GWA @ Chicago Flower & Garden Show

IMG_5483.JPG

By Lisa Steinkopf

This year I had the pleasure of being one of the speakers at the Chicago Flower & Garden Show. My talk scheduled for Thursday morning was “Cultivating Your Green Thumb – Indoors.”

After my presentation I proceeded to the show. There were so many beautiful gardens to see. I especially loved the topiaries that were done by the Chicago Zoological Society’s Brookfield Zoo. They were a huge hit with the kids and adults alike, and brought attention to pollinators. Yay!

IMG_5452

 

Of course, the marketplace was amazing – and dangerous to my wallet, I may add. My money disappeared quickly. Mariano’s Marketplace and Ted’s Greenhouse were especially tempting. I loved all the plants and must admit I took quite a few home with me. I even bought a vine for the Belle Isle Conservatory here in Detroit.  I also couldn’t miss visiting The Seed Keeper Company booth and hobnobbing with fellow GWA members Carol Niec and Kerrie Rosenthal. They were so much fun!
Continue reading “GWA @ Chicago Flower & Garden Show”

GWA: What’s In It For Plant Geeks?

Fornari gwa_members
GWA members and fellow plant geeks enjoy photographing a garden during the 2014 symposium in Pittsburgh.

By C.L. Fornari

In a world where everyone’s eyes are focused down on the screen of their cell phone, calling attention to plants is increasingly a challenge. But we gardeners don’t shrink from getting down and dirty. We are always willing to do whatever it takes to grow something beautiful, tasty, or intriguing…am I right?

Those of us who want to promote horticulture are plant pushers as well as plant geeks. We need to use every tool at our disposal to make our product attractive. Great photography is indispensable these days…it’s a visual world. People love stories, so you and I need to hone those skills so we can tell a great tale. And social networking? A given. Blogging and websites? Essential. GWA is about developing all of these abilities and proficiencies.

Continue reading “GWA: What’s In It For Plant Geeks?”

New Ways to CONNECT: Adding Value to Gardening Events with a GWA CONNECT Meeting

By Kirk R. Brown

CONNECT! It’s a word that’s now one-third of the new GWA brand: Connect. Learn. Grow. According to IBM, with the expansion of the “internet of things,” knowledge may double every 12 hours. How is GWA supposed to stay current? How can a GWA membership even begin to define “keeping up?” How can GWA membership help a garden communicator CONNECT to the profession of communicating, the horticultural community, and the experience of gardening?

1 First Connect Meerting
At one of the first CONNECT meetings, members Stephanie Cohen, Sally Cunningham and Louise Clarke share their opinion of the day’s seminar on the “Art of the Presentation” given by C.L. Fornari

 

Continue reading “New Ways to CONNECT: Adding Value to Gardening Events with a GWA CONNECT Meeting”

It’s So Darn Cold, Let’s Have a Soup Party!

 

Soup Party 1
Pictured (left to right): Bruce Zimmerman, Juleigh Zimmerman, Mary Fran McQuade, Jennifer Connell, Barbara Phillips-Conroy, Lorraine Flanagan, Lorraine Hunter, Margaret Bennet-Alder, Tara Nolan & Ken Brown

By Barbara Phillips-Conroy

What’s better than one garden writer sitting alone at a computer? A whole whack of them gathered around a table swapping stories over a hearty meal. And, what’s the best meal you can have on a miserable cold day? Why soup of course, followed by enough dessert to top up those vital cold-weather calorie requirements.

As has become my custom, the party was held on one of the most miserable stormy days of the year. I have now been officially nicknamed “The Snow Queen” by Lorraine Flanigan of Toronto, ON. In spite of the storm, twelve determined GWA members and party people, including myself and my husband Kevin had a great time at the Region VII GWA Connect Meeting.

Continue reading “It’s So Darn Cold, Let’s Have a Soup Party!”

The Northwest Flower & Garden Show: A Showcase of Garden Communicators

NWFG 2

By Kate Copsey

I had heard a lot about the Northwest Flower & Garden Show (NWFGS) in Seattle, WA. Every spring for the past two or three years the social media board had lit up with people who were heading out to the show. This year I was thrilled to be able to join the masses travelling to Seattle.

I left home on a drab East Coast February day. In Seattle I had arranged to meet my fellow GWA members at about 6:30 PM on that Thursday evening but as my plane was delayed, it was closer to 8:00 PM before I hit downtown. It was not however too late to meet people so my phone came out and I texted a West Coast buddy, Dawn Hummel and arranged to meet her in the bar area of the hotel. On the walk to that bar I encountered other garden communicators like GWA National Director Nan Sterman, Kathryn Wadsworth and David Deardorff.

Continue reading “The Northwest Flower & Garden Show: A Showcase of Garden Communicators”

Finding Common Ground: The Importance of Connecting With Others

united_nursery_booth
The United Nursery booth at Tropical Plant International Exposition in Fort Lauderdale says it: We’re in the plant game and we want to succeed.

By C.L. Fornari

As gardeners we know that everything is connected to everything else. So is it surprising that we’re constantly hearing about the importance of networking? Making connections with others has always been crucial when it comes to conducting business. We’re all more apt to hire or recommend someone we know and trust over a stranger.

The significance of relationship building was on my mind at the Tropical Plant Industry Exhibition (TPIE) in Fort Lauderdale recently. I was in the good company of fellow garden writers who were all there to learn and grow our businesses.

Continue reading “Finding Common Ground: The Importance of Connecting With Others”

Elevating Expectations at TIPE

By Claire Jones

TPIEThe Tropical Plant Industry Exhibition (TPIE) rolled out the red carpet for GWA members January 19-22 at the Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale. The Convention Center was bursting with color and energy with over 200,000 square feet of exhibits showcasing the latest trends in foliage, floral and tropicals. I was one of fifteen GWA members welcomed by the Florida Nursery Growers & Landscape Association (FNGLA), leader of Florida’s green industry. This was my opportunity to connect with growers and experience their products. Of course, I was also happy to be in Florida in January!

Continue reading “Elevating Expectations at TIPE”