Thursday, July 24, 2014


An AmericanHort Experience

Cultivate'14 is recognized as the premier educational and trade show event for horticulture professionals in North America. There were1600 exhibit spaces with over 12,000 in attendance. It is growing and getting better each year.

I picked up Sue, my co-writer, at 5:30 AM and headed for Columbus. We had beautiful weather. We drove  to the Convention Center and parked in the parking garage. We headed straight to registration. We had to pick up our Press Passes. This gave us all access to all areas of the show.

Saturday we spent most of the day in educational seminars. The first being Jarad Barns from North Carolina State University on how to landscape with Great Background Plants. It was interesting how it started the showcase of the garden .The one fault I would find, was his plant selections were not inclusive of our zone 5-5b. I would love Crepe Myrtle, but it will not winter here. His design will work here with the right plant selection for our zone.

Maria Zampini
The second session we chose was a couple of my favorite people in the garden world, Maria Zampini and Shawna Coronado. It was Social Media Digital Roundtable Exchange . This was good for Sue and I, as we are new to the Blogging World. We were given guidance on social media, marketing, blogging,  photography and writing.

Shawna Coronado

Next we heard the ever famous Dan Heims/ Terra Nova about "Right Plant, Right Place".  Plants for dry spots, for dry shade, perennials for containers, plants for crevices and salt tolerant plants. Dan has the most pleasant speaking voice and his travels make him an amazing communicator. Plus he is a new Grandfather. We exchanged talking about grandbabies.

Dan Heims
The last event of the day for us was taking the shuttle to Ohio State Annuals Trial Gardens and Chadwick Arboretum Learning Gardens. Blooms of Bressingham and AmericanHort provided this. I especially liked the Green Roof at OSU..

Sue and I met two young nursery men from Charleston South Carolina at the different seminars during the day.. They asked us to join them for dinner and being it was Saturday night without reservations it became a challenge. We ended up at The Cheesecake Factory at Easton. We had a 45 minute wait. which was better than 4 hours at other places. They were two very fine young men. We had a wonderful dinner and great conversation. After dinner we headed to The Varsity Inn about ten minutes from the Convention Center. It didn't take long for us to fall asleep.

We set the alarm early because P. Allen Smith was the keynote speaker. We were able to chat with him before he took the stage. He is the most personal celebrity you will ever meet, as well as his "everything",  Mimi San Pedro. I know Mimi is taller than I, but she had her "Big Girl"  shoes on. P. Allen certainly has a way of addressing where the future of gardening is going and what we need to do to be a part of a growing industry. Allen is a very savvy business person and has his way of motivating his audience.

Mimi San Pedro

The convention hall opened for us to see all the new plant introductions and all the equipment and products of the industry. Favorite stops for me was and always is Proven Winners, Dramm and HGTV. Over the years I have met many of these people in the industry and is always great to see them once again. We met new people and saw new products. Our minds were whirling.
Late Sunday, we took the shuttle to Franklin Park Conservatory Trial Display Gardens. This is always a treat. The daylilies were in full bloom. I love the Chihuly glass that enhances the gardens. We returned to our motel to ready ourselves for our final day,  Monday.

The show runs four days . We could only be there three, so we had to keep moving to be able to cover the whole show.. We had a GWA luncheon that was wonderful and where we were informed about what the Garden Writers are doing and about the conference in Pittsburg. It was great getting to reconnect friendships and making new ones. We made a quick run through the show floor before starting home.

 It was a great show, and this post only touches on a small part of what we experienced . We plan to attend next year.

Keeping informed

Louise and Sue


  1. It can be frustrating when plants are suggested that don't work for us, but you have to remember that Cultivate'14 is a nationwide event and many even attend from overseas. It just happens to be held in Ohio. For that, we are fortunate!

    1. I understand. It was fine, but they could be less pacific. Thanks for reading.

  2. Sounds like your mind could get on overload at these shows but with all the beauty around you what was not to enjoy, plants , flowers , designs and the people..

    1. I love the shows and the people that I have had the privilege to meet. I wish I would have had these opportunities earlier in my life, but am making the most of what I love, gardening and people. With your gardening skills, you would love it too.

  3. Sounds like a great horticultural show. I know you had fun, cause I know you, Louise!

    1. Alison, I love reading your blog. I feel like I am there. Through the love of gardening I met you. It was a great show. So fortunate to be only a couple miles away.

  4. I just found your blog Louise - I LOVE IT! I'm looking forward to following your adventures on .