Raleigh here I come.
Greensboro gardener Lynda Waldrep drove me to Raleigh on Tuesday morning where I checked into the Garden Writers Association conference hotel, dropped off my gear and joined the GWA board meeting.
Nice to get Tuesday afternoon’s and Wednesday morning’s business out of the way so I could enjoy the rest of the conference once it began on Wednesday afternoon after lunch.
After some regional meetings and receptions for first-time attendees, the Garden Products Information Exhibit opened – four hours of checking out the new trends in plants, products and programs for the horticultural industry. The exhibit continued on Wednesday for another four hours.
Next, I joined 50 or more very new (and a few old) friends at a private garden cocktail party for garden Twitter participants. Sharon and Jim Bright, our gracious garden hosts, opened the gates to Rose Cottage, their charming place in a historic downtown neighborhood.
Raleigh hometown gal Helen Yoest of Gardening With Confidence and Elizabeth Licata of Gardening While Intoxicated/Garden Rant, planned the evening with several other volunteer Twitter friends. Proven Winners (thanks Danielle!) was our sponsor, so we had lots to nibble and sip while admiring the garden’s exuberant cottage plantings, semi-formal vegetable beds (outlined in brick) and more.
All those women and men with whom I “tweet” came together for an evening where putting a face to a name was part of the fun. Our nametags had our real names and our Twitter names (I’m “@dkprinzing”).
What amused me more than anything was watching people post comments on Twitter during the party. I call it real-time garden tour commentary at its best.
Later that night, I walked all the way across town with a friend to an authentic Carolina ribs BBQ dinner hosted by the Garden Media Group. A chance to catch up with some editor and writer friends, meet several of GMG’s clients, shake the hand of famed BBQ chef Ed Mitchell and eat some of his great Southern food.
Long day, but good conversations all around!
This annual gathering of gardeners is something I look forward to from year to year. Raleigh was my 8th Garden Writer Association event and I’m hooked.