So, I’ve been traveling, doing garden things

Orchid from the Atlanta Botanic Garden. I felt like we bloomed the same at the conference
Orchid from the Atlanta Botanic Garden. I felt like we both bloomed at the conference.

A couple of weeks ago I went to Tulsa and Ft. Worth for confabs with such lovely gardeners. I also attended the Garden Bloggers Conference in Atlanta. I’m on the advisory board, but I had few expectations when I boarded the plane. I knew the Digital Sherpa folks from talking on the phone and emails, but we’d never met in person. Still, I liked their vision for blogging, and the speaker lineup they assembled was mighty.

In all this time, I’m embarrassed to say I’ve never heard plantsman, Dan Hinkley, speak. Maybe, because I live in the center of the country, and I’ve missed the few opportunities he’s been here. His self-deprecating, Lutheran, midwestern humor was great, and no one knows more about plants. From him, I also learned to add video and sound to presentations. They give a depth and dimension not already in mine.  What a humble guy for all he’s done for our garden world!

Teresa O’Connor from Seasonal Wisdom, along with a great panel of bloggers, including Robin Horton from Urban Gardens, Matt Mattus from Growing with Plants and Rochelle Greayer from Studio g were inspiring.

Why do we need inspiration?

Teresa O'Connor, Robin Horton and I on break at the conference.
Teresa O’Connor, Robin Horton and I on break at the conference.

Folks, blogging is hard whether you just started or have done it awhile. I’ve blogged since 2007, and writing a book this summer has taken a toll. My mind is tired. I needed inspiration, and the bloggers were full of ideas. It’s not easy to share your story/passion, week after week. So, to my generous friends and readers, thank you for sharing and reading.

Later, the Digital Sherpas spoke. I’m joking, calling them sherpas, but they did work as guides taking us up a mountain slope. You can see the entire lineup of speakers on the garden bloggers website. I expected a professional conference, and I hoped to learn something, but I gained so much more. I think I’m pretty good at SEO, social media and other professional blogging tools, but things are constantly changing. I came home with a mind swirling with ideas along with a full heart. I met such wonderful bloggers like:

  • Mary Louise Hagler of MLCH Gardening who runs this amazing Flower Camp every year. Why didn’t I ever get to go to Flower Camp? That’s what I want to know.
  • Carmen Stanek Johnston who is a lifestyle expert for the Southern Living plant collection and has her own blog too.
  • Whitney Curtis of the Curtis Casa who also blogs for Better Home and Gardens.
  • Ilona Erwin, who’s blogged for much longer than I. We’ve chatted over the virtual fence forever. She’s as lovely in person as on her blog.
  • Nancy Wallace, of Wallace Gardens who tweets with me all the time.


Group shot of new friends, from left Whitney Curtis, Sandra Fenstermacher, Carmen Stanek Johnston and Mary Louise Hagler.
Group shot of new friends, from left Whitney Curtis, Sandra Fenstermacher, Carmen Stanek Johnston, Mary Louise Hagler and two more lovely ladies from Georgia. As soon as they make contact, I’ll list their blogs too.

No wonder, I’m still smiling. I’m sure I forgot someone. If so, I’m terribly sorry. I’ve only now descended from a mountaintop, and it’s back to work on the book. Please go and check out some of my new and old friends’ links. I love great blogs and great gardens because they’re filled with people like you.



  1. Pam/Digging says:

    I’ve never heard Dan speak either — I think we’re too far from the PacNW! But I do hope to hear him one day. I’m very intrigued to know what he said about incorporating video and sound into your presentations. Would you consider writing a post to share what you learned on this topic?

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Hi Pam, it wasn’t what he said. He mostly talked about his life, the nursery, his childhood, etc. It was just that he used video very effectively in his talk. When he would describe areas of his childhood in the Midwest, he would incorporate video clips into the talk. Later, he showed where he and his partner now garden. The sounds of the ocean and the property with wind were mesmerizing. I just realized how much video with sound can add to your program.~~Dee

  2. debra says:

    thanks for sharing, Dee~ Those folks were lucky to have your involvement – and your expertise! I wish you a little bit of recovery from the book odyssey. It’s a challenge. When I write books, I am sometimes lucky to get one or maybe two posts written for my blog each month. The immense burst of creativity that comes AFTER one turns in her manuscript is quite a surprise, actually! I know you’ll experience that very soon!

  3. Matt Mattus says:

    Oh Dee, you too are SO inspiring! Thank you for all the nice things you’ve been saying. Gosh, I wish I could write an well, and as thoughtful as you do! I too never saw Daniel Hinkley speak, but I have read all of his books, and I have an (almost) complete set of the old Heronswood Nursery catalogs in my library ( talk about inspiration). I can’t wait to see you ( and everyone else) again at the next awesome event!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Wish we could have connected after the lectures, my bad. Had a big job going in and big bids going out. Crazy time. Just glad I made it to the conference !

    Another time…for sure.

    Loved, most, connecting in person with fellow garden bloggers. Was shocked at the average age in the room.

    We will be much better if they jump in a blog too. Their collective wisdom.

    XO T

  5. Wonderful!! I whole heartedly support anything that refills your well, that recharges your heart. I’m glad you found it, sweet Dee, and I’m sure you were that same inspiration for others on these trips. Maybe one day ill get to go too! much love to you! Thanks for sharing so much with us. XOXOXOXO

    1. Anonymous says:

      Well said, Marie!

  6. I’m so sorry I missed it, since you are so right: it’s wonderful to learn and be inspired by others. Love all your information and happy authorship!

    1. Dee Nash says:

      I’m sorry you missed it too. We’ll both go next year.

  7. Believe me, Dee. You inspire all of us too. 😉 Thanks so much for serving on the board and helping to bring about such a great conference. It was a pleasure to participate and attend, so I could meet all these interesting bloggers and journalists too. I learned so much that I’m STILL going through my notes. After the busy summer you’ve had … be sure to schedule some rest too. All best!

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Ah, so you are thinking of rest. Just let me get through this last part of the writing, and I sure will. Days and days. Gotta plant those bulbs. Wait . . . that isn’t rest.

  8. You are oh so right about inspiration for blog fodder. I am not the writer that you are and I struggle. I sure hope you are inspired to blog because I learn so much in such a friendly way. Flower camp would have been good for me too.

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Maybe we should go to flower camp together?? That would be such fun Lisa.

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