Books in sync with nature.

SLP Travels to Van Wert BLOOMS

Last weekend, St. Lynn’s crammed into Paul’s car to travel to Van Wert, Ohio for the first-ever Van Wert Blooms Gardening Symposium with P. Allen Smith and Friends.

We weren’t sure what to expect, but after hearing that the venue, Niswonger Performing Arts Center was completely sold out, we knew it was bound to be a busy and exciting event!

When we arrived in Van Wert on Friday evening, we were welcomed as VIPs to a pre-dinner cocktail party, followed by a delicious dinner at the Willow Bend Country Club. We connected with friends old and new, including Indoor Plant Décor co-author Kylee Baumle, Louise Hartwig (Kylee’s mom), who coordinated Van Wert Blooms and Garden-pedia co-authors Maria Zampini and Pam Bennett.

Paul and Cathy with Kylee Baumle!

Paul and Cathy with Kylee Baumle

Saturday arrived and we were ready to check out all that BLOOMS had to offer. And boy oh boy, were we impressed by what Louise and this small western Ohio community put together!

The entire Niswonger Arts Center was buzzing with excitement: booths with gardening tools and garden art, raffle offers, heavy swag bags, door prizes and more.

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When P. Allen Smith presented in the morning as keynote, the entire audience was charmed by his tales of being a young man in England and stories of how his garden vision came to life.

Other speakers included Amanda Thomsen, Barbara Wise, Irvin Etienne and Gardenpedia authors Maria and Pam. Every speaker brought something fun and new to the audience, and the crowd responded with many laughs and claps.

Louise with P. Allen Smith

Louise with P. Allen Smith

Maria and Pam signing copies of Garden-pedia

Maria and Pam signing copies of Garden-pedia

Before we headed back to Pittsburgh on Sunday, we were invited to a special brunch hosted by Louise Hartwig at her gorgeous home. We spent the late morning connecting with a few more lovely BLOOMers: Barbara Wise, the Seed Keeper gals, Kerrie and Carol, Kylee Baumle and her husband Romie, and more.

Overall, it was a wonderful trip and we were so impressed with the time, energy and effort put into this garden event. Kudos to Louise and all the nice folks in Van Wert we met. We’ll be back someday!

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