Airplanes in the Garden

Monarch Butterflies Take Flight
by Joan Z. Calder
Joan Calder, lifelong gardener, award winning author, horticulturist, farm girl and greenhouse curator loves to play in the dirt and impart her knowledge to a wide range of listeners. She shares her first-hand experience using a mix of enthusiasm and humor to give the audience down-to earth-suggestions and practical takeaways. 

Each presentation contains colorful PowerPoints and helpful handouts. Joan can customize her presentations as needed for garden clubs, symposiums, schools and whereever interested gardeners congregate.

Organizations that have hosted Joan include:

  • National Garden Festival
  • California Academy of Sciences
  • San Francisco Flower & Garden Show
  • Association of Education and Research Greenhouse Curators
  • University of California - Santa Barbara
  • GROW! A Garden Festival Los Angeles County Arboretum
  • Eugene Garden Club, Eugene, Oregon
  • Lago Vista Garen Club, Lago Vista, Texas
  • Reedsville Garden Club, Reedsville, WI
  • Bowood Farms, St. Louis, MO
  • 'The Grossmans Garden Show Live on WHAM 1180', Rochester, NY
  • Milberger's Gardening South Texas on KLUP AM 930


Pollinators in the Garden – You Are Their Heroes Inspiring children and adults to appreciate, protect, and conserve habitats for pollinators, especially butterflies and native bees, has become my passion. Helping people to realize that bees are responsible for over one-third of our food is one of my goals. Discover a tremendous opportunity to make a difference by providing bee blocks and habitat.

Bring that Aha Moment to Your Garden - Create a Haven for Butterflies and Hummingbirds. Joan inspires children and adults to create, conserve and protect monarch habitats as well as other butterfly species and other pollinators.

Look Through Every Window - Discover how to create your own personal garden and let the fun begin! Uncover information about your outdoor space to develop its maximum potential. Analyze what you have to get started, accent desirable views and create meaningful focal points.


Joan Calder's first book, Airplanes in the Garden: Monarch Butterflies Take Flight, is the recipient of the Learning® Magazine 2013 Teachers’ ChoiceSM for Children’s Books Award and Creative Child Magazine 2012 Award for Kids Storybooks.

She grew up learning about gardening on a dairy farm in Cato, Wisconsin. After receiving a B.A. in Social Work from the University of Wisconsin, she held a variety of jobs, from recreation director for the U.S. Department of the Army in Vietnam, to travel agent, to marketing assistant in a high tech company. In 1997 she returned to school to follow her passion; earning an A.S. degree in Ornamental Horticulture from Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, California. Joan has attended the Monarch Teacher Network workshop.

She is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI), the Association of Education and Research Greenhouse Curators (AERGC), Garden Writers Association and Toastmasters.

Calder lives in Santa Barbara, California with her husband John.

Contact Joan at or call 805 687-6910

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