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Wow! Susan Betz’s presentation visibly illustrates the benefits of collaboration of people with plants and pollinators, and, by reminding audience members of the importance of this relationship, calls us to action! Susan provides us with interesting, useful information in a manner that is pleasant and at the same time energetic. District IIB of the Michigan Garden Clubs, Inc. enjoyed this presentation at our fall district meeting and look forward to hearing her present again!
Mike and Karla Love
Marshall Area Garden Club, Inc.
On September 1, 2021, the Jonesville District Library held a program featuring Susan Betz and her latest book, “Herbal Houseplants: Grow Beautiful Herbs – Indoors!”. This program was very well attended. Susan gave a wonderful talk about basics of growing herbs. She brought several of her own herbal houseplants to demonstrate uses and techniques. She shared refreshments made from some of the recipes from her book. Susan made an excellent effort to answer everyone’s questions concerning herb growing and usages. I highly recommend Susan Betz’s program for any organization. She is very knowledgeable. Her books are very informative and well written.
Thank you, Susan!
-Laura Orlowski, Library Director
Jonesville District Library
Give your seminars a Fresh Start!
Susan loves to lead listeners toward new ways to use herbs for purpose and pleasure, whether in the garden, kitchen, wildlife areas, or the rest of the house. She offers a variety of popular presentations and can also prepare custom talks.
Susan Betz is an Honorary Master Gardener, author, and garden communicator. She has been teaching and writing about magic, fragrance, folklore, traditions, possibilities, and proven delights of herbs for over 35 years. She is a member of the Michigan Herb Associates, International Herb Association, Garden Writers Association, and the Ecological Landscape Alliance. A life member and the 2018 recipient of The Herb Society of America’s Helen de Conway Little Medal of Honor. Susan serves on HSA’s Native Herb Conservation committee and the Green Bridges™ committee, the Herb Society’s sustainable garden initiative. She lives and gardens in Jonesville, Michigan, and is available for local, regional, and national speaking engagements.
A Green Revival: Cultivating Gardens For People, Place, and Plants
The finest outdoor spaces are created in harmony with nature and demonstrate a respect for the web of life. Good design begins with an understanding of the relationships between plants to place, plants to people, and plants to other plants. Everyone can have a garden –just not the same garden. Choosing plants that attract a variety of birds and other wildlife helps the environment as well as people by providing a rich, sensory experience in which to play, work, relax, grow food, and enjoy the benefits of being in nature. The focus of this presentation is how to plan and cultivate gardens and green spaces that honor the green bonds between people, places, and plants. Climate and plant culture are different across the U.S., so it makes sense that in order to grow well, our landscapes need to be different too. It’s time to “localize” yards and create gardens and outdoor spaces that work in synergy with regional climate and plant culture. Because after all, good relationships give our lives meaning and worth.
Neighboring with Nature: Native Herbs for Pleasure and Purpose
Let nature be your guide! In this presentation, Susan will introduce you to native plants from an herbal perspective. The defining characteristics of these delightful multitasking plants are their past or present uses in the home and garden. Native landscapes are diverse, sustainable, and beautifully paced to the seasons. From ground cover to the canopy, native herbs contribute to sustainable earth-friendly communities by attracting beneficial insects, birds, and other wildlife. Every backyard and neighborhood has a spot just waiting for the right neighborly native herb. Some fit perfectly into rock gardens, while others provide pleasing edges along garden paths. Others are useful for plantings along roadways, and many are well behaved enough to grow among the flowers in your beds and borders. Native herbs that will easily adapt to an existing landscaper garden and the Herb Society of America’s collection of Notable Native Herbs are highlighted in this lecture. Attendees will receive a handout with native herb resources, plant lists, and recipes.
Vivacious Violas! 2022 IHA Herb of the Year
Each year the International Herb Association selects an herb to highlight based on three major categories: culinary, medicinal, or ornamental. Members of the genus Viola have so many redeeming qualities; the flowers and leaves of Violas have been used for food, medicine, and play since ancient times. It is no surprise that violets are one of the most beloved flowers of all time throughout the world, charming both children and adults in a shared delight for centuries. During this presentation, you will learn the botany, culture, and history of violets, pansies, and violas. Susan will share folklore, fun facts, and some of the origins of quirky nicknames associated with these beloved nostalgic plants. This lecture includes a handout with Viola recipes for the kitchen, bath, apothecary, and children’s projects.
Catch the Enchantment: Growing and Using Scented Geraniums
Scented-leaf Pelargoniums are known for the extraordinary fragrance in their leaves and have been captivating gardeners for centuries. You can grow geraniums that smell like roses, nutmeg, peppermint, orange, lemon, and lime! Scented geraniums are easy to grow, both indoors and out. These nostalgic plants come in various shapes and sizes, each with a distinctive leaf form, texture, and flower. They have something to offer the adventurous gardener, cook, or crafter; their foliage is wonderful for bouquets, for scent, and in food or drink. Handout provided.
Herbal Houseplants, How to Grow Beautiful Herbs Indoors, For Flavor, Fragrance, and Fun!
