Clematis Talks Open to the Public

Speaking to Groups

I enjoy blathering on about clematis, sharing my ever-increasing knowledge, and encouraging people to grow clematis. I also speak about vines in general and understory trees. Scroll down for information on my upcoming public talks.  I offer the following four presentations: 

Clematis, the Queen of Climbers
Embrace Vertical Gardening!  Embellish Your Garden with Vines

Layering for a Dynamic and Beautiful Garden
Summer Sizzlers: The Heat-Tolerant Clematis of July, August, and Beyond
Ten Great Understory Trees for the Pacific Northwest
Vine Pruning

I speak at garden clubs, nurseries, and other venues throughout Greater Seattle year-round.  If your group would like to have me demystify clematis (two different talks), elaborate on vines, highlight great understory trees, or discuss the principles of layering a garden, please contact me by replying below.  Scroll past Public Venues below to see feedback on my talks.

Public Venues in 2023

Northwest Flower & Garden Festival

Layering for a Dynamic and Beautiful Garden
One of the most important elements of a beautiful and dynamic garden is layering. Learn how to layer a garden by staggering foreground, middle-ground, and background to create an alluring and satisfying landscape. Principals involved include repetition, scale, flow, depth, contrast, and focal points. Laura’s easy speaking style and great photos will help you learn how bring layering principals into your garden. Free to Flower & Garden Festival Attendees!

Saturday, February 18, 2023, Noon

Hood Room
Washington Convention Center
Downtown Seattle

Dunn Gardens

Grow the Heck UP!  Embellish Your Garden with Vines
Learn how to embellish your garden with the beauty of vines that do well in the Pacific Northwest. Using great photos and a friendly speaking style, Laura will provide details about their care and pruning. Receive an informative and detailed handout to take home.

Thursday, March 30, 2023, 6:30 – 8:30pm

Dunn Gardens (
13533 Northshire Road NW

Bellevue Botanical Garden

Clematis: The Queen of Climbers
Bring the amazing beauty and variety of clematis to your garden—with ease. Using great photos and a friendly speaking style, Laura will discuss color, shape, size, and bloom time. Get details about clematis care and simplified pruning, plus recommendations for easy clematis to try—and an informative handout.

Saturday, April 1, 2023, 10am – Noon

Aaron Education Center at Bellevue Botanical Garden (
12001 Main St.
Bellevue, WA 98005

Soos Creek Park

Summer Sizzlers: The Heat-Tolerant Clematis of July, August, and Beyond
Discover the variety, beauty, and easy pruning of summer clematis!  Using great photos and a friendly speaking style, Laura will discuss Profuse Clematis (aka viticellas), Trumpets and Urns (aka species like texensis/viorna/crispa), the Late Large-Flowered Clematis, and Non-Climbing Clematis.  Receive an informative and detailed handout.

Wednesday, August 16, 2023, 12:30pm – 2:00pm

Soos Creek Park
24810 148th Avenue SE
Kent, WA

Bellevue Botanical Garden

Ten Great Understory Trees for the Pacific Northwest
With great photos and an easy-going speaking style, Laura describes ten great understory trees for the Pacific Northwest with which she has personal experience—all but one are also listed with Great Plant Picks and in The Tree Book, by Michael Dirr and Keith Warren.  Laura personally grows all ten trees.  Attendees receive an informative list of great trees to try that includes cultural information.

Saturday, October 7, 2023, 10am – Noon

Aaron Education Center at Bellevue Botanical Garden (
12001 Main St.
Bellevue, WA 98005


“Off the charts clematis expert, with the knack of explaining details of importance, sprinkled with tips she has learned over her years of experience.” Barbara

“Laura gave us a great talk at Lakewold Gardens. She has inspired me to try to save my Clematis. So knowledgeable, funny, and patient!” Virginia

Knowledgeable effective speaker. Engaging.” Lynn

“Laura is very knowledgeable and informative. Very interesting talk!” Maureen

“Fantastic talk today! Laura is very knowledgeable about her subject, is easy to understand, good sense of humor and answered many questions for audience. Quite an enjoyable 90″ presentation!” Susan

“Laura recently spoke to an interest group in my garden club and created so much enthusiasm that we hope to have her return to speak to the whole club, soon.” Amanda

“I was lucky enough to be a guest today at a Lake Forest Park Garden Club meeting where Laura was the featured speaker. I thought her presentation was just wonderful… loved the clematis photos and her narrative was informative, relaxed and entertaining. I learned a lot and am newly inspired to add more clematis to my yard, with fresh ideas of additional ways to use them and a better understanding of how to cultivate and care for them. Thanks so much Laura!”  Kathie

