Tours and Talks

Mary Stickley-Godinez teaches and writes on many aspects of gardening and nature. Her lectures are approximately one hour in length. However, any can be adjusted to fit in a longer or shorter time frame. Also, if you don't see a lecture that might interest your group, she is happy to speak on other topics as well.
 
Tours and talks about what we do at Countryside Farm and Nurseries, Inc. are also availble for groups of 10-50 people.  
 
Contact Mary at 434-953-6661 to schedule your visit or lecture.  
 
Available lectures:
 
Autumn’s Companions (Spring and Summer are also available)
Find out some of Mary Stickley-Godinez’s favorite plant combinations for the season. And use her guidelines to create some combinations of your own.
 
Bad Boys of the Garden
Discover some of the major pests that can be found in our gardens and what to do about them. This sensible approach will explain the lifecycles of these creatures and discuss several ways to keep them under control.
 
Beautiful Bulbs
Bulbs are an easy to grow with many characteristics that are an advantage to our gardens. Determine which bulbs you just must add to your garden this year and a few others you can’t live without.
 
Chop Chop- The Art of Pruning
All too often our trees and shrubs are ruined or killed because we don’t understand proper pruning techniques. In this talk Mary Stickley-Godinez will teach you how, when, and why to prune for beautiful and long-lived trees.
 
Critter control
Groundhogs, skunks, rabbits, deer, some years it seems these guys get more of the garden produce than the gardener does. This informative lecture will help you discover some animal friendly tips and techniques to help keep these critters at bay. Creating
 
Backyard Habitats
More and more, wildlife and people will need to share their outdoor spaces. Mary Stickley-Godinez will show you many ways to make your garden a home for wild creatures-- and why you should want to.
 
Oh Deer!
Deer are an ever increasing problem in the home landscape. They are beautiful but can cause great damage to your plants. And there are lots of things said about them—not all accurate. This talk will help bust some of those myths while helping you determine the best methods for keeping these pesky animals out of your garden.
 
Designing the Garden
Learn some basic principles of garden design and ways to give your landscapes more impact. This class will teach methods to increase curb appeal, value, and improve the use of your home spaces.
 
Diagnosing Diseases
All sorts of things are out there trying to destroy our plants. But how do you know what they are and what to do about them? Find out some simple ways to become your own detective and figure out what is killing your garden.
 
Down and Dirty
Soil is the most important yet it is probably the least understood aspects of gardening. Let Mary Stickley-Godinez help unravel this mystery in a fun and easy to understand lecture explaining types of soils, its purpose, and how it benefits your plants.
 
Edible Landscapes
Growing Vegetables in any Yard In a society where our groceries come from everywhere, it is nice to know exactly how our vegetables grew. And nothing tastes better than produce you grew yourself. This talk will explain everything you need to know to choose and grow your own vegetables no matter what kind of yard you have.
 
Flying Flowers
Butterflies are a beautiful addition to the garden space, adding color, movement, and interest. Find out some fascinating facts, learn about their lifecycle, and hear about ways to attract them to your home spaces.
 
Fabulous Fall Foliage
Discover some of Mary Stickley-Godinez’s favorite trees, shrubs, and perennials that will bring exceptional fall color and interest to the garden.
 
Garden Heroes
A number of insects and bugs are very beneficial to your garden. This talk will introduce you to these guys, explain their life cycles, and help you find ways to encourage them to live in your landscape.
 
Gardening in the Golden Years
Research shows that gardening and being out in nature is one of the best activities you can do for your health, both physical and mental. But it is hard work and one wrong move can put you in pain for days. Find out some ways to create a beautiful garden while staying off the ice pack and out of the hospital.
 
Going Green in a Very Brown World
Going Green is a popular movement in society today. But there are some not-so-pretty aspects to organic gardening and sometimes other people may protest your plans. This humorous lecture will allow you to discover some ways to ease into the organic movement while training the people around you to accept it.

