Sometimes Being a Plant Nerd Has Its Benefits

Garden Home Retreat at Moss Mountain
These last twelve months have held monumental moments- #2 son marries his high school sweetheart, #3 son graduates from high school, #1 son and his wife bring a new granddaughter into the world, #4 son takes the acting world by storm with his scene-stealing lines as Jigger in Carousel, I had my first book published, I got to speak at the Garden Writers Symposium and at the highly acclaimed Northwest Flower and Garden Show, AND I got invited to P.Allen Smith‘s Garden2Blog Event this past May 1 and 2!
It has taken me at least 2 weeks to process all the events of this last week at Garden2Blog so walk with me for a few minutes in my garden of memories and glimpse a few of the highlights of this unique event.
I spied a quiet garden spot as I rounded the corner of Marlsgate, home of David Garner and family.

Marlsgate looking out over Bearskin Lake

Water features and statues at Marlsgate transported me from Little Rock, Arkansas to a European formal garden.

Pathway to a secret garden – is this calling your name?

Seven Sisters Rose at Marlsgate

Fun new and old friends – Helen Yoest, Bren Haas, Monica Milla, SHIRLEY! Bovshow (my new cohort in container design – even if we have to steal a few cuttings from P. Allen Smith’s garden), and my other new friend who’s name now escapes me (somebody help me out here).

The pathways around the original garden home held delightful garden rooms, each with a charm and welcome all their own.

One of the highlights of the trip was meeting my longtime superstar garden author Lois Chaplin, Author of

The Southern Gardener’s Book of Lists: The Best Plants for All Your Needs, Wants, and Whims

At Allen’s Garden Home Retreat we got to meet the chickens up close and personal – in their formal room.

Introducing the rose garden

So excited to finally learn about and experience planting The Earth Box. I’m excited about trying these out for the deckboxes I use in the neighborhoods where I work.

Late afternoon around Allen’s new Laguna water feature, the light tickled the tassels of the grasses to make them dance in the sunshine.

Bronze fennel and stipa grass in Allen’s garden

Even the bones of Allium are beautiful.

Here’s where the plant nerd part really comes in: the last activity of the event was a scavanger hunt put on by Proven Winners Plants to find plants in Allen’s garden and answer questions about them. Anyone who knows me well knows that one of the things that I love the most in my job/life is a good plant mystery. All those hours of research over the years paid off – I WON AN ALL EXPENSES PAID TRIP THROUGH PROVEN WINNERS TO THE CALIFORNIA SPRING PACK TRIALS!!!!!

And each night, before I went to bed in my luxurious hotel room at The Capital Hotel – dreamy toffee was left on my pillow!

 “DISCLOSURE: Attendees at Garden2Blog 2012 including myself received transportation, accommodations and meals during the event. Event sponsors provided samples and product giveaways at no cost or obligation. All opinions are my own.”