, history and amenities from Jana Milbocker, author of “The Garden Tourist: 120 Destination Gardens and Nurseries in the Northeast.” Milbocker is an avid gardener, plant collector, designer, and owner of Enchanted Gardens, a landscape design firm in metrowest Boston.

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Presenter Lineup for Friday, March 23


Session: “Hip Hip Hydrangeas! The Natives”

Presenter(s): Andi Ross, Educator, Speaker & Workshop Leader at It’s Nature’s Way

Date/Time: Friday, March 23 – 10:30 a.m.

There are two commercially available species of hydrangeas which are native to the US. This dazzling presentation showcases many gorgeous new cultivars bred from these natives, which can be more adaptable to our climate & soil variations. We will explore the lineage and attributes of many of the native hydrangea cultivars that are readily available to New England gardeners. Best methods will be presented for siting, planting, pruning each type, watering, cutting & preserving.

Andi is artistic landscape designer, certified organic land-care professional, private garden coach, and horticulturalist, oil painter, sought after speaker throughout New England. She speaks at Green Industry accreditation schools & workshop, New England Grows, The Boston & Portland Flower Shows & others, botanical gardens, as well as garden clubs & libraries. She is passionate about all things plants, a self-identified plant geek.

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Session: Meet-and-Greet with SSG Travis Mills

Presenter(s): SSG Travis Mills, Founder, Travis Mills Foundation

Date/Time: Friday, March 23 – 12:30 p.m.

Meet and take photos with retired U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Travis Mills, who served in the 82nd Airborne and who is today a recalibrated warrior, motivational speaker, actor, author and an advocate for veterans and amputees. Travis’ New York Times-bestselling memoir, “Tough as They Come,” is available in bookstores everywhere.

Despite losing portions of both arms and legs from an IED while on active duty in Afghanistan, Travis continues to overcome life’s challenges, breaking physical barriers and defying odds. Travis lives by his motto: “Never give up. Never quit.” In September 2013, Travis founded the Travis Mills Foundation, a nonprofit organization, formed to benefit and assist combat-injured veterans.

Travis’ story has been featured on local and national news including Fox News’ “Happening Now with Jenna Lee” and “The O’Reilly Factor with Bill O’Reilly.”


Session: “Planting Seeds of Awareness”

Presenter(s): Bob Maurais, President, Mainely Ticks

Date/Time: Friday, March 23 – 2:30 p.m.

Join Bob Maurais from Mainely Ticks for a timely and informative presentation on how to better protect your family from ticks and tick-borne illnesses. An award-winning, now-retired educator of 31 years and the current president of Mainely Ticks, Bob will discuss personal protection strategies, landscape modifications and the lifecycle of the deer tick. Attendees will also receive FREE tick identification guides.

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Session: “Gardening for Butterflies”

Presenter(s): Andy Brand, Plant Curator, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

Date/Time: Friday, March 23 – 4:30 p.m.

There are over 110 species of butterflies that call Maine home. Butterflies not only add color and grace to our gardens, they are also valuable pollinators of many plant species. Join Andy Brand, Plant Curator for the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens to learn which plants will attract butterflies to your yard as well as the host plants caterpillars eat and on which eggs are laid.

Prior to joining CMBG in 2018, Andy was the nursery manager at Broken Arrow Nursery for over 20 years where he and his colleagues specialized in growing rare and unusual plants. Andy is an avid naturalist, focusing on the interaction of the insects and native plants of New England. He is a co-founder and past president of the Connecticut Butterfly Association and is past president of the Connecticut Nursery and Landscape Association.

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Presenter Lineup for Saturday, March 24


Session: “Roses for New England”

Presenter(s): Mike and Angelina Chute, Co-authors of “Roses for New England: A Guide to Sustainable Rose Gardening” and Co-owners of RoseSolutions

Date/Time: Saturday, March 24 at 10:00 a.m.

“Roses for New England” is a special presentation for every rose-lover looking to grow their own hardy, healthy, and disease-resistant roses in their home gardens. This program specifically addresses the merits and challenges of rose gardening in New England. Novice rose gardeners will find everything they need to know to successfully grow roses, while experienced gardeners will gain valuable insights to enable them to grow better roses.

Attendees will learn tips how to grow roses better than they ever thought possible, including: easy steps to growing roses in New England with emphasis on cold climate rose gardening; how to select winter hardy and disease resistant varieties for northern New England gardens; the best way to plant and prune roses; and tips and personal anecdotes from the authors’ twenty-five years of rose gardening experience.

Presenters Mike and Angelina Chute are the co-authors of “Roses for New England: A Guide to Sustainable Rose Gardening,” the companion reference to this program, and co-owners of RoseSolutions, a landscape consulting company specializing in roses. Both are certified American Rose Society (ARS) Master Rosarians.

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Session: “7 Keys to Organic Gardening Success in Short Season”

Speaker(s): Petra Page-Mann, Co-Founder, Fruition Seeds

Date/Time: Saturday, March 24 – 12:30 p.m.

With the right seeds, techniques and timing, your garden will surround you with beauty and abundance, even in short seasons. Come laugh and learn the keys to success with Petra Page-Mann, a lifelong short-season gardener, storyteller, and co-founder of Fruition Seeds.

