Header image  
Horticultural Education, Lectures,
Writing, Photography
line decor
  Home  ::  Schedule  ::  Visit Conifers  ::  Buy Conifers  :: Publications  :: Reviews  ::   Reading
line decor

Raves for Richard's Lectures

"Your presentation was fabulous!!"  Master Gardeners of St Clair County, Michigan, Annual Symposium, March 2015


"The world outside looks different now that the course is over. It actually looked different after the first session, as suddenly conifers seemed to be everywhere, in all their marvellous shapes and tones. Not many classes affect my vision."
"I now see the world in a completely different way."
"Excellent instructor and enjoyed his sense of humor and stories mixed in with the course."
"Richard not only delivers gret information in a clear and memorable manner, he also imparts a real love of conifers to the student"
"Very organized"
Overall Class Ratings: 100% for Clearness of explanations, Knowledge of subject matter, Verbal communication with class, and Organization of content.

Students, Horticulture Certificate Program, Barnes Arboretum School,  October-December 2014

"The talk and presentation was marvellous!  I've got lots of enthusiastic responses from members. Please think about coming back..."  Educational Chair of the Atlantic Rhododendron and Horticultural Society, Halifax, Nova Scotia   November 2014


"The conifer presentation was breath-taking and very informative." President
"The presentation and images could not have been better."
Attendee, Tanger Arboretum Annual Meeting, Lancaster, PA   April 2014


“You were in top form. Your presentation kept your audience rapt and silent. I have never heard this group silent--no rustling, coughing, jiggling about in their chairs. They were enthralled. "Marvelous program" was the comment I received from many. "Outstanding program" was another.

We all were enchanted by your unique program and style: photographic deluge with a minimum of words. It was wonderful. And your words were so specific and on point. I especially noted your announcement of the length and format of your talk to cue your audience. Only a pro does that.

   President and Program Chairman, Garden Club of Bala Cynwyd, PA, November 2012


“Dr. Richard Bitner's expansive breadth of knowledge and his relaxed and comfortable lecture style, peppered with his dry wit, made for an entertaining and educational look at these invaluable plants. Gorgeously photographed, with a musical grand finale, one Northwest Flower & Garden Show attendee called it “a Zen Experience.”  I highly recommend Dr. Bitner for any group looking to broaden their knowledge and understanding of conifers.”
     Janet Endsley, Northwest Flower &  Garden Show, Seattle, WA, February 2012


“Thank you for speaking to the Delaware nursery and landscape industry at the Horticulture Industry Expo and Annual Pesticide Conference. Your talk, "Designing with Conifers" was terrific! Years of experience, extensive plant knowledge, great images, and an engaging personality are a winning combination. The books were a big hit, too. We got lots of feedback about the fabulous program and your talk was one of the reasons folks were impressed.
        Valann Budischak,  Executive Director, DNLA,  January, 2012


“Thank you for an inspiring presentation yesterday. Everyone enjoyed seeing your examples of how to beautifully integrate conifers into our spaces.
         Program Chair, Federated Garden Clubs Maryland, District 1,  March 2012


“Just a quick thank you for a very informative, polished presentation that was perfect from beginning to end.  The combination of the beautiful photos, the music, and the vast amount of information made for a winning program, and I heard so many compliments.  You can be sure that I will pass your name along to other clubs.”

          -- Talbot County Garden Club, September 2007


“You were wonderful last night and your presentation was outstanding.  The mere fact that your book sold out and that we have orders for several more says it all.  We have never before sold out all copies of a speaker's book although we have come close”.

          -- Horticultural Society of Maryland, November 2007

 “Dr. Bitner captivated his audience with stunning photographs and practical information on selecting conifers for our gardens in the Northeast.”

          -- NE Regional Meeting, American Conifer Society, September 2007

 “His presentation was good enough to keep me away from the TV on a night when the Red Sox and Yankees were playing. His book was available at the convention but sold out before he got to the podium, it is that good.”

          -- Attendee at American Conifer Society meeting, September 2007

Thanks so much for your outstanding lecture Tuesday night. It was so inspirational! Your plant knowledge, humor, and absolutely fantastic images made for an exciting evening. Members of our UDBG volunteer group are still raving about the content of your lecture and how fluid and comfortable you are when speaking.
          -- University of Delaware Botanic Gardens

Media reviews of Designing with Conifers

 "This book is written for garden designers and other landscape professionals, but also for anyone who wants to learn more about how to effectively use conifers in garden settings. ... The clear color photographs help readers envision how incorporating conifers into established beds can enhance the overall design of the garden and provide that year-round interest we're all trying to achieve.... Designing with Conifers offers a great deal of practical information for creating harmonious landscapes that empoly conifers to their best effect. It will become a well-used resource in my lilbrary and a valuable aid when I meet with clients who want to add conifers to their gardens."
—Anne Marsh, The American Gardener, January - February, 2012. Anne is the cofounder of Marsh & Fear Garden Solutions

"Bitner will surely help solve the horticultural dilemma of why and how to use conifers."
-- Virginia Master Gardener Association Report  Jan/Feb 2012

