Back in 2013 I started writing a (yet unfinished, I'm embarrassed to admit) essay on garden blogging titled "Creating Community".
That's when the owner of the company my husband works for, Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Company, did a TED talk titled, Finding My Analog Self In A Digital World. His talk was a good one, but I found myself disagreeing with his basic premise. He emphasized the importance of tuning out the electronic noise in life, how it creates a distraction from what is really important, the people right there next to you. My experience couldn't be more different. The digital world (via garden blogging) has brought me closer to real life people, given me valuable connections to fellow gardeners in my community, my country and across the world. These online acquaintances have gone on to become real life friends, as we've meet in person on the “Fling” or visited each other’s gardens when we travel. Our tight group of Portland garden bloggers frequently gets together for plant-nerd funfests.
It was at my first "Fling" (Seattle 2011) that I met Lorene Edwards Forkner, who is now the Editor of Pacific Horticulture magazine. Fast forward to 2016 and I became a board member at Pacific Horticulture. Lorene had attended the 2014 Fling in Portland and the visit to Westwind Farm Studio had stuck with her, she asked if I'd write the story...
Of course no magazine article is worth beans without great photos, and that's where our blogging community comes into play. That inspiring photo above? Taken by Scott Weber, friend, photographer extraordinaire and lead planner for the Portland Fling. Those two lovely ladies with their feet in the (saltwater) pool? On the left is Kate Bryant, friend, garden writer, gardener, force for horticultural good. On the right is Heather Tucker, friend, fellow blogger, co-planner for the Fling and gardener with attitude. Throughout the story are more photos from friends who attended the Portland Fling and allowed PHS to use their photos: Tamara Paulat, Alan Lorence, Kelly Kilpatrick and Pam Penick. Plus, the article includes a sidebar called "meet the bloggers" — with a little background on those who contributed photos. Creating community!
The story I wrote, on the stunning Westwind Farm Studio and it's owners/curators Maryellen and Michael McCulloch, is now live on the Pacific Horticulture