Master Gardener and Naturalist Speakers Series

The world is filled with plant knowledge. How do you know what sources deliver reliable information? The Illinois Extension Speaker Series delivers research-based information on garden and nature-based topics. Learn from the experts who make learning easy.

A no-cost 20-minute presentation will introduce a new topic or build on an old topic of interest. Find the right presentation delivered by Illinois Extension Master Gardener and Master Naturalist volunteers. Virtual presentation format available upon request.


All about Birds, Bees, & Butterflies

Monarchs fly and forage in a field of wildflowers

Create a Monarch Habitat

Monarchs, the official state insect of Illinois, are in serious decline for a variety of reasons. Learn how we each can do our part to provide them with milkweed and nectar-rich flowers so they thrive once again.
Two hands working with terra cotta pot. One hand holds a trowel, the other hand holds a plant.

Designing Pots for Pollinators

Do you want to plant a pollinator garden but don’t have the room in your yard? Learn how to make your patio or porch a haven for butterflies, bees, hummingbirds, and other beneficial pollinators with pollinator-friendly pots.
a tiger swallowtail sits on an echinacea

Plant a Pollinator Garden

Insects play an important role in flower pollination, but not all flowers are the best food source for pollinators. Plant flowers in your landscape that are beneficial to pollinators. This presentation will offer simple tips to get you started.

Flowers for Every Garden

purple-headed alliums stand above green groundcovers

All in for Alliums

Alliums are showstoppers, bringing stunning color and unique form to every garden in every season. The session will focus on selection, planting, and care for alliums, as well as creative uses for the flower heads.
White head of a snowball hydrangea

High on Hydrangeas

There is a hydrangea (or 2!) for every garden. Explore the various types of hydrangeas and learn more growing information and pruning tips for this beloved plant. This presentation just may answer the often-asked question, “Why doesn’t my hydrangea bloom?”
Purple coneflower in a prairie

Wildflower Treasures

Wildflowers are beautiful but their names are puzzling. Identify wildflowers with a little help. Plant ID tools help you learn and inventory any landscape of wildflowers. Build your wildflower knowledge to preserve plants and nature.

Dig deeper on a gardening practice

a person crouches next to a raised bed garden to tend plants

Growing Vegetables Isn't Work - It's Fun!

Discover a new way to garden that is fun and productive. Vegetable gardening in raised beds reduces your gardening burden and offers a canvas to display your gardening personality. Enjoy whimsy and fun in a production garden!
Herbs grow in a raised bed that is split into 9 sections

Herb Gardening

Herbs are versatile. Grow them for cooking. Grow them for ornamental appeal. Grow them because they smell wonderful! The techniques to grow, preserve, and use herbs are all available in this presentation. Get ready to spice up your life!
Bypass pruners around a thin limb with a clear blue sky background

Tree Pruning 101

Your landscape is beautiful. Imagine how it could shine with properly pruned trees. Overcome your fear of pruning with Tree Pruning 101. Use the presentation techniques to grow healthy, attractive trees including what to prune, when to prune, and how to prune.

Find the right topic for your group


The Language of Flowers

Seed Starting in the Spring


Tips for Growing Irises

Tomato Troubles

Bats 101

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