Garden Writers Love ‘Camp Horta Flora’

Garden Writers Love ‘Camp Horta Flora’


 Bloggers and Tweeters flock to show 

 The Northwest Flower & Garden Show, which ran February 8 – 12 in Seattle and received fantastic accolates (along with a 10% increase in attendance!), is  show to visit if you’re a garden writer. Many writers refer to it as being with “my tribe,” but to me it’s “Camp Horta Flora.” Here’s a look at some of the peeps that flocked to the garden show, to soak in the garden inspiration, discover cool new tools and garden must-haves and, above all, to share  in the camaraderie that unites us all, along with our passion for gardening.


NWFGS hosted the 2nd annual #nwfgs Tweetup, and the tweets were flying fast on #nwfgs throughout the show’s 5-day run. Guests enjoed coffee (it was only 8 am!), scrumptious refreshments and the chance to meet up and gab! They also got to spend time in the show gardens – with the lights UP! All the better to take photos for the 50+ blogs that have now been written about the garden show.

Guests enjoying the 2012 #NWFGS Tweetup

Tweetup guests were treated to coffee and tasty breads in the South Lobby and did what they do best – gab! Many people were old friends who came from around the country to see the show.


NWFGS Producer Terry O’Loughlin (R) was on hand to greet guests, including meeting up with friends Abana Jacobs (@AbanaJacobs, @subaru_life) and Joe Lamp’l, producer and host of “Growing a Greener World” (@joegardener).


(L to R) We’re not in zone 5b anymore! Idaho’s Maryanne Newcomer, (“Gardens of the Wild Wild West“), Ohlahoma’s Dee Nash (“Red Dirt Rambling“) and Ohio’s Kylee Baumle (“Our Little Acre“) loved the Pacific Northwest Mecca for gardening.


Sponsor Manager for the show, Karin O’Loughlin, gets a rare moment to actually stand still and converse with Jeff Swenson, Show Manager. I’ve got to give a shout-out to Jeff (my boss!) for keeping the rowdy NWFGS team in order and producing one of the finest shows we’ve ever done! Now, take some well-deserved time off!


Billy Goodnick, aka “Garden Wise Guy” blogger for Fine Gardening magazine and a speaker at NWFGS, greets fellow speaker Joe Lamp’l at the #nwfgs Tweetup.


Local bloggers “Garden HelpRobin Haglund and “My Rubber BootsAngela Davis share a laugh with The Garden Chat’s Brenda Haas and Dee Nash. The Twitter chatter was running at a a dizzy speed during the show using our #nwfgs hashtag. Brenda has posted a complete 239-page transcript on The Garden Chat website. Fun read!


Living Homegrown” designer and blogger Theresa Loe, who is co-executive producer of “Growing a Greener World” on PBS  TV with Joe Lamp’l, (“Compost Confidential“) enjoy the coffee at the #nwfgs Tweetup (well it was only 8 am!). Theresa put together a fun video of the show and Joe was a speaker on Friday and Saturday along with greeting attendees at the Subaru garden on the skybridge.


LaManda Joy (“The Yarden“), who came all the way from Chicago to join the fun, makes a new friend talking to NWFGS Producer Terry O’Loughlin. Terry is a 3rd generation owner of Portland-based O’Loughlin Trade Shows, producer of the Northwest Flower & Garden Show.


#nwfgs Tweetup guests were trilled to receive swag bags with the latest, hot-off-the-presses Sunset Western Garden Book (@SunsetMag), a book from Timber Press (@timberpress), great tools from Corona Tools (@coronatools), a Moo Poo tea bag from Haven Farms (@GreenSoil), plant labels from The Seed Keeper Co. (@SeedKeeperCo), seeds from Eco-Lawn (@miriamwildflr) and Subaru (@subaru_life)  and a handy-dandy umbrella from the Northwest Flower & Garden Show (@nwfgs). Good thing the show has free package check! Many thanks to all our great 2012 #nwfgs Tweetup sponsors! (And thanks too to all my fellow NWFGS teammates for helping lug the suckers to the 4th floor lobby, and especially to Michelle Derbes, for helping me host the event.)



For years Thursday evening at the garden show has only meant one thing: the Garden Writers Association annual reception and meeting. This, of course, is a shameless excuse to get together with old friends, swap stories, schmooze, drink free booze and enjoy the tasty hors d’oeuvres, hosted by the garden show, all under the guise of “education.”  The program was an interesting panel discussion with Debra Prinzing as MC, interviewing show judges Steve Aitken and Stephen Orr

(L to R): “Personal Garden CoachChristina Salwitz (@arcadia1) catches up with first-time garden show speakers Helen Yoest (“Gardening with Confidence“) from North Carolina and Barbara Wise (“bwisegardening“) from Tennessee at the GWA reception.


Speaker Jessi Bloom (“Garden Fowl“), author of the new Timber Press book “Free Range Chicken Gardens,” visits with Steve and Pauline Smith, owners of Sunnyside Nursery in Marysville. Sunnyside always creates a crowd-pleasing Container Exhibition garden, and their garden this year featured a planted piano.


A rare photo of the Succulent King and Queen together! Robin Stockwell, owner of Succulent Gardens Nursery in California,  here as a first-time garden show speaker, compares notes with “Her Succulency” Debra Lee Baldwin, author of “Designing with Succulents” (and rumor has it, a third book on succulents is on its way).


Surely conspiring on where to continue the party after the GWA reception are Debbie Teashon (“Rainy Side Gardener“), Seattle designer Virginia Hand, Marty Wingate, author of the new “Landscaping for Privacy” book and garden/lifestyle author Debra Prinzing, author of the upcoming book, “The 50 Mile Bouquet.” In all her “spare time” Debra is serving as the President of the acclaimed Garden Writers Association. I don’t know how she does it!


LaManda Joy (“The Yarden“) with show speaker Teresa O’Connor (“Seasonal Wisdom“) and fellow-Chicago-area friends Kerrie and Carol, co-owners of The Seed Keeper Company.


If you missed the best garden celebration in the US (OK, I know I’m biased, but really – everyone says that!) then head over to our Facebook page. In the last two weeks I’ve posted links to many of the 50+ blogs that have been posted about the show since it ended a successful 5-day run earlier this month. Keep following us on Facebook, Twitter, and check out my new Pinterest page as well, where I’ve started to post photos about this year’s show. And of course, if you missed this year’s event, you won’t want to miss our next show, so mark your calendars for February 20 – 24, 2013! ~ Janet


  • Maralee Karwoski
    Posted at 18:37h, 27 February Reply

    Hi Janet,
    Just want to say how much I enjoyed following the progress of the NWFGS on Facebook and on the blog. It really added to my anticipation of the show (like I don’t already have that going on…but it was heightened!).
    It was also a real treat to be part of the tweet-up. Talk about a tremendous help for a short person! I’ll be using the photos I took in my talks on Herbaceous Ornamentals this season. And also to promote the show and get more people from Spokane to venture across the mountains to take advantage of the fantastic resource the NW Flower & Garden Show is! The swag bag goodies will be prizes at the WSU/Spokane Master Gardener Open House at the end of April.
    Thanks for all of your hard work! ~Maralee Karwoski

  • Lidya Johnson
    Posted at 05:46h, 12 September Reply

    The Northwest Flower & Garden Show was great. I liked it..

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