Audience Reviews

Karen’s audiences are talking about her…

“Karen’s lecture was a big hit at our annual Spring Symposium. Karen’s lectures are well-organized, light hearted and packed with useful information. She is well-versed on a wide range of design and plant topics and her artistic and observant eye captures the very essence of each garden and plant in the slideshow of photographs she uses to illustrate her presentations. She is an engaging speaker who keeps the audience wanting more.”

Christine Froehlich-Sanguedolce, Executive Director
The Rochester Civic Garden Center, Rochester, NY

A true artist!

“Karen is an amazing photographer and a true artist in every sense of the word. When she teaches, she makes her subject so approachable. She is down to earth, funny, and so tuned in to the natural world. She has spoken at my garden center (Natureworks) and packed our tent to rave reviews. I have attended many of her lectures and have always come away with fresh ideas and inspiration. And her photographs! Truly breathtaking.”

Nancy DuBrule-Clemente
Natureworks, Northford, CT

“Karen is an excellent speaker and is super-knowledgeable about plants. She is also a pleasure to work with. My missive is from the perspective of a program coordinator. Karen is no prima donna kind of speaker and does not require any hand-holding. She arrives and is ready to go. She comes with sufficient, and descriptive handouts and does not present one with last minute technology requests. She does not lose her place in the talk, in spite of the endless interruptions of an audience that has been asked to hold their questions to the end. She is a gracious answerer of even the most basic questions and a thoughtful answerer of the more difficult ones. Karen creates a warm inclusive feeling in the room – that is rare and special. Karen prepared a talk for us based on an article she had written. It was the first time out for this talk, but no one would have known that – she was well prepared. In short, Karen is a program coordinator’s dream speaker.”

Once again….

“Karen returned to The Frelinghuysen Arboretum, this time to speak on Edible Ornamentals. She put this talk together for us on request, which is unique – the vast majority of speakers have canned talks and will not entertain such an idea. Karen does not write a talk in a vacuum. Her images are taken from many gardens, highlighting her good relationships with other gardeners and the camaraderie of gardening. She takes the viewer into the greater gardening world. Guests are invariably encouraged and not overwhelmed by Karen’s images. This is key to developing members, as images of gardens that are unobtainable do little to increase botanic garden membership. These are important adjunct attributes to being a superior garden speaker.”

Lesley Parness, Superintendent of Horticultural Education
Freylinghuysen Arboretum, Morris Township, NJ

“Karen’s gardening knowledge and passion is well-articulated in her lecture with fabulous slides to support her inspiration for using silver plants to bring luminous beauty to the landscape. Her book, Elegant Silvers: Striking Plants for Every Garden, is lavishly illustrated with many color photographs that have inspired me to try new ideas in my own woodland garden.”

Mary Biber, Friends of Powell Gardens Board Member
Kansas City Garden Symposium

“Karen Bussolini’s talk  “Designing with Elegant Silvers” was beautifully illustrated with her photographs. Her delivery is informal and friendly, with quiet humor. The audience loved it and bought lots of her books. I can certainly recommend her as an in interesting, informative and endearing speaker.”

Pam Perryman, President
The Willamette Valley Hardy Plant Group, Eugene, OR

“Your talk was just wonderful – sophisticated and artistic. Everyone loved it.”

Claudia Van Nes
President, The Herb Society of America, Connecticut Unit

Karen spoke to my garden club in November 2012. She is an engaging speaker and talented photographer. Her discussion on techniques for creating beautiful, environmentally friendly gardens that conserve natural resources while decreasing costs and maintenance is timely, and something we should all try to achieve. Sasqua Garden Club and I highly recommend Karen as a speaker.”

Jane Cary
Fairfield, CT

“Thank you again, Karen, for your most professional lecture.”

“This woman is fantastic! Well-versed and a real artist.”

“Karen Bussolini is a great gardener with a sophisticated eye for color, texture, plant combinations.”

Comments from Cornell University Cooperative Extension, Westchester County garden lecture series evaluation forms

“The members of The Garden Club of Irvington would like to thank you very much for the excellent lecture, “A Technophobe’s Guide to Garden Photography”.

The feedback from attendees was very positive. Many said you had given them new ways to look at their gardens, and not just through the lens. Your presentation gave us much good, clear advice on how to solve basic problems when photographing our gardens. The fact that you, yourself, are a gardener, certainly added a greater dimension as well.”

Gerrie Shapiro, Program Chair
The Garden Club of Irvington-On-Hudson (NY)

“Karen co-lead a training day for Audubon Connecticut’s Audubon At Home program on creating bird friendly habitats utilizing native plants and sustainable garden design features for people interested in creating these types of spaces on their properties. Her depth of knowledge and breadth of work accompanied by beautiful photo depictions of the various garden designs was inspiring and engaged the audience in the story of garden design and the beauty of native plants and their connections to the health of biodiversity. Her message was clear and people reacted to her and her story.

