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What audiences say about my presentations:

Jay Sifford is a gifted artist who uses plant material to create great beauty. His ... perspectives on design principles were well-described and interesting"

"Thought provoking, incredible ideas, alternate ways to see"

“Can't get enough of your beautiful gardens"

“Wonderful and so inspirational”

“Outstanding! A magical breath of fresh air”

“You're reconnecting people with why they garden"

"Spoke to my heart - thank you"

I would be delighted to speak to your garden club, professional association or trade show on my approach to immersive garden design. Contact me at to discuss availability, topic and fees. Topics I speak on are below.

Recent and upcoming engagements include:

February 2024: Greenville Master Gardeners Symposium, Greenville, SC

March 2024: University of GA State Botanical Garden's Annual Friends Keynote, Athens, GA

May 2024: Olbrich Botanical Gardens Virtual Lecture Series, Madison, WI

October 2024: Perennial Plant Society of Middle TN, Nashville, TN

January 2025: Charlotte Garden Club, Charlotte, NC

February 2025: York County Master Gardeners' Joy of Gardening Symposium, Richburg, SC

Past lectures include: Speaking of Gardening Asheville Symposium, American Conifer Society, Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, Virginia Horticultural Foundation, Georgia Perennial Plant Association, South Carolina Festival of Flowers, North American Rock Garden Society/Piedmont Chapter, Charlotte Garden Club, Master Gardeners of Gaston County, Garden Gallivants and more.

Rhodwood: Crafting a Dream in the NC Mountains

Featured in Fine Gardening and Southern Living, my Zone 6b mountain garden (just 3 years old) continues to reveal new beauty as I experiment with nature's plant palette. Named after the hundreds of rhododendron native to the property when I bought it, this talk shares my seasonal journey in creating this oasis.

My Greatest Design Lessons

Hear my personal discoveries from 20 years of garden design, plus lessons from other designers. Learn how to create a magical, immersive and profound space versus 'decorating a yard.' I share tips on rhythm, lines, shapes and light; creating theater using scrim; and the power of emotion.

The Power of the Line: How Angles and Curves Create a More Dynamic Garden 

Learn how to create a more joyful garden by harnessing the emotions evoked by angles, shapes and lines within your design. Examples from advertising, architecture and many landscapes reveal the effective use of these elements, and show how to elevate your outdoor spaces.

The Stroll Garden:  The Nuts and Bolts, The Magic and The Metaphor

“Not all those who wander are lost” wrote Tolkien. Learn the components of a stroll garden: unique entrances to interesting paths, immersive seating areas to intriguing plant combinations. Your audience will be inspired to create a space that encourages and celebrates the art of wandering.

Let's Make Some Garden Magic!

A garden is more than a way to decorate a yard, or a collection of plants. It’s an immersive place, full of magic, mystery, intrigue and surprises that connects to our inner being and transports us to another place and time. Learn how to design a magical garden that allows your imagination to soar.

My Garden, My Teacher

A well-crafted garden can teach us so much about design, life, and ourselves. This in-depth look at my personal gardens touches on design lessons (and life lessons, too) that it has taught me over the years.