Time to connect with fellow gardening enthusiasts for some fun, sun, garden tours and educational sessions in Minneapolis, MN
I was lucky enough to take a trip to Minneapolis, MN for the 75th GardenComm Conference and the Garden Center Conference & Expo. This was my first trip to Minneapolis. What a beautiful place. I won’t mention the fact that I managed to be there when the temperatures were in the 90’s with crazy humidity. It felt like a tropical paradise.
The first thing on my agenda was a quick trip to St. Paul to see our friends at Experience Life. I love everything that they stand for. They are all about “Empowering people to become their healthiest, happiest, most authentic selves, and supporting a balanced, deeply satisfying way of life.” We had a wonderful chat in the sun at a cute coffee shop. It was the perfect start to a few days in a new place.
After checking into the hotel, I was able to register for GardenComm (pick up my very cute swag bag) and start connecting and meeting with other gardening lovers. One of which was Shelley Cramm who has written several articles that have been featured in our GreenPrints publication. She shared with me information about her latest book, her family life, and the various projects she has been working on. She is a fountain of information on how Biblical verses relate to gardening, fruits, and vegetables. Her latest book “My Father Is the Gardener” has heartfelt scriptures, delightful insights, and beautiful illustrations.
I was overwhelmed by the many wonderful sessions and talks that covered a variety of topics. It was so hard to choose which ones to attend. I needed a cloning machine or time-turner so that I didn’t miss a single one. Unfortunately, I do not have either, so I will need to wait for the October virtual event to join the ones I missed in person!
One of these sessions was led by Diane Blazek with the National Garden Bureau. She shared with us the new varieties of plants and flowers premiering in 2024. We are in for a year full of color and beautiful, hardy plants. 2024 is the year of the hosta, squash, Angelonia, buddleia, lily, and African violet. We are so eager to see everything that is to bloom.
Several of our current advertising partners were also in attendance. It was such a joy to meet Brent and Becky Heath in person! They are the owners of Brent and Becky’s Bulbs who have been growing beautiful bulbs in Gloucester, VA since 1900. Their journey started with Brent’s grandfather, a devoted lover of the daffodil, who moved to this area to start his farm. Since then, they have grown to offer not only high-quality bulbs of all kinds, but also tropicals, perennials, annuals, supplements, books, and gifts.
On the Garden Center Expo floor was another of our advertising partners, TDI Brands, home of Garden Your Way. They have wonderful handpicked products for any avid gardener. Their goal is to spread the joy of gardening to gardeners everywhere. They even have an informative blog “What’s the Dirt?” that is full of great tips.
I managed to brave the heat and sun for various garden tours, including Bailey Nurseries. What a beautiful and informative trip. It was so fascinating to see the planting and nurturing process along with the sophisticated watering system that they use. I enjoyed wandering the colorful garden paths while chatting with fellow GardenComm members. Their hospitality was greatly appreciated.
We were also lucky enough to tour the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum where we all posed for a group photo. A huge thank you to Tracy Walsh at Tracy Walsh Photography for taking this photo and sharing it with all of us!
The week’s festivities ended with a banquet and award show. It was such a joy to see fellow members being honored for all of the work that they have done this past year. The amount of time and effort that goes into this entire event is just overwhelming.
There was so much to do and see the week just flew by! All too soon it was time to say goodbye to friends old and new and board the plane to head home. I have memories to last a lifetime and am already looking forward to next year’s event.
About Mequoda Publishing Network: Mequoda provides actionable ideas, inspiration, and advice for gardeners, cooks, and crafting enthusiasts—with the goal of improving their lives and increasing personal enrichment and enjoyment. We operate five multiplatform consumer brands, including six magazines, 28 email newsletters, and more than 100 digital books. We partner with dozens of sponsors to help them market their products to our audiences.
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