Vanessa Gardner Nagel, FAPLD, NCIDQ, is an award-winning landscape and interior designer, published garden author, former interior design columnist, and popular design speaker who lives in Olympia, Washington.

Schedule a Talk with Vanessa

Vanessa is a nationally-recognized outdoor furnishings and garden design expert with over 40 years of design expertise and 50 years as a gardener.

She has written two books: Understanding Garden Design and The Professional Designer’s Guide to Garden Furnishings. In 2020 she received the APLD’s highest honor: the Award of Distinction.

She loves telling stories together with photo-rich, design-focused PowerPoint presentations (if PowerPoint is not available, she draws on a whiteboard to accompany specific subjects), inspires and helps audience members to become better gardeners, and create better-designed, more livable gardens.

As an engaged, fun, and interactive speaker she speaks to audiences across the United States on topics such as:

Interior layout and garden planning

Indoor and outdoor lighting

Material selection

Plant selection

Garden paths and interior circulation

Furniture and art selection

Need a Speaker for Your Event?

Check designer Vanessa Gardner Nagel’s schedule, then contact her for your event.

Vanessa Gardner Nagel

Why People Hire Vanessa to Speak

“Best design presentation”

Yours was the best design presentation I ever heard, Vanessa. I never take notes. I took notes.
—Michael A. Dirr, Ph.D, horticulturist, and professor of horticulture at the University of Georgia

“Wonderful compliments about your class”

I have received so many wonderful comments about your class yesterday. I’ve had a bunch of emails from people telling me how great it was. Seems you knocked it out of the park! Late this evening, a lady actually called me to tell me how much she needed your presentation. So, yes, more like this! Thanks so much for being a great presenter (and person)!
—Stacie McGraw, Executive Director, The Virginia Horticultural Foundation

“Sharing your craft”

Thank you for sharing your craft and charm with our guests.
—Karen Ramus, owner, Lane County Home & Garden Show, Eugene, OR

“I have wanted you here for a few years”

Thank you so much for taking the time to come to the Garden Club to speak. I have wanted you here for a few years!
—Marsha Freed, Portland Garden Club, Portland, OR

“Rave reviews from the audience”

Vanessa Gardner Nagel’s seminar on ‘Understanding Basic Design Principles’ at the NW Flower & Garden Show received rave reviews from the audience. Using humor and a relaxed manner, she discussed the principles of garden design in a well-organized fashion that both beginners and more experienced gardeners could grasp. Her images reinforced the concepts perfectly. ‘She’s an excellent teacher and she will likely write a good book.’ wrote one audience reviewer.’ ‘She’s great – have her back!’, said another. She will definitely be returning as a garden show speaker next year!
—Janet Endsley, Northwest Flower and Garden Show (2010)