Saturday, November 2, 2013

Crossing the Border: My first "International" speaking gig

Greetings readers!

Yes, I'm still alive and I still exist and I'm finally getting around to posting something on here.

So, I'd like to share an experience I had just last weekend so I can skip talking about all that has happened since my last post, which took place in August! Now, over two months later, we can get caught up! Hahahah a nutshell:

1) My friend Molly got hitched and I did her flowers and it turned out pretty awesome.
2) UW Botanic Gardens/Washington Park Arboretum launched the opening of the New Zealand forest at the Arboretum.
3) I met Loree of "Danger Garden" and had a GREAT time with friends in Portland. (future blog post for sure!)
4) Did a floral showcase with new friends in the cut flower industry that I've made. much to share and document!


FOR THIS POST, I'd like to take you all with me to British Columbia for my first ever speaking engagement with the South Surrey Garden Club and the Vancouver Hardy Plant Group.

I drove up Wednesday afternoon to meet my hosts at a lovely garden called Dart's Hill. Just a few minutes from the USA/Canadian border, we were blessed with stunning fall weather and the landscape was in full color. It felt a little weird being on a private tour, but it was quite an honor and to be told that members were looking forward to my talk was kind of cool! Made me a little nervous, but it was really nice of them to say.

Shortly after the garden visit, we headed over to White Rock for dinner and that's when the dense fog rolled in. As expected, though, the group was so kind, so polite and it was nice to see such an active club. Of course I was obviously the youngest person there (minus the AV/set up person to assist), but I was most surprised by the number of male members that were in attendance!

My talk for the South Surrey Garden Club was on "Autumn Appeal: Celebrating the change and color in the Fall Landscape".

Later in the evening, I endured the very thick fog that slowed my drive up to Vancouver, but I made it. It was quite exciting and so very generous of the Vancouver Hardy Plant Group to set me up for a few nights at a well known downtown hotel. I had a few days before my talk for the group so I took the time to sleep in, visit some favorite places, and reconnect with some friends.

I couldn't help but buy flowers and assemble a bouquet for my friends who I haven't seen in years!

Carpinus fangiana
Of course I had to hit up UBC Botanical Garden to see great colors, wonderful plants (including a tree that I'll always be so infatuated with every time I visit. Carpinus fangiana)

Walking through the woodlands, I was getting frustratrated with my camera not working properly and then I began to think, "I've been to this garden many times and I've loads of pictures"
I put the camera away and just tried to soak up all that was around me. Yes, being here is like work, but to be reminded from time to time that landscapes and plants are meant to be enjoyed as well. I didn't want to stress about documenting each plant and capturing the right photographs for future talks.

I made a pretty quick walk through the garden, but then managed to make it and explore my next destination. Van Dusen

Saturday arrived and so did the Vancouver Hardy Plant Group's Fall Study Day held at the HR MacMillan Space Centre . I was one of three speakers and, WOW, what a line up it was. I think I kind of let it get to me that I would be speaking after two well known speakers and I was a bit hard on myself after the talk, but I did what I could I'm just hoping my talk and story-telling about Fragrant Plants was well received.

Hiding behind the stage flowers as attendees sit down for the lectures.

David Culp spoke on his book, The Layered Garden, and closed out the day with a talk on Galanthus

Bill Terry gave a wonderful talk about embracing natives and working with our natural landscapes.

My sincerest thanks to the South Surrey Garden Club and the Vancouver Hardy Plant Group for this wonderful experience!