3 Take-aways from Garden Writer Meet-ups

I love hanging out with other garden writers, and have done quite a bit of that this year – at several local and regional events and especially, the Garden Blogger Fling in Minneapolis and the Garden Writers conference in Atlanta. I caught up with old friends, made new ones, and had fun. But did I learn anything useful? Pick up any tips? Three take-aways come to mind.

On a tour-bus in Minneapolis I noticed several bloggers using a portable iPhone charger that’s surprisingly small, lightweight, and cheap – just 13 bucks. I bought one and now use it all the time. To illustrate how small it is for this post I asked one of my cats to pose with it – because we just don’t have enough cat pics here on the Rant.

In Atlanta I attended a talk by Seth Reed and Mason Day about social media in which we were told that the best way to reach gardeners these days is with Pinterest. My first reaction was along the lines of “Oh crap!” at the thought of doing yet another social media platform.

But then I calmed down, looked into it and discovered that videos can be easily pinned. So I created an account, started some boards, and pinned almost 200 of the videos featured on Good Gardening Videos. So easy! Check it out.

My third take-away may not be so simple to implement because I’m no graphic artist. But Kids Gardening.org has a terrific one in 23-year-old Andrea Warren, who designed both sides of this business card for Maree Gaetani, my seat-mate during an afternoon of garden touring in the Atlanta suburbs.

Most business cards I’m handed go directly into my purse, sometimes to never be seen again, but this one impressed the hell out of me for the amount of information packed into such a compelling design. So now I’m determined to have my assorted projects consolidated into one business card that does all that, or at least try.

By the way, how cool is the job title “Director of Mission and Garden Relations”?

And speak of the devil, Maree was in D.C. this week for a meeting and had a whole afternoon to kill! So we met up and here we are on the turfgrass chair at River Farm, headquarters of the American Horticultural Society.  Magazine editor David Ellis, seen here peeking out of the children’s playhouse, gave us the grand tour.

Our next stop was the stunning National Arboretum (here’s what it looks like in October), and our visit ended with a tour of my garden and dinner at the New Deal Cafe.

Clearly, the best take-away from garden writer meet-ups is making connections with cool people.

Posted by

Susan Harris
on October 21, 2016 at 2:53 am, in the category What’s Happening.

Comment List

  • Laura Munoz 16 / 04 / 2016

    Will the videos only be posted to Pinterest? I hope not.

  • Marianne Willburn 22 / 04 / 2016

    I need to get a portable charger – thanks for the reminder! But, Susan I’ve got to play devil’s advocate on the Pinterest thing. Are all the hands-in-soil gardeners on Pinterest, or are all the garden writers/influencers on Pinterest just talking to one another?

  • Laura Munoz 30 / 04 / 2016

    Feeling guilty about my post above. It’s not about MY needs or my social media use. If anyone can reach prospective gardeners through whatever means possible including social media, then that’s a GOOD thing.

  • Marianne Willburn 15 / 11 / 2016

    Don’t feel guilty about a good garden rant Laura, or your honest thoughts – that’s what it’s all about. If we’re all saying the same things, where’s the fun in that? Sorry Susan, had to chime in!

  • Papi Jo 19 / 11 / 2016

    Totally agree with Laura! I refuse to join any of those so-called “social” sites. On the other hand I like browsing “free” gardening sites and blogs—such as garden rant !

  • Sandy 20 / 11 / 2016

    Hey Susan. Too many social media sites and too much time spent reading/sitting at the computer. Love your work on the corner of Ridge and Westway. Thanks for all your information & work. Enjoyed the tour of the Japanese garden at the U.S. Arboretum last weekend. Working on planting my shady back yard with a Japanese theme.

  • Garden Rant 21 / 11 / 2016

    Thanks, Sandy! It’s packed with black-eyed Susans and Sedums from your pal ML, of course. Maybe next year when we see what times have no blooms, you might have some divisions to contribute from YOUR big garden? Susan

  • admin 21 / 11 / 2016

    I agree with everyone! First, I’ll Laura that the videos are now in 3 places, 2 of them accessible without joining anything – the Good Gardening Videos website and also its Youtube channel. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnINzenbFJWGIl5VU_qPtAA Pinterest is just another place that GGVideos can be followed (by people who LIKE Pinterest), not someplace I plan to engage personally with anyone.
    A PBS show I admire uses Pinterest to simply post its new episodes, and that’s what I’m doing – posting links to new videos.

  • anne 21 / 11 / 2016

    Laura, I think you hit the nail on the head regarding social media, thanks for saying it out loud! Social media is not “free”. I enjoy the serendipity and discovery of browsing or searching the internet (and yes, I’m aware that it’s not “free” either, and is limited to what’s available). That’s how I found Gardenrant!

  • Louise 21 / 11 / 2016

    I joined Pinterest when teaching a phonics. HS class with no text book. When you pin things they are stored. It’s free and once you join, you can retrieve it later, instead of having to search for it again.

  • marcia 21 / 11 / 2016

    One fun and valuable thing I learned (I’m behind on this one) is that one can search his or her photo album without tagging the photos. I use google photo storage.https://www.google.com/photos/about/

  • Mason Day 22 / 11 / 2016

    We are thrilled that you enjoyed our talk! If you ever have any questions about what we are up to, please let us know!

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