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


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.

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Finding Common Ground: The Importance of Connecting With Others

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.

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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!

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Preparing for the Worst: Garden Speaking Without Audio-Visuals

Stock - Thunderstorm.jpg

By Kathy Jentz

It was a dark and stormy night. Well, the storms hadn’t started yet when I began my talk. I was speaking to the Anacostia Watershed Society in their historic headquarters in Bladensburg, MD, a former tavern that was a favorite spot of George Washington’s. Anticipating a fun evening with fellow gardeners, I set up my laptop and projector in the upstairs meeting room. Everything started off smoothly, when all of a sudden a tremendous wind blew in and all the windows slammed shut with a bang. The power went out and we were plunged into darkness. I was only a quarter-way through my slide show describing local native plant choices. Now what?

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GWA @ MANTS 2016

GWA members at MANTS 2016 Press Breakfast. Photo Credit: GWA President Kirk R. Brown.

By Louise Clarke

GWA started the New Year with our first booth at the 45th annual Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade Show (MANTS).  We descended on the Baltimore Convention Center on January 6, 7, and 8, 2016 for this mid-winter event. Thursday morning began with a media reception hosted by Vanessa and Kelly Finney of Quercus Management who organizes MANTS, where several of the 1,000 exhibitors spoke about their products, while hungry garden writers enjoyed a complimentary breakfast. We were delighted to discover that the media room was also available for us all day as a quiet workplace and an area to store personal belongings. The GWA group photo (above) at the reception included 26, but many more of us were seen later on the enormous 300,000 square foot trade show floor. Continue reading “GWA @ MANTS 2016”

Introducing GWA Grows: Call For Guest Blog Posts

By Ann McCormick

These are exciting times for GWA members as we transform our public image to reflect what a great group we really are. As part of the many changes in the organization, I have been tasked by Kirk Brown to shepherd a new blog, GWA Grows, into publication. Through this new blog I want to make the open, friendly heart of this organization visible and accessible through first person accounts of the life of a garden communicator. GWA is a really great organization and I want the world to know this. Continue reading “Introducing GWA Grows: Call For Guest Blog Posts”

Executive Director’s Message: Allow Me To Introduce You To Some of the New GWA Team

Headshot - Ungaro Maria.jpgTo reiterate Kirk’s statement yesterday, I am honored to serve as GWA’s new executive director as it begins its relationship with Kellen at its New York headquarters. We have such an exciting opportunity to bring GWA into the future and a strategy to get us there. It is my pleasure to introduce you to some of the GWA team, who will be assisting me with this import work: Continue reading “Executive Director’s Message: Allow Me To Introduce You To Some of the New GWA Team”

President’s Message: New Year, New Outlook

HHeadshot - Brown Kirk (2).jpgappy 2016! With this new year comes a new era for GWA. Kellen, a global association management company, begins its tenure serving as GWA’s headquarters and management.

I am excited to introduce our new executive director, Maria
Ungaro. Maria has been at Kellen for almost 20 years with many clients, but most recently as the Executive Director for The Content Council, New York Women in Communications (NYWICI) and the NYWICI Foundation- the largest foundation for women’s communication’s scholarships in the United States.

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