Growing Roses
Roses are probably one of the most loved flowers and everyone wants to grow them. But they can be very particular and difficult and every rose expert has another method to keep them healthy. This talk will clarify all this into several simple steps to keep the roses in your own garden beautiful.

Growing Up
Gardens are three dimensional.  Discover some great ways to add some verticality to your garden spaces to create more interest and beauty.   
 
In a Pickle
Pickles are a great way to enjoy and preserve your garden’s annual produce. In this discussion, Mary Stickley-Godinez will detail the background of many of our condiments and also share some of her favorite recipes.
 
The Incredible Edible Apple
Discover the history of apples and how they found a place in the heart of the american populace. Mary will tell you how they are grown and also some great varieties for you to grow.
 
The Lazy Gardener
We all want a beautiful garden. But many of us don’t have the time or energy to do all the hard work necessary for the look we want. Have a few laughs while learning some great low maintenance tips and techniques for managing your garden spaces.
 
Ornamental Grasses
Ornamental Grasses are hardy plants, withstanding harsh garden conditions, while bringing beauty to the garden. Be introduced to some of the great varieties and how to use them in the landscape.
 
Ugh Rocks!
Dealing with a few rocks in your home landscape? Mary Stickley-Godinez will enlighten you as to the advantages of rocks in garden design. And she will introduce you to the wonderful plants and all the fun of creating a rock garden.
 
Seven Ways to Kill a Tree
Mary Stickley-Godinez has her tongue firmly planted in her cheek when she demonstrates some of the terrible abuse our trees have to withstand in our landscapes. And of course in the process, find out how to keep your trees healthy and happy—and alive!
 
Sex in the Garden: How plants reproduce
Let’s make plants! First learn how plants reproduce and then discover the techniques to use these methods to make more of the plants you love.
 
A Table full of Weeds
Many of our weeds were brought to the Americas by early colonists because they were so important for medicine or food. Mary Stickley-Godinez will describe a number of these plants, tell you about their past, and detail the health benefits of adding them to your diet.
 
Trees: Misused, Mistreated and Misunderstood
Trees are beautiful, dignified and majestic. They should be in our landscapes for several generations. In this discussion, learn all about trees, how they grow, how to use them in the landscape, and how to take care of them properly so they will be around for a long time to come.
 
Trees and People: Who Wins?
Trees are a very important component of our urban landscapes. Discover how they are used in streetscapes, parks, and small properties and learn how important they are. Also hear about the many ways they benefit our communities and society as a whole.
 
Turf Talk
American landscapes are mostly characterized by our lawns. But, if you are going to have one, it needs to look good. This talk will tell you everything you need to know to have the perfect lawn in your garden.
 
To Turf or Not to Turf
A lawn is not always the best thing for the environment, or your wallet. Find out the many reasons to do away with your lawn and determine what you might do instead.
 
Understanding Plants
This is a class in basic botany for beginning gardeners. Gain a broad understanding of plants and how they grow for the best start in your gardening endeavors.
 
Water in the Garden
How is water used in the garden? What is its purpose and how do plants use it? This class will show you the qualities and characteristics of water and why it is so important to our plants.
 
Waterwise Gardening
Gardens need water to survive. But water is increasingly becoming a dwindling resource. Learn how to have a beautiful garden while saving and preserving this precious commodity.
 
Winning Against Weeds
We go to war every day. They are out there, trying to outcompete our plants for resources, space, and light and we have to protect our favored plants. Meet some of the major weeds we battle every day, discover their weaknesses, and how best to rid our gardens of them forever.
 
What’s What
Understand the principles of growing Annuals, Biennials, Perennials, Vines, Shrubs, and Trees. This beginners class will teach general information about each of these plants to help the new gardener become a success in their gardens.
 
Woody Plants
Trees and shrubs are an important part of our landscape plans. In this class, Mary will describe the characteristics of these plants, and will teach on how they grow, and what they need to stay healthy.
 
A Year of Perennials
Fill your year and your garden with beautiful and easy to grow perennials. Mary Stickley-Godinez will tell you about some of her favorites so you can have flowers all year long.