Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Meeting gardeners: The Gift of Friendship

When Dick Basset saw a photo of a nine foot lily on the front pages of the newspaper he knew he had to work in Horticulture. Dick grew up on a dairy farm, had a brief career in the airforce, and went off to UBC where he studied horticulture. Fast forward 60+ years and imagine how much fun I had meeting Kelowna's premiere lily breeder. I would have to say he is one of the happiest most creative gardeners I met this year. I can't wait to get my hands on some of the lilies he has been breeding in his "spare time" but I wouldn't have met him at all if
friend and gardener Alicja Paradzic hadn't retired to the warmer climate of Kelowna and enticed me out there to speak to her garden club.
While there in July, another gardener Linda Edser toured me around and also introduced me to Andrea McFadden of the Okanagan Lavender Farm. 3rd generation farmer, Andrea, was full of ideas for small farmers looking to maximize farm profits.
A highlight this summer was the Garden Writer's Conference in Indianapolis where dozens of garden writers came together. I sat with Jeff Lowenfels at the final banquet - he is shown here with his GWA award for his excellent book "Teaming With Microbes".

I am thrilled to be part of the bigger garden world and have the gift of friendship from so many including fellow writers Debra Prinzing and Steven Biggs, clients Evonne Selk and Peggy Proudfoot, so many book store and small shop owners where I presented or sold my new book and of course folks I met at the many lectures I gave. A garden writer can spend a lot of hours sitting alone writing. Getting out to events and conferences gives me immense pleasure.


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