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Amy Ziffer

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Overview

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Amy Ziffer’s wealth of experience as a professional gardener and former garden magazine editor are at the root of her “real-world” approach, focusing on techniques the average home gardener can employ to create successful, beautiful outdoor spaces.

w: Amy Ziffer's website

w: Facebook Author page

e: view email amyziffer@earthlink.net

Additional Information

Amy's Cottage Garden

Description

Amy Ziffer, owner of A Shady Lady Garden Design, has been helping clients in Connecticut with their gardenings needs, as well as sharing her extensive gardening experience through lectures and demonstrations, since 1998.

 

Amy is a former editor at Fine Gardening magazine and a Master Gardener.  Her garden writing and photography can be seen in Fine Gardening, Horticulture, and Yankee magazines, in Reader's Digest books, and in other publications.

 

Amy’s specialty is cold climate ornamental gardening in the Northeast U.S.  Her cottage gardening program, “Cottage Courageous: Adapting a Classic Garden Style to the Northeast,” is very popular and was the basis for a Horticulture magazine article.  It showcases her own experimental cottage garden, which she built and maintains on a volunteer basis in the center of her small Connecticut town.  The garden is publicly accessible year round and has become somewhat of a local landmark.  She discusses how to adapt the classic cottage garden style inherited from the English gardening tradition to the Northeast’s more challenging climate and environment.  She talks about the importance of matching plants to local conditions, using self-sowing plants to attain that “accidental on purpose” look so characteristic of cottage gardens, and also covers many design and upkeep questions.

 

Amy’s shade gardening program, “Shade Revealed: How to Have Success in Low Light (Really!)” is a comprehensive look at the best performing perennial plants for shade at northern latitudes.  An expanded version can serve as a two- or three-session course briefly covering every aspect of shade gardening from site and soil preparation to plant selection and long-term maintenance.

 

Amy's Shade Revealed program was the basis for her book The Shady Lady's Guide to Northeast Shade Gardening, published by the University Press of New England. The Guide is a regional book about ornamental shade gardening that offers a simple, proven method for bringing sunlight-deprived areas of your property to life. Amy shares a unique approach to garden design that's meant to ensure a high likelihood of success and a minimum of failure by basing choices on the relative performance potential of different plants. The book includes a large yet selective illustrated plant gallery covering all the indispensable perennials, ferns, and bulbs for the Northeast (and cold climates more generally). With your help, The Shady Lady's Guide to Northeast Shade Gardening will become the definitive resource for all sun-challenged regional gardeners!

 

Amy’s new program, “Containers that Won’t Quit,” draws on her long experience creating container combinations for clients. If you’ve ever been disappointed with the performance of plants that fizzle in the heat or just don’t like container culture, this program is for you.  It’s accompanied by lists of the best, readily obtainable plants for long season performance.  An expanded version of this talk can serve as a great demonstration-based class covering container planting from A to Z.

 

Other talks include "Gardening Naturally with Northeast Natives" and "April to November: Designing a Sunny Border for Eight Months of Bloom."  Amy is always interested in creating custom shows, so if your group would like to hear a presentation about a subject not mentioned here, please ask!

 

Amy’s shows are PowerPoint presentations run from a laptop computer she provides.  All shows are richly illustrated with dozens of color images.  She requests that host facilities provide a digital projector, screen, lectern, reading lamp and (ideally but optionally) hands-free voice amplification for large rooms.  Fees begin at $400 and are based on the time commitment involved, including travel.  Lower fees may be negotiated for small, local groups with limited budgets; inquire for details.

 

A typical reference: “Amy Ziffer presented a wonderful lecture…for the Berkshire Botanical Garden.  The program was well attended and very well received…”

Topics

"Cottage Courageous: Adapting a Classic Garden Style to the Northeast"

"Shade Revealed: How to Have Success in Low Light (Really!)"

"Containers that Won’t Quit"

"Gardening Naturally with Northeast Natives"

"April to November: Designing a Sunny Border for Eight Months of Bloom"

Inquire for other topics; Amy is happy to create custom programs


Amy has experience speaking at arboreta, garden shows, symposia, libraries, and garden clubs.  Her fee starts at $400.

 

A typical reference: “Amy Ziffer presented a wonderful lecture…for the Berkshire Botanical Garden.  The program was well attended and very well received…”

Locations

Sherman, Connecticut, USA 06784

Photo Gallery

Ziffer

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Audience Reviews

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Wonderful Speaker

Sarah Robinson from Bedford, NY - 05/20/2016 09:14:47

Amy spoke to our garden club about creating shade gardens. She detailed how to layout the garden using the best performing perennial plants from our region. She was very knowledgable and very engaging.She also prepared one of the best hand outs that thoroughly reviewed all the plants in her presentation and then some. I would highly recommend her!

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Terrific Speaker

pam savarese from Scarsdale, New York - 05/05/2016 13:17:44

Amy spoke to the Home and Garden Section of the Scarsdale Woman's Club this May, 2016. Her presentation was outstanding - so informative, well organized and entertaining. She is a wonderful speaker and her passion for gardening is infectious. We highly recommend her!

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Dynamic speaker

Karen Kermani from Albany,N.Y. - 05/02/2016 11:25:54

Amy Ziffer did a program entitled on The Last Shade Gardening Lecture You Will Ever Need: How To Have Success In Low Light ( Really) for our garden club. She is very knowledgeable, entertaining,and very personable . Her power point was wonderful with beautiful examples of shade plants.

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