Growing up in her father’s garden, Petra believes each seed and each of us is in the world to change the world. Her passion, curiosity, love of food and love of people led her all over the world studying seed, song and culture worth celebrating. In 2012, she founded Fruition Seeds to share the seeds, knowledge and inspiration gardeners need to be more successful in the Northeast.  When she’s not farming, you’ll find Petra singing, skiing, snuggling with her dogs, hunting mushrooms or sharing a feast with a friend.

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Session: “Repotting Orchids to Help Them Thrive”

Speaker(s): David Sparks and Suzy Massey, Maine Orchid Society

Date/Time: Saturday, March 24 – 2:30 p.m.

Members of the Maine Orchid Society will demonstrate how to properly repot an orchid. Learn how an orchid’s natural habitat determines the best way to grow it in your home.

Formed in 1978, the mission of the Maine Orchid Society is to stimulate interest, provide education, encourage conservation and enable exchange of information among those interested in the culture of orchids in all of its aspects.

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Session: “Nonstop Color: Maximum Year-Round Impact”

Speaker(s): Charlotte Albers, Owner, Paint Box Garden

Date/Time: Saturday, March 24 – 4:30 p.m.

Banish the ‘blahs’ with plants that offer visual interest through knockout foliage, blooms, stems and branches – and even bark. We’ll cover exciting new cultivars and classic standards for the Northeast region and look at great combinations that give you maximum impact in the garden, even through winter.

Charlotte Alberts is a garden writer for and owner of Paintbox Garden, a design studio that focuses on the art of landscape.

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Presenter Lineup for Sunday, March 25


Session: “Places for Pollinators: How to Create Habitat for Bees, Butterflies & Hummingbirds”

Speaker(s): Deborah Perkins, Wildlife Ecologist and Owner, First Light Wildlife Habitats

Date/Time: Sunday, March 25 – 10:00 a.m.

​In this ​engaging and informative slide show​, wildlife ecologist Deborah Perkins will introduce attendees to pollinator species, explain their ecology and behavior, habitat needs, conservation challenges, and how you can create a high-value habitat in your garden or larger property. ​Deb’s infectious enthusiasm and dynamic speaking style will leave attendees feeling inspired, hopeful, and ready to take action.

Deborah Perkins is a wildlife ecologist with 25 years of experience and a lifelong commitment to wildlife conservation. ​​She is the owner of ​First Light Wildlife Habitats and partners with eco-minded landowners to create thriving wildlife habitats at any scale in their backyards, gardens, fields and farms, woods, or campuses.

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Session: “Slow Flowers”

Speaker(s): Diane Walden-Rapalyea, Staff Horticulturalist, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

Date/Time: Sunday, March 25 – 12:00 p.m.

Staff Horticulturalist Diane Walden-Rapalyea from the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens offers an historical look at the evolving business of cut flowers, the current floral revolution, and the “Slow Flower Movement.” According to Walden-Rapalyea, the U.S. imports over 80% of its cut flowers, a trend which supporters of the “Slow Flower Movement” seek to change, in similar spirit to the farm-to-table “Slow Food Movement,” by promoting more farm/field/garden-to-arrangement sourcing. Maine is a hotbed of creative options to buy and grow locally through an abundance of floral farmers and designers!

Walden-Rapalyea’s beautiful garlands have graced many ribbon-cutting celebrations, including those for the Haney Hillside Garden, the Bosarge Family Education Center, and the Fairy House Village. She creates many of the arrangements and container plantings Gardens’ visitors so admire. In 2018, Diane was featured at the Portland Museum of Art’s “Art in Bloom” exhibit, featuring the works of floral arrangers alongside their art collection.

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Session: “New and Exciting Plants for 2018”

Speaker(s): Jim Masse, MCN, MCSL, Nursery Manager, Estabrook’s Garden Center

Date/Time: Sunday, March 25 – 1:30 p.m.

Add a new twist to the “tried and true” with Jim Masse, Nursery Manager of Estabrook’s Garden Center in Yarmouth who will offer a captivating and colorful tour of new and exciting annuals, perennials, trees and shrubs for the upcoming season.

Masse is a self-described rabid plant geek, and is known to his customers as a “Garden Guru.” Since graduating in 1993 from the horticultural program at what is today Southern Maine Community College, he has worked extensively in residential gardening and, for the past 18 years, in nursery sales and customer service at Estabrook’s. A Brunswick native, Masse has lent his knowledge of the Maine landscape and its challenges to many a coastal garden.

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Session: “Grow Your Own Medicine: Medicinal Plants in Your Garden and Landscape”

Speaker(s): Cassandra Elizabeth, Clinical Herbalist and Organic Gardener

Date/Time: Sunday, March 25 – 3:00 p.m.

Join Cassandra Elizabeth, clinical herbalist, organic gardener, and friend of the natural world to learn about how to incorporate medicinal plants into your landscape and create your own custom medicine garden, beginning with the attributes and benefits of common natives, then venturing into the process of more intentionally choosing plants to support you and your family’s health.


Maine Flower Show Presenter Backups

  • Tom Estabrook
  • Jeff O’Donal (Barth Lilies)
  • Dale Pierson
  • Garden Club Federation of Maine