Hey, houseplant lovers: Are you ready to up your growing game? Whether your green thumb is weathered and worn or shiny and new, get ready to branch out and step into the world of growing your own herbs—indoors! Susan Betz lets you in on a little secret: Herbs make great houseplants. New techniques, efficient grow lights, and herb varieties specifically bred for compact spaces offer those in urban situations a better and easier way to grow these lovely plants indoors. In this presentation, you’ll learn: which herbs perform best as houseplants, how to care for them, and even how to harvest and use your homegrown herbs for culinary creations, household cleaning products, herbal teas, handmade crafts, and more.
People, Plants & Pollinators: The Herbal Connection
As gardeners, we are often reminded of the vital role that pollinators and beneficial insects play in our landscapes and food supply. There is a lot of information about pollinator-friendly flowers, but what about herbs? Herbs are super multi-tasking plants in and out of the garden. They have something of value to offer people and pollinators alike. Their flowers and fragrant foliage attract and support a diverse variety of wildlife species including native bees, honey bees, butterflies, moths, and hummingbirds. Incorporating herbs into your yard and garden will rapidly increase biodiversity and ecological function, giving extra value to your natural spaces. Discover the herbs to grow to support and nourish your family and the pollinators and other beneficial creatures in your backyard and beyond.
Herbs: Pretty and Practical Players in the Home Garden and Landscape
Herbs are pleasing and pleasant plants that readily adjust to home gardens and foundation plantings. Their flowers, foliage, fragrance, and shapes can add interest and beauty to both formal and informal gardens. Whether your pastime is growing vegetable gardens, practicing the culinary arts, experimenting with aromatherapy, or beautifying your floral gardens, herbs can play a functional, eco-friendly role in your garden. Learn about propagating, growing, and harvesting herbs for your personal pleasure and use.
Thymely Tips & Sage Advice
Parsley, basil, sage rosemary and thyme, and lots of other herbs as well! Drying and preserving your herbal harvest for health, wellness, culinary, and aromatherapy. Topics include; blending herb seasonings, vinegar, drinks, fragrant potpourris, mixed with a good measure of green household hints. Samples and recipe handouts are included in this presentation.
Growing Herbs in Containers
Many people have limited room in which to create and enjoy a garden. For them, containers are the ideal choice. Pots, tubs, window boxes, troughs, and baskets all offer a variety of creative planting opportunities. Learn the tips and tricks on how to successfully grow herbs for use and delight in containers. Plant combinations, container styles and materials, potting mixes, fertilization, and watering requirements will be covered in this presentation.
Magical Moons & Seasonal Cycles: Stepping Into the Circle of the Seasons
Phenology is the study of the timing of natural periodic events in the plant and animal world influenced by the local environment, especially weather, temperature, seasonal cycles, and climate. Plant and animal life cycles are predictors of reoccurring events in nature, examples include the first dates of budding and blooming flowers, insect hatching, bird migration, and fall color. In pre-colonial America, the cycles of nature directed the American Indians’ daily tasks, economy, and celebrations, Understanding “nature’s calendar” helped ensure their survival and kept them in harmony with the natural world. Phenology was not only a well-honed tool, it was plain common sense. Passing seasons were measured by the monthly phases of the moon and assigned descriptive names to each full moon, alluding to notable recurring natural events taking place during that month. Drawing from her own decades of gardening experience and nature study Susan will share tips on how to use “nature’s calendar” to help you know when to plant and perform seasonal garden tasks and preventive measures to control unwanted weeds and emerging insects.
Susan Betz has been in the business of growing and using herbs for pleasure and purpose for over 35 years. Not only does she truly love and enjoy gardening she is also an active member of several gardening organizations dedicated to maintaining a high standard of excellence in the horticultural community. Susan has been actively involved in growing and using herbs to educate the public about gardening and the natural world for over 40 years.
She's hard-pressed to name a favorite herb, however -- she loves them all, and considers herbs a way of life! She is an Honorary Master Gardener, photographer, author, and speaker. Education and Outreach Coordinator for Slayton Arboretum at Hillsdale College. Before going to work at Hillsdale, she owned and managed The Little Farm Herb Shop in Allen, Michigan, a garden store with display gardens featuring herbal themes.
Susan is a lifetime member of the Herb Society of America and received The Society’s Helen D. Conway Little Medal of Honor in 2018. She is a charter member of HSA’s Native Herb Conservation committee, the Society’s sustainable garden initiative. Susan currently serves on HSA’s Notable Native Herb program and is a contributing author to HSA’s native herb fact sheets published annually. She also works with the Ecological Landscape Alliance, a leader in promoting sustainable approaches to landscape design, construction, and management.
On top of everything else, Susan is also a published garden writer and blogger. She is the author of Magical Moons & Seasonal Circles, Stepping into the Circle of the Seasons & Neighboring with Nature/Native Herbs for Pleasure and Purpose. She is also a contributing blogger for Garden Communicators International National Gardening Bureau, a wonderful organization that provides free reputable information, resources for new gardeners.
Susan has an insurmountable amount of knowledge about all things ‘green’ and she has devoted her life to using that knowledge to teach, inform and make the world better than it was before. She is capable of making complex topics interesting and exciting for her audiences with her captivating charm.
Cool Springs Author