Horticultural Design & Services

About Us and Presentations

With a Master's degree from the University of Pennsylvania (1989) and a Doctoral degree in Education from Immaculata University (2002), Dr. McKnight-Seltzer is an experienced educator.

Mary L. McKnight-Seltzer, Ed.D.

Master Gardener, Penn State University (2003 to present). Consulting Rosarian (2011 to 2022) and Master Rosarian (2022 to present), American Rose Society. Current President of the Philadelphia Rose Society (2020 to present).

Established in 2007, Ideas in Bloom combines the science of botany with the art of design. So, your garden becomes a beautiful, welcoming, and rewarding place.

Our philosophy: There is a creative solution to every gardening problem, for example, a steep slope, a neighbor's less-than-attractive yard features, and heavy shade.The right plant for the right place assures success.

As a Master Gardener from Penn State University since 2003,and as a paid presenter for the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society from 2008 to 2013, Dr. McKnight~Seltzer offers you competent, professional service. She welcomes the opportunity to deliver personalized and caring work, tailored just for the look you want for your garden. Also, a Certificate in Landscape Design and Master Home Gardening from Temple University (2010) helps her to bring you the most up-to-date offerings from the horticultural field. The photos on this website show examples of her work in her garden and those of her clients.

Our company is based on the belief that our customers' needs are of the utmost importance. Our entire team is committed to meeting those needs. As a result, a high percentage of our business is from repeat customers and referrals.

We would welcome the opportunity to earn your trust and deliver you the best service in the industry.


PowerPoint presentations with handouts for attendees are available on a variety of horticultural topics for a fee of $225.00 :

New for 2023 **

**Composting 101

Adding compost to your existing soil not only results in healthier, more beautiful plants, but also saves money & time. And by recycling food scraps and newspapers, composting helps Mother Earth.

**For the Love of Peonies

Learn about America's second most favorite flower which is extremely hardy and reliable, easy to grow, and often delightfully fragrant.

**The Best Plants for Shade

Stop wasting money on the wrong plants for your garden. Discover beautiful plants---even flowering ones---to enhance your yard.

Lush Landscapes for Small Spaces

Want to do the most with the yard you have? Even "postage stamps" can become full, lush, creative, and rewarding. Learn techniques to enhance your yard with plants that bring color, interest, and cohesiveness: a cozy retreat!

The Cutting Garden

Interested in a garden to grow flowers and interesting plants for floral arrangements? Learn how-to establish a space for snipping & enjoying.

Colorful Shade Gardening

Too much shade need not be an obstacle to a colorful, fragrant, and enjoyable garden. This presentation demonstrates ways to brighten your outdoors with foliage, texture, and flowers.

Indoor Landscaping with Colorful & Flowering Houseplants

Utilize design concepts and suggestions to literally bring the outdoors in. Medicine for the winter blues.

All About Roses

How to select, plant, and maintain America's favorite flower!

Simply Roses

Features the easiest roses to grow in our area.

Preparing the Garden for Winter

Help plants survive the winter winds and temperatures & help the gardener to be set to hit the ground running the following spring.

Planting for Four Seasons of Interest

Regardless of the season your landscape should always have interest and give pleasure.

Dependable Perennials for Low-Maintenance Gardens

Plant the tried and true garden stalwarts and take the guesswork out of gardening. Save time, effort, and money.

Summer Bulbs

Learn what bulbs, rhizomes, and corms to plant in May & June for beautiful and often fragrant blooms in July, August, September, and October...tuberous begonias, gladiolus, and lilies, for example.

All About Houseplants

Tropical and subtropical plants enjoy warmth in summer and winter. Treat them properly and they will thrive.

Gorgeous Variegated Houseplants: Selection & Care

Love color inside your house? Share your home with these winners!

Everyday Composting

Don't throw out your vegetable & fruit scraps, egg shells, coffee grounds, and tea bags. Toss them with garden leaves and newspapers and voila la: black gold for the garden!

Selection, Care, and Maintenance of Garden Tools

They are expensive and a better help to you when clean and sharp.

Gardening for Beginners

Basics about soil, plant selection, and garden design.

Gardening Tips & Tricks

The right plant for the right place; put a 50 cent plant in a $5 hole; and other helpful hints.

Landscape Design

Garden styles, working with the existing features of your yard, and color combinations for the "WOW" factor or for serenity.

Fragrance in the Garden: the Nose Knows

Enjoy sweet scents as you relax in your yard: feel your mood lift.

Ask about other gardening topics!

Upcoming Presentations

( List is incomplete.)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Companion Plants for Roses

for the West Jersey Rose Society

Medford Leas

Medford, NJ

Saturday, March 9, 2013


Roses Q & A

Following a rose-pruning demonstration. A panel of rosarians from the Philadelphia Rose Society answer roses questions in an informal setting. Free with admission to the Arboretum

Morris Arboretum

Philadelphia, PA

Saturday, March 23, 2013


Everything's Coming Up Roses!

