Live Networking: Making the Connection in Person

By Kate Copsey

Not too long ago being social and networking involved getting out of the chair and meeting people. Face to face meetings in coffee houses, restaurants, and other venues sealed business deals and were a pleasant distraction for solitary writers. Then the 21st century brought high-speed internet, Twitter, and Facebook into our lives. The art of face-to-face networking was replaced by constant communication in the virtual world.

Penny O’Sullivan chats with a fellow garden writer during the Tucson GWA Convention

The GWA Annual Conference is one of the few places where you can brush off your skills at networking in the real world with real conversations that are not limited to 64 character thoughts and hashtags. This networking bonanza begins with a round of meeting and greeting those friends in the industry that you may have only known in the virtual world from Facebook and Twitter or even email. Face-to-face meetings are subtly different from virtual conversations. The non-verbal cues we get from voice inflections or facial expressions are just two of these differences.

Continue reading “Live Networking: Making the Connection in Person”

But What Do You Do? – Wearing the Many Hats of a Freelancer

Sterman Many Hats.jpg

by Nan Sterman

I recently met with a local visionary who dreams of creating a world-class garden attraction at a local retail property he manages. He envisions a month long exposition that features speakers, workshops, elaborate garden displays, children’s activities, and more.

The man reached out to me at the suggestion of our mutual friend, the travel agent I partner with for garden tours. Our meeting included one of his consultants, a woman who knows me from my garden writing and from my television show, A Growing Passion.

Sterman Office Desk.jpgHe was on fire as he described the event.  When he finished, he turned to me, a bit breathless, and asked if and how I could help make his dream come true. I chuckled. Nearly every aspect of what he described I have done and/or could do – design gardens, work with growers, organize events, assemble a roster of renowned speakers (that’s you guys) and designers, speak to the audiences myself, coordinate with vendors, promote the event to my own audiences and to the wider public using traditional and social media, and more.

Continue reading “But What Do You Do? – Wearing the Many Hats of a Freelancer”

Happy Anniversary to Me! Celebrating Membership in GWA

Soule LOVE Sculpture
I LOVE the chance to go on behind-the-scenes tours of public gardens.

By Jacqueline Soule

This year marks the thirty-first year anniversary of my continuing membership in GWA. Gosh it doesn’t seem at all possible that it has been that long!

Thirty one years ago, way back in 1985, I somehow heard about a group that was offering an award for students who had published articles about gardening. At that time I had a few articles published, thanks to the Boyce Thompson Arboretum in Arizona and the Morris Arboretum in Philadelphia. I even had some I was paid for, one in a local newspaper and one for Greenhouse Manager magazine.  Continue reading “Happy Anniversary to Me! Celebrating Membership in GWA”

The Power of Snippets: Finding Pockets of Time and Making them Productive

Snippets Writing.jpg

By Shelley S. Cramm

“How do you find the time?” And so the banter begins when I tell a friend about my new writing career wedged in the middle of my current one, that of a wife and mother of five. New…it still feels unfamiliar despite seven years of organizing, writing, and promoting my first book, and now creating a blog to help form and shape my next one. Then again I still consider myself a beginning gardener after 25 years working our land, from newlywed apartment patio pots to the suburban back yard of our married life. Both writing and gardening have built-in humility, making their practice frustrating yet beautiful, elusive and full of grace.

Snippets Woman SippingIt’s no wonder a career combining both leaves me wondering if there is a better way. I’m forever exploring efficiencies and best practices. I don’t have an answer, but I have observed that a small effort applied consistently over time – snippets, if you will – can yield much more elegant results than I feel worthy of. This is the beautiful, full of grace part that is a welcome balm in the bewilderment of how-will-this-ever-get-done??  Continue reading “The Power of Snippets: Finding Pockets of Time and Making them Productive”

Collaboration in Cincinnati: GWA Connects at “Cincinnati Blooms”

Cincinnati Group Shot
GWA members gathered in Cincinnati for the Cincinnati Flower & Garden Show
Cincinnati BotGar Tulips
The Cincinnati Botanic Garden was awash with tulips

By Teresa Woodard

The Queen City gave GWA members a royal welcome at the April 13 Connect event with an abundance of blooms and hospitality at the Cincinnati Flower Show and the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s impressive tulip show. Two other Columbus residents Diana Lockwood and Michael Leach carpooled with me to the Show’s lovely setting at Yeatman’s Cove Park, downtown along the Ohio River.

We were lucky to have the talented Kevin O’Dell, of Kendrick & O’Dell Landscaping, as our tour director on the opening day of this five-day show. He’s one of the show’s organizers and a long-time driving force in the area’s horticultural world. Kevin led us through landscapes from Cincinnati’s various sister cities which featured the show’s theme “An International Adventure.” We saw a vertical wall for Jordan, a forest of forced Japanese maples, a matchstick replica of a Chinese bridge, a gold-medal-winning French display with a flower-filled bicycle, a Taiwanese pool, and a cubist display from Munich. Other areas in the exhibits showcased trends in pollinator plants, upcycling elements in the garden, and container combinations, including a few in the emerging softer color palettes. Continue reading “Collaboration in Cincinnati: GWA Connects at “Cincinnati Blooms””