Audubon’s goal was to connect with people in a new and engaging way and Karen helped us achieve that. The lecture was well received and we look forward to additional opportunities to include Karen in Audubon’s public programs.”

Taralynn Reynolds, Audubon At Home Coordinator
Connecticut Audubon

“Karen’s “Naturescaping” program was a wonderful part of the Bethel Garden Club’s annual gardening series at the Bethel Public Library. The audience appreciated her extensive knowledge, passion for the subject, and willingness to answer questions, as reflected in the very positive feedback we received from them. We recommend Karen highly.”

Bethel Public Library, Bethel, CT

“Thank you for participating in The New York Botanical Garden’s American Gardening Lecture Series. So many people stopped to tell me how informative and enjoyable it was. In addition, the School of Professional Horticulture students were thrilled to have the opportunity to spend some time with you during lunch.

Sharing your knowledge and expertise was appreciated by all.”

Sabine Stezenbach, Director of Continuing Education
The New York Botanical Garden

“Karen came to our library to speak about creating a natural backyard retreat. She is an outstanding photographer and a “comfortable” speaker, who will answer your questions and address gardening concerns. She has gorgeous gardening books to her credit, and we thoroughly enjoyed her talk. We plan to ask her back again soon!”

Donna Miller, Director
Lucy Robbins Welles Library, Newington, CT

Karen is a wonderful presenter and speaks with a knowledge that comes from hands on experience. Her photography is beautiful and her approachability is greatly appreciated. Our garden club members are still talking about her presentation. She is a true professional and a great inspiration.”

Anne Baril
Gentian Garden Club, North Scituate, RI

“Great Lecture”

Karen was our guest speaker for IT MATTERS! film & lecture series host by Kent Energy & Environmental Task Force. She gave a wonderful talk on Landscaping with Native Plants: Healing Our Home Turf. Her photographs and breadth of knowledge were extraordinary. Our audience left feeling inspired to look at their yards and properties in a new way!”

Karren Garrity
Kent Environmental and Energy Task Force

“I was lucky enough to have met Karen Bussolini and serve to introduce her at the Hartford, CT Flower & Garden Show 2011. I especially enjoyed the eloquent style as she covered Landscaping with Native Plants: Healing Our Home Turf. It was apparent to me and many in the audience her knowledge is backed with a history and she presented this topic in a truly enjoyable fashion! I would love to see Karen speak again!”

Cathy Testa
Hartford, CT

“Great Speaker”

“Karen’s presentation to our Garden Club on garden photography was informative, instructional and delivered in such a light and fun way that was not intimidating to the beginner photographer. She shared some of her professional tips and techniques and by the end of the talk you wanted to grab your camera and start shooting! She had a wonderful delivery and was so approachable. A refreshing speaker who wants to help others learn!”

Lisa Hurst
Greenwich, CT

Karen gave an excellent presentation on Designing With Elegant Silvers at the 2010 UConn Garden Conference. She received rave reviews from the 300 conference attendees. Karen’s knowledge of the subject, presentation skills, and value of information were rated highly. Karen was a delight to have as a speaker at the Garden Conference. Her talk was very informative and the audience loved her. She is a superb photographer and showed beautiful images during her presentation.”

Donna Ellis, Senior Extension Educator
University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT

“Thank you so so much for a great class. I really appreciated it and found it quite helpful. Using examples of how photographs don’t work is the best way to approach the subject!  And then, of course, showing what does.”

Attendee at Berkshire Botanical Garden photo workshop

“Thank you so much for coming to Litchfield and delivering your wonderful talk to our Club.  This is definitely the season when we are all anxious to “jazz up” our gardens, so your slides and terrific handout have spurred us on!  You would have been so pleased at the wonderful feedback I received about you — not just complimenting your program and garden knowledge, but on how nice you are!  Everyone felt as though a family member was in our midst.”

Susan M, Litchfield Garden Club
Litchfield, CT

“Karen’s photographs are beautiful celebrations of plant species and gardens. The insights she expresses in her images have taught me new ways to look at plants. They are an essential gardening tool!”

Thomas Christopher, horticulturist and author
Middletown, CT

“Your presentation last night was great, and refreshing on a cold January night. I have already received several emails from members today saying how much they enjoyed it! Thanks for coming to Harwinton!

Leslie Sheldon, Harwinton Garden Club, January 15, 2016

Karen Promotes the Joy of Garden Creativity

“Karen is one of the finest garden photographers working today. Combine her images with a winning and humorous speaking style and you have a one-two combination which is hard to beat. She leaves audiences feeling cheerful and inspired to get outside and be creative in their own gardens.”

Carol Stocker, Boston Globe garden columnist

For the latest reviews, check out Karen’s page on Great Garden