9/02/2011

Garden Writers Association new plants and books

That's Josh at our table, passing out media packets for How to Eat a Rose.

 I always come away from a Garden Writers Association conference with new ideas, new friends and renewed connections. It is the best professional organization I belong to, and the best community of sharing authors and plant people. I was there, promoting my How to Eat a Rose book in conjunction with next year's Herb of the Year project as designated by the International Herb Association.
Josh Kirchenbaum, in the Territorial Seed booth, showing off their line of Mighty 'Maters, tomatoes with two varieties grafted onto disease-hardy rootstock. You may remember my earlier posts about these tomatoes I'm trialing this year.

It's a big conference, about 500 people and an impressive trade show. Plant people introduce their new plants for next year, book authors showcase their books, publishers seek out new authors and the garden tool companies offer new garden things to take home. All in all, we writer-types are treated extremely well, with all the companies wanting us to write about their products and plants (which I will be doing in the coming months). I can only hit some of the highlights here, I'm still processing and digesting all I saw and learned.
I like hibiscus of all kinds and this one is exceptional, from Proven Winners. It's called 'Summer Storm' with pink flowers and deep maroon leaves. You'll see it in garden centers and nurseries next spring.
Jenks Farmer was there with some of the largest Crinum bulbs I've ever seen. Look him up online, he's a terrific expert on bulbs. Check him on-line at www.jenksfarmer.com
You many not be able to tell from the photo, below, that's a 20 story atrium in the hotel we were in. The glass-sided elevators gave excellent views of each landing.
Looking down from the elevator, you can see our Garden Writers trade show floor.
There was lots of good food, too. (Somehow I always manage to get food into the gardening conversation, don't I? After all, why garden unless you can eat what you grow?)
That's chicken, cooked under a brick. Yes, really. It flattens the chicken, makes it crisp.
Shrimp Louie; even the deviled eggs were made with truffles. Herbs everywhere!
Angela Treadwell-Palmer & Jim Martin, always dress up the show with their plant introductions and their costumes. Angela is the PR person for Plants Neuveau, a company that has introduced some incredible plants in this and previous years.
Miniature and Fairy Gardens are popular this year. Tools, benches and more from Kathryn Newman of www.miniaturegardenshoppe.com. She even sells tiny fences, stepping stones and more for the Fairy Garden.
Pie Boy at the Blue Sky Cafe, Exit 30 on Illinois I-70.
And like any good trip, we finished it off with pie. The Blue Sky Cafe has been making real pie for half a century. I had banana, which is probably the best banana pie I've had in 30 years.
Don't you wish you had a piece right now?
Come see us at our booth at the National Heirloom Exposition in Santa Rosa, California, Sept. 13-15. I'll be speaking, along with Felder Rushing, Alice Waters and a whole lot of other garden folks. Stop by and say hi!

2 comments:

lemonverbenalady said...

OMG, I just had the best coconut cream pie ever at the Pines Tavern just down the road from us! It was delish! Will miss you at Seven Springs, Jim! Hope California is enjoyable!

compost in my shoe said...

Thanks for the shout out Jim. It was great seeing you in Indi!