By Kate Copsey
I had heard a lot about the Northwest Flower & Garden Show (NWFGS) in Seattle, WA. Every spring for the past two or three years the social media board had lit up with people who were heading out to the show. This year I was thrilled to be able to join the masses travelling to Seattle.
I left home on a drab East Coast February day. In Seattle I had arranged to meet my fellow GWA members at about 6:30 PM on that Thursday evening but as my plane was delayed, it was closer to 8:00 PM before I hit downtown. It was not however too late to meet people so my phone came out and I texted a West Coast buddy, Dawn Hummel and arranged to meet her in the bar area of the hotel. On the walk to that bar I encountered other garden communicators like GWA National Director Nan Sterman, Kathryn Wadsworth and David Deardorff.
I was scheduled to speak the following day, Friday, first thing in the morning on my book The Downsized Vegetable Garden. It was not until after my first talk that I realized just how many of the speakers at NWFGS were fellow garden communicators that I have met at the annual conference each year. Close to 40 GWA members were giving talks, signing books, and in the case of Joe Lamp’l, judging ‘Garden Wars’. Others were there just to enjoy the show and network.
I have attended several home and garden shows across the Midwest and East Coast and expected a similar event in Seattle – wrong! The whole feel of the show was different. Vendors showed garden art and sculpture that had a western feel to it. The show gardens, which were constructed by local nursery and landscape businesses, were celebrating the 100th anniversary of the National Park System. For example, there was a desert scenes backed by dramatic mountains and a river of spring flowers flowing through a rocky landscape – not something you’d likely see at an East Coast show.
Later that night, C.L. Fornari and I had dinner and talked about the fine art of giving good talks which most of us aspire to. I continued to meet other writers and communicators throughout the evening and into the next day before heading back home to New Jersey.
The NWFGS was a long way to travel for me but it was worth every minute of the stay. I hope to make it back to many more shows.
Meet the Author
Kate grew up in England, where vegetables were always part of the garden.
Kate was the first host of the popular America’s Home Grown Veggie Show and continued as host for over 6 years with the program. She was a national board member for The Herb Society of America, and is currently on the board of GWA.
As a writer Kate has written for local, regional and international newspapers as well as a variety of magazines. She has just released her first book with St. Lynn’s Press – The Downsized Vegetable Garden.
Kate also enjoys giving presentations to the public and has always been a popular regional speaker wherever she has lived. Her talks range from basic gardening to herbs and vegetables, including growing vegetables in containers.