I'm grateful for these generous reviews and I'd like to
share them with you -
Lesley Parness is delighting garden clubs throughout the Garden State with her inspired programs taking us back in time via her entertaining, historically accurate
accounts of gardening through the ages. Seek her out for fascinating, memorable programs.
Jeannie Geremia, President, The Garden Club of New Jersey
Our library patrons love Lesley's talk and they always get rave reviews. She is a consumate professional and a pleasure to work with.
Marcela Dunham, Program Coordinator, Somerset County Library System
Josephine: The Empress Gardened
The talk about your talk still hasn't died down! Everyone loved hearing about Josephine, her life and gardens and roses. Thank you so much for such an engaging and informative program and for sharing your scholarship and humor with us.
Ashley Formento, Program Chair, Contemporary Garden Club of Princeton
A fascinating combination of history, gardening & intrigue. We were spellbound!
Judy Snow, The Chrysanthemum Society, Hunterdon, N.J. Chapter
Through her lecture on Empress Josephine, Lesley Parness celebrated the life of this great lady. In weaving together lore and history, Parness engaged us with her passion, wealth of knowledge, and truly alluring speaking style. Shauna Moore, Horticulture Supervisor, Somerset County Park Commission
Josephine – The Empress Gardened was a beautifully presented program , full of interesting history and horticultural information. Lesley Parness is an articulate, first class presenter who has done her research and has deep horticultural roots.
Bonnie Joachim,Program Coordinator, Friends of Laurelwood Arboretum
On behalf of the Short Hills Garden Club, I want to thank you for your terrific presentation on the indomitable Empress Josephine. It was both fun and informative and I will forever think of Napoleon Bonaparte as a "hot mess." Many members told me how much they learned and enjoyed it.
Diana Moriarity, Program Chair, The Short Hills Garden Club
Beyond the Potted Palm: Victorian and their Houseplants
Thank you Lesley. Your presentation “Beyond the Potted Palms : Victorians and their Houseplants” was a magical journey through botany, history, culture, geography and artistry. Your meticulous attention to detail was rivaled only by your masterful exploration of the Victorian penchant for house plants.
Rupa Ranganathan, President, Garden Club of Mount Tabor
I cannot tell you how very much we enjoyed Lesley’s engaging talk entitled “Beyond the Potted Palm." Her style, the incredible history of the Victorian era, together with the magnificent slides that were so meticulously selected, all presented for a most completely interesting evening! What a great night!!!
Maddy Marziotta, Program Chair Woodbridge Garden Club and Garden Club of Metuchen
Medicinal Plants of the Civil War
Fascinating! We highly anticipate your next lecture.
Richard Rosenthal, President, North Jersey Civil War Round Table
On behalf of the members of the MGBC, I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you for a most comprehensive presentation. It was fascinating, illuminating, and enchanting at the same time.
Smadar Shemmesh, Corresponding Secretary, Master Gardeners of Bergen County
Your talk sparked the curiosity of two Master Gardeners to pursue the topic of plants as medicine. One intends to write an article for our newsletter on a topic related to your talk and another is going to lead his committee in the creation of a garden that focuses on medicinal herbs and their use.
Pat Lagunas, Program Committee Co-Chair, Mercer County Master Gardeners
Lesley Parness is a masterful speaker and teacher. She wove the story of how medicinal plants were crucial to both sides during the Civil War against the backdrop of the shocking state of American medicine in the mid-19th century. The audience was fascinated - from beginning gardeners to a Phd in the history of medicine.
Susan Newberry, President, Durand-Hedden House and Garden
Growing Great Garlic
You sure did fill up 2 hours with information on garlic! We left believing that garlic is the king of the garden! I never knew what I didn't know about garlic!
Attendees at The Frelinghuysen Arboretum, Morristown, N.J.
A wonderful program for any gardener. Our Club members left Lesley's program ready to grow and harvest great garlic bulbs next Summer.
Arleen Carlson, Program Chair, Allentown NJ Garden Club
Drama Queens: Dark Beauties of the Garden
Thank you so much for your stunning presentation! I've had feedback from just about everyone on the Zoom call and they loved it! One picture was more fun or interesting than the next.
Our members were thrilled! You reviewed over 75 dark beauties including annuals, perennials, succulents, grasses, shrubs, and trees with fabulous photographs of gardens, sweeping landscapes and containers. Your wonderful presentation left us ready to run to the nurseries and catalogs. I highly recommend this program.
Pam Peters, President, Essex Garden Club
Lesley delighted the Maplewood Garden Club with her enchanting photographs of “Dark Beauties." Her comprehensive presentation left members wanting to incorporate these “Drama Queens” into their own gardens. I highly recommend this program.
Margo Greene, Program Chair, Maplewood Garden Club
What fabulous images! You have inspired us to seek out black plants for our gardens and containers.
Jean Agostelli, Master Gardeners of Hunterdon County
Gardening in the Age of Elizabeth I, or Bring the Bard to Your Yard
As a student of English history as well as an avid gardener, I found the presentation most enjoyable. There was much fascinating information about a dynamic period in garden history, and the plants that were being used at the time.
Sally Hemsen, Past President, The Friends of The Frelinghuysen Arboretum
I thoroughly enjoyed your presentation on the Elizabethan garden. Your knowledge is extensive. I am legally blind therefore I really enjoyed your very descriptive narrative.
Ursula Rucki, - Program Committee Co-Chair, Montville Garden Club
Suitable for Framing: A Victorian Woman's Place in Botanic Art
Lesley is a delightful storyteller and historian. Always filled with her wry humor, her presentations never fail to delight. “Suitable for Framing” is filled with beautiful illustrations and photographs. It is a fascinating portrait of women’s contributions to the world of botanical art and a must for all lovers of horticulture, art and women!
Jenna Doscher - Program Manager, Hanson Park Conservancy
The information Lesley provided was fresh and enlightening. Lesley’s engaging manner set a tone of ease and intimacy with the viewers, even within the online context. The graphics presented comprised a unique interface of illustrations, artist portraits, and aesthetically formatted text. Lesley’s vast knowledge and enthusiasm left us with a desire to learn more about these talented, brilliant women.
Anne Chmielewski, Program Co-Chair West Trenton Garden Club
The Real Housewives of New Jersey: Early American Women & their Kitchen Gardens
The Real Housewives Program was an inspiring glimpse into history. The beautiful pictures combined with Lesley's unique teaching style made me want to experiment with historical plants and appreciate all these women did to take care of their families. I look forward to visiting many of the garden sites Lesley recommended.
Melissa Almendinger - Community Garden Manager, Duke Farms
Thank you so much for the great presentation! I feel like my understanding of New Jersey history has been enriched in very important ways -
I will be happy to endorse you as a speaker to anyone!
Jennifer Miller - Adult Services Librarian, Scotch Plains Library