“Our NPA group visited Laura on June 24th. She gave us a very informative talk and power point presentation on Clematis. The highlight of was a walk through her garden all along learning more about the plants she has in her garden. Laura loves what she does and she shows that as she shares her experience and garden with us.”  Sherril

“Am ready to add more Clematis to my garden with confidence thanks to Laura. Will attend her programs whenever possible.”  Judy B

“Fun, nice pace,great slideshow, personal testimony of her clematis collection, open to questions. I just could listen to her once a month and sing her praises.Jean Dutton Happy Thyme Garden Club.”  Jean

“Laura’s presentation to our group on Clematis Made Easy was clear, informative, engaging…and she demystifies the pruning groups. I plan to add more clematis to my garden soon!”  Renee

“Clemaniac Laura Watson inspires listeners to grow Clematis, regardless of how you pronounce it or the size of your garden. She illustrates the blooms, the growing strategies and the potential Clematis adds to the garden. She knows these plants and if you have an opportunity to hear her presentation you will know so much more than you did before. You will be off to find room in your garden for these wonderful plants. Her program at the 2016 Northwest Flower & Garden Show delighted her audience.”  Linda

“Delightful and informative!  Laura’s presentation is delightfully pleasant, delivered with the necessary information to be successful on your own, and her slides are inspiring. Your time will be well spent.”  Julie

“I’ve Laura speak many times. She is passionate, smart, and energetic. I consider her an expert in all things in the garden, especially clematis!”  Nancy S

“Make Use of Laura Watson!  I have heard her speak on several aspects of gardening and would definitely recommend her as a speaker. She is both knowledgeable and warm in her enthusiasm. Highly recommend her.”  Mona

“Wonderful speaker!  I have heard Laura Watson speak on the growing and care of Clematis, and I think she is a wonderful, and enthusiastic speaker.”    Helga

“Clematis Passion!  I’ve heard Laura speak many times. She is passionate, smart, and energetic. I consider her an expert in all things in the garden, especially clematis!”  Nancy

“Outstanding!  Laura is probably the world’s best clematis guru! Her in-depth knowledge, her presentation skills and her personality make her “the best of the best”. I can’t wait to hear her again.”  Fotini

“She is a wonderful speaker, very knowledgeable and entertaining.
She loves her clematis!”  Judy S

“…what a wonderful talk you gave to our group…You were one of the two very best speakers I have heard in over five years of monthly speakers!  You were so informative, clear and knowledgeable (and prepared!).”  JW

“Wonderful Speaker!  ‘Clemaniac’ Laura Watson gave a wonderfully informative presentation to our Garden Club on ‘Clematis Made Easy’. Laura was energetic, knowledgeable, and fun! Would definitely have her back!”  Karen

“Laura Watson gave a delightful and entertaining presentation to Dash Point Garden Club. Her photo’s and knowledge of Clematis was just amazing!”  Kathy


  1. Katie Swickard said,

    January 13, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    Hi Laura, The Late Bloomer’s Garden Club of Maple Valley/Covington will be meeting next week to plan our 2017 meetings. You have been highly recommended by the Plant & Wish Garden Club as a speaker.

    How much do you charge for your presentations? If we are able to book you we would try to reserve a meeting room at a local library and have your talk open to the public. However, we could also hold the meeting in a member’s home and keep it a closed meeting.

    We were considering October as our first choice and May as second. At our meeting we will discuss changing our regular meeting day, so can’t give you a specific date request until next week.

    Looking forward to hearing from you!

    Katie Swickard


    • January 13, 2017 at 5:58 pm

      Hi, Katie,

      I would be delighted to give a talk to your group, whether open to the public or not. I will email you privately with the information you request.




  2. said,

    January 21, 2017 at 4:28 pm

    Soos Creek Botanical Garden (located near Kent/Covington) is looking for a clematis speaker for their Red Barn Speakers Series. Programs are on the 3rd Wed, April-Sept, at 12:30pm. Most last 75 to 90 minutes. No charge for our visitors, but we do offer a speaker’s stipend.
    24-30 is our typical attendance. Openings are for July 19th and August
    16th. Hope to hear from you, Laura. You come highly recommended!
    Book or plant sales by speakers are welcomed!


  3. Tory Bennett said,

    May 3, 2023 at 9:01 pm

    Hi Laura this is your Enumclaw Clematis fan, I’m in charge of getting speakers for next years Chinook District Garden Club meetings and of course I want you!! I know you spoke at Auburn Garden Club and this is in Auburn but….this is the District meeting so it includes 6 differnt clubs. Still need to get dates to set up but you were number 1 on my list of speakers to get!!


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