Tips from Globe-Trotting Garden Communicators

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By Carol Michel

Tapping into the collective wisdom of garden communicators is one of the many benefits of becoming a member of GWA.  Recently, I posted a request on the GWA Facebook page for tips for travelers.  Members jumped in from coast to coast with their best advice.

From Kirk Ryan Brown:  If your stop includes a tour of a public garden, phone ahead and speak to the marketing department about a professional courtesy admission or private tour.  Kirk says this has given him some of the finest experiences of horticulture.

From Lois J. de Vries:   Look into Bed & Breakfast Inns that include a nice garden. They are everywhere and are much more relaxing then hotels. Plus there is the added benefit of good garden-related conversations and referrals.

From  Peggy Riccio:  You can use Google to search for other gardens to visit when traveling. Plus look up GWA members in the area and ask them for recommendations.

From Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp:   Take along extra batteries and chargers and all the cords and cables needed for cameras, phones, and computers. If you are traveling for a speaking event, make sure you have the organizers’ phone numbers and that they have yours, just in case. And make sure you know the time zone of the event where you will be speaking.

From C. L. Fornari:  Never pack your handouts, projector, laptop or anything else critical to your presentation. Always put those in carry-on bags. Travel to your speaking destination the day before the event so any travel delays won’t prevent you from being there on time.  If you are dining alone, sit at the bar. It’s easier to strike up conversations that could lead to unexpected business connections.

And perhaps my favorite tip, also from C.L., is to order up some custom luggage tags to start conversations with those around you. You never know when waiting for that connecting flight might be an opportunity to make a good connection for your garden communicating career.

Meet the Author


Carol Michel is the author of Potted and Pruned, Living a Gardening Life. Online she resides on her award-winning blog, and is active on Twitter and Instagram as Indygardener. She is also active on Facebook.



Author: GardenComm

GardenComm, formerly known as GWA: the Association for Garden Communicators, provides leadership and opportunities for education, recognition, career development and a forum for diverse interactions for professionals in the field of gardening communication. GardenComm members includes book authors, bloggers, staff editors, syndicated columnists, free-lance writers, photographers, speakers, landscape designers, television and radio personalities, consultants, publishers, extension service agents and more. No other organization in the industry has as much contact with the buying public as GardenComm members.

2 thoughts on “Tips from Globe-Trotting Garden Communicators”

  1. If you know of any private gardens that open sometimes but not when you’ll be in town, contact the owner anyway. More often than not I’ve found owners willing to have a garden writer visit for an hour or so. And if you’re traveling overseas and would like to make some local contacts, get in touch with the garden communicators group in that country, or the landscape designers’ association and ask if they have any locals who’d like to meet you for a coffee or drink. I’ve met some wonderful long-term gardening friends that way.


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