We’re not much for bold statements, but this year’s Garden Writers Annual Conference and Expo in Buffalo was the BEST ONE YET.
We’re not gonna lie: We had our doubts about Buffalo. And boy, were we wrong! We still can’t get over how beautiful Buffalo was – and how friendly the people were. This city should be celebrated for its beauty, history, architecture and amazing private/public garden spaces. Here are some highlights for us SLP’ers:
- We knew nothing about Buffalo’s Cottage District before arriving in the city. It’s such a wonderful example of how a few dedicated home-owners can transform a neighborhood with a little space, time, energy, colorful plants and quirky garden art. The Cottage District is an absolute must-see for garden lovers.
- Frank Lloyd Wright’s Darwin D. Martin House. Pittsburgh is about an hour and a half from Wright’s Fallingwater, but The Martin House is within Buffalo’s Parkside neighborhood. The home is one of the finest examples of Wright’s Prairie House ideal.
- We chose not to exhibit this year, but we were so warmly welcomed in the exhibitors hall. This is typically our very first stop at GWA and it’s a great place to catch up with friends, meet new attendees and learn the latest about plants, garden tools and more. Shout-out to Cobrahead, Corona Tools, DRAMM and Proven Winners for always hooking us up with much-appreciated garden swag. We drove to Buffalo, so we brought A LOT of plants home.
- We were wow’d yet again by the fabulous speakers for both the roundtable topics and learning sessions. Does C.L. Fornari know how to amp up a room of garden communicators or what?! We also had a chance to hear Jan Bills, Debra Prinzing, Mark Turner, Kathy Jentz, Doug Oster and many others. Thanks to all of the presenters who so humbly shared their great ideas and inspiring thoughts with all GWA attendees.
- The best part of GWA? We received the 2017 Wilfred J. Jung Distinguished Service Medal. We’re still glowing from this wonderful honor. A big thanks to Brie Arthur for introducing us at the ceremony. Coming to the GWA conference each year feels like a reunion of old friends and familiar faces. We’re just grateful to be part of this organization and we’re humbled by the award.
- We also want to shout-out all of our authors that received Silver Awards: Congrats to Jenny Peterson, C.L. Fornari, Doug Oster and Jessica Walliser! You guys are the best of the best.
I’m going to let my pictures tell our GWA 2017 story. But THANK YOU to everyone who hugged us, chatted with us and celebrated with us. And a special thank-you to Sally Cunningham who made GWA Buffalo happen with an amazing crew of volunteers and Kirk Brown for being GWA’s fearless leader. It was a heck of an event, and you both still managed to smile and thank everyone who crossed your path. We also want to thank the ladies of Kellen for their excellent work on this successful GWA Symposium.
Monarch author Kylee Baumle
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House
Fine Foliage author Karen Chapman
Cancer Survivor’s author Jenny Peterson
Looking forward to another wonderful year of GWA under the new leadership of Becky Heath. See yinz in Chicago!
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