Floral & Hardy

4007 Skippack Pike

Skippack, PA

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


All About Shade Gardens

Elkins Park Public Library

Elkins Park, PA

Thursday, April 11, 2013


Summer Bulbs: Plant in Spring for Summer Bloom

Lower Gwynedd Township Building

Springhouse, PA

Monday, April 15, 2013


Lush Landscaping for Small Spaces

Roslyn Free Library

Roslyn, PA

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


Roses Made Easy

Elkins Park Library

Elkins Park, PA

Monday, April 22, 2013


Roses 101

Tacony Free Public Library

Torresdale Avenue & Knorr Street

Philadelphia, PA

Tuesday, April 30, 2013


A Four Season Garden

Glenside Public Library

Glenside, PA

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

For The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society

Summer Bulbs: Plant Now for Summer Enjoyment

KROC Center

Philadelphia, PA

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


Lush Landscapes for Small Spaces

Fox Chase Public Library

Philadelphia, PA

Thursday, June 13, 2013


Lush Landscapes for Small Spaces

Lower Gwynedd Township Building

Bethlehem Pike

SpringHouse, PA

Examples of Earlier PowerPoint Presentations

Simply Roses

Roslyn Public Library

Roslyn, PA

For the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society

All About Roses

Conshohoken Library

301 Fayette Street

Conshohocken, PA

For the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society

Small-Space Gardening

PHS Philadelphia International Flower Show

Convention Center

Philadelphia, PA

Indoor Gardening with Colorful & Flowering Houseplants

Old York Road Garden Club Grace Presbyterian Church

Old York Road

Jenkintown, PA

Simply Roses

Springfield Public Library

Papermill Road

Springfield, PA

For the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society

Dependable Perennials for Low Maintenance Gardens

Holmesburg Free Library of Philadelphia

7810 Frankford Avenue


For the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society

All About Roses

Old York Road Garden Club

Grace Presbyterian Church

Old York Road

Jenkintown, PA

For the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society

Yet More About Roses

Dickinson Square

4th & Tasker Streets

Philadelphia, PA

For the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society

The Four Season Garden

Wadsworth Free Library

1500 Wadsworth Ave.

Philadelphia, PA

For the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society

A Garden for All Seasons

Whitemarsh Township Bldg.

616 Germantown Pike

Lafayette Hill, PA

Indoor Landscaping with Colorful & Flowering Houseplants

Maple Glen Garden Club

Springfield, PA

Fun with Holiday Flowers and Houseplants

Ambler Senior Activities Center

45 Forest Avenue

Ambler, PA

For the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society

Your Indoor Garden

Norristown Public Library

Swede St.

Norristown, PA

For the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society

All About Houseplants

Whitpain Farms

Butler Pike

Blue Bell, PA

Gardening in Small Spaces

North Wales Library

Lansdale, PA

For the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society

Variegated Houseplants

Glenside Library

Keswick Avenue

Glenside, PA

For the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society

Container Gardening

Blue Bell Public Library

Skippack Pike

Blue Bell, PA

Beautiful Container Gardens

Gwynedd Estates

Norristown Road

Ambler. PA

For the Philadelphia Horticultural Society

The Cutting Garden

Morris Arboretum

Northeastern Avenue

Philadelphia, PA

Let's Get Growing: A Gardening Lecture Series for 2011

12:30pm to 2pm

Lectures below are in the Center on the Hill in

The Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill

8855 Germantown Avenue

Philadelphia, PA 19118

Cost: $15 per person/per lecture which includes detailed handouts

Please register with Jackie Yorko at 215-247-4654

Tuesday, April 12.....Easy Indoor Landscaping with Colorful & Flowering Houseplants.....Practical advice about selecting, caring for, and

arranging houseplants to add beauty and life to your home, including the best plants for the best places.

Tuesday, April 19.....Gardening in Smaller Spaces.....Small gardens can be intimate and charming with some simple designs and gardening "tricks of the trade."

Tuesday, May 3.....Roses Made Easy.....Simple and straightforward steps for enjoying roses from May through October, including rose selection, planting, care, and maintenance with a What to do When calender.

Tuesday, May 17.....Four Seasons of Interest.....Learn to select plants and design your garden so that you can enjoy your landscape more and have flowers blooming from January to November.

Tuesday, May 24.....Success with Shade Gardening.....Brighten up dark areas of your landscape with the best plants for shade in our growing area---even many flowering plants!

Tuesday, June 7.....Container Gardening.....Containers can be an attractive, practical

, space-saving, and versatile way to grow plants---from small trees and shrubs to flowers to vegetables and herbs. Our class will explore this portable world.

Earth laughs in flowers.

~Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Hamatreya"