"In his quest to rid the world of poor spruce placement and badly pruned shrubs, the author offers the reader well-organized, intelligent information to aid in making smarter design choices."
       -- American Bungalow  Number 72  Winter 2011

Media reviews of Conifers for Gardens

 "Bitner's book can save you years of dissatisfaction while providing the means to have a handsome landscape with healthy, robust specimens of wisely chosen conifers. Bitner provides insights on conifers that take you well beyond typical boring foundation plantings of pfitzers and yews."
—Barbara Perry Lawton, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, August 25, 2007

"Provides detailed plant profiles and cultivation requirements that help demystify conifer selection. An excellent resource."
—Alice Joyce, Booklist, May 2007

"Bitner's extensive knowledge of conifers and his matter-of-fact writing style make the reading fluid and the subject easy to understand."
—Jessica Arcate, American Gardener, November 2007

"Anyone buying this book will, quite simply, have to plant a conifer."
—Tony Kirkham, The Garden, October 2007

 "Will minimize the element of uncertainty in choosing a plant that may alter your yard for years to come."
—Eric Hofley, Michigan Gardener, October 2007

"A good reference book for those of us who want to add conifers to the landscape, as well as those of us who already have conifers in the landscape planted long ago that we want to learn more about."
Washington Gardener, September/October 2007

"[Bitner] has outdone his predecessors with 424 pages of meticulously researched information on 1,370 species and cultivars. Well-organized, informative, thorough, and richly illustrated."
—Ilene Sternberg, Green Scene, September/October 2007

 “Richard Bitner’s book is helpful to a gardener and tree-planter like me. His descriptions are spot-on and many of his photographs show alluring details of cone and needle that render certain species and cultivars dangerously irresistible. On a less whimsical note, his wide-ranging Introduction deals briefly but expertly with such topics as taxonomy, pests and diseases, breeding and landscaping.”
—David Wheeler, HORTUS, No. 84 Winter 2007

 Timber Press Customer reviews of Conifers for Gardens:

 "Best book yet on conifers! I will recommend it in my lectures, here at our conifer nursery and elsewhere. Superb!"
Samuel J. from Bishop, Georgia, November 8, 2007

"Very informative, great photographs, and very logical organization!"
Joe M. from Clinton, Delaware, June 12, 2007


Amazon.com Customer reviews of Conifers for Gardens:

 “An excellent guide to the great range of conifers available to gardeners and it shows you what they would look like in your garden. Well organized and easy to read…”   “If you have been intimidated by conifers in the past, you will be empowered after reading this book.”
D. Buchanan

“Bitner’s photographs are fantastic. They show the overall habit as well as beautiful close-up shots of the needles, cones and bark…his plant descriptions are thorough and informative…(his) crisp and descriptive writing style is refreshingly filled with tidbits and stories about conifers.”
Marilyn Daly


Longwood Gardens Continuing Education Certificate Course Student Evaluations

  “Bitner brought the joy and passion for plants back into the classroom.”

 “It would be hard to improve on this class. Dr. Bitner is a very capable and informative instructor. His lectures are well structured and fully illustrated.”

 “Dr. Bitner's classes are always a delight.  Well-prepared and presented, amazing photographic images, which makes learning fun and interesting.”

 “You're a pro! Your slides were amazing, the content well presented, and your sense of humor really made the class fun.”

 “Thank you so very much for teaching this class and sharing your vast knowledge of an awesome part of nature.”

 “I really did not realize the great and beautiful diversity of these plants. Now as I drive around I see the great variety and it has taken great control not to continually stop my car for a closer look.”

 “Thank you very much, Dr. Bitner, it was a lot of fun. I have a whole new appreciation for conifers.”

 “This was my favorite class so far that I've taken at Longwood.
I feel that this class has really opened my eyes to the wonderful world of conifers, I just LOVE them all!”

“…enthusiasm, depth of knowledge, skill in organization and presentation and precision were all factors that made this a life experience not just a course; it was a real privilege to be here; he looks into the face of each of these plants, sees their magic and draws us into a world of appreciation.”

 “The expertise mixed with humor…infects us with enthusiasm to learn…”

 “Instructor’s photos were fabulous!”

 “His subjective commentaries added a lot of depth to the course.”

 “…knowledgeable, funny, articulate; I can see why students are so fond of him.”

 “(Richard) is far and away the best instructor that I have had at Longwood; his slides are amazing, his lectures are full of wonderful information and he is always well-organized; his passion for gardening is infectious; I only wish he taught more than two courses!”

 “Dr. Bitner goes beyond just explaining the basic plant facts…. he gives background on what the plant is used for or mythology surrounding the plant; it is information like this that makes plants exciting and vibrant and makes the classes worth attending.”

 “The many, many excellent slides from all over North America, Canada, and Germany were outstanding; Dr. Bitner is passionate about Conifers, serious about class time, and has a good sense of humor."

 “...a skilled teacher. I never encountered such superb organizational skills before, and these were laced with personal experiences and copious amounts of information that so enhanced the entire experience.”