Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Plan Now to Attend "VAN WERT BLOOMS with P. Allen Smith & Friends" in Van Wert OH - April 16, 2016

There's excitement brewing in Northwest Ohio. All the behind-the-scenes preparation that goes along with a major event is happening right now and will culminate on April 16, 2016 at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center in Van Wert.


On that day, landscape designer, author, and television celebrity P. Allen Smith will take the stage and share his experience with those of us lucky enough to have a ticket to Van Wert Blooms with P. Allen Smith & Friends. (You can get yours here!)

Readers know that Allen and I are buddies and I'm so excited that he's coming to my stomping grounds! Allen supported my book, Indoor Plant Decor: The Design Stylebook For Houseplants, that I wrote with Jenny Peterson in 2013, and they're his words that appear on the back cover of the book.
Allen and I film a video in 2012, demonstrating the GrowBox.

In the last five years, I've visited Allen four times at his Moss Mountain Farm home outside Little Rock, Arkansas, as an attendee of Garden2Blog. I can tell you that no one knows how to pack in the fun like Allen and his crew, while helping you learn new things about gardening. His down-to-earth style is inspirational. "For heaven's sake, just grow something."

That's what he'll be doing at Van Wert Blooms - teaching, sharing, and inspiring, in his usual fun way. He'll be joined by several other outstanding garden speakers:

Barbara Wise - Barbara works for Landscape Service, Inc. (LSI) in Nashville, Tenn., as Director of Floriculture. She oversees the design, installation and maintenance of 350 clients’ annual beds and more than 400 containers for the company, a recognized leader in sustainable landscape management, design, construction and water management practices in the southeast.

She also provides educational classes, teaches master gardening courses and works as a gardening consultant. She shares her appreciation for all things gardening on her blog, BWiseGardening. Barbara is also a writer for Tennessee Gardener and has a monthly gardening column, "Garden Compositions," in Nashville House, Home, and Garden magazine.

With the desire to cultivate a culture of gardening, Barbara’s passion for helping new gardeners succeed led her to publish her first book, Container Gardening for All Seasons, in 2012.


Irvin Etienne - Irvin is the Horticultural Display Coordinator at the Indianapolis Museum of Art where he has worked over 20 years. He helps the horticulturists with plant selection and garden design as well as designing and maintaining his own areas. While working in the 152 acres of the IMA gardens and grounds requires knowledge and skill with all manner of woody and herbaceous plants, Irvin lusts for and loves the tropical species most of all.

He is the recipient of both the Gold and Silver awards in Electronic Media Writing from the Garden Writers Association for his blogging at the IMA. He is a graduate of Purdue University with a degree in Public Horticulture.

There is an attempt to infuse humor in all aspects of public interactions whether live, electronic, or in print. In his own garden, everything from cannas to eggplants to magnolias coexist in a lush jungle fed by manure from his own rabbits and chickens. Obviously a product of the Midwest, Irvin could be considered...well...a simple farm boy that likes shiny, sparkly things. And is easily distracted.


Maria Zampini - Maria’s first memory of working in the family business is putting fertilizer pills in pots at age seven. Maria worked her way up the green corporate ladder and now represents LCN Selections and other new plant varieties, researching and developing the plants and introducing them to the market. Under her guidance, UpShoot has expanded its breadth of work to include marketing of garden related products.

Additionally, Maria is also a respected author, speaker and consultant. In 2012, Maria was named Director of Plant Development for the Agricola Management Group, the exclusive licensee of the HGTV HOME Plant collection. Her work includes sourcing genetics for the various plant collections, working with grower and retail partners, as well as networking with garden writers.

Maria writes a monthly column in Garden Center Magazine and a regular column for Nursery Management. Her work has appeared in numerous other publications, including American Nurseryman, Nursery News, Country Folks Grower, Fine Gardening and the northern issues of State-by-State Gardening Magazines. She is also a sought-after speaker, lecturing on new plant introductions, sustainability, native plants, plant patents and trademarks and other plant-related topics.


Amanda Thomsen - Big, loud and fun, Amanda landscapes by day and blogs at night. She has blogged for almost 10 years. She also was a blogger for Fine Gardening magazine. She writes content for Green Profit and is also featured in a monthly column. In 2010, Amanda co-authored Grocery Gardening. She was part of the podcasting team, Good Enough Gardening and now lives in Chicago with her family in a pup tent in the parking lot of the Chicago Botanic Garden.


Pam Bennett - Pam is the State Master Gardener Volunteer Coordinator for Ohio and Horticulture Educator and Director for Ohio State University Extension in Clark County.  She has a BS in Landscape Horticulture and an MS in Human and Community Resource Development from Ohio State University.  Her responsibilities include providing leadership for the OSUE Master Gardener Volunteer program consisting of more than 4,000 volunteers and conducting consumer and commercial horticulture programs.

Pam specializes in herbaceous ornamental plant trials and evaluates more than 200 varieties of annuals and two genera of ornamental grasses; she presents programs on annuals and perennials as well as other landscape topics locally, statewide, and nationally.  Pam has also lectured in South Korea and China.  She is Chairman of the  National Extension Master Gardener Committee, a Clark County Park District Commissioner, and is the Past-President of the Friends of the Ohio Governor’s Residence and Heritage Garden.  She also provides leadership to the OSUE MGV International Outreach program.

Pam is the co-author of the newly-published book Garden-pedia, An A-to- Z Guide to Gardening Terms, writes a weekly gardening column for the Springfield News and Sun and the Dayton Daily News, authors the bi-monthly "Ask the Expert" column for Ohio Gardener magazine and is a frequent writer for popular gardening magazines as well as trade publications.


The cost of a ticket for the day's event is just $45 and that includes breakfast and lunch. Master Gardener Volunteers will receive 6 CEUs for attending the event, but you don't have to be a MGV to attend. You only need to enjoy gardening.

See you there!

Everyone will be the recipients of horticultural knowledge and a fun time is guaranteed. I know each of the speakers personally, and I can't wait to hear every one of them speak. And then there will be the awesomeness of being in a room full of fellow plant nerds...

As of now, more than 400 tickets have already been sold. Do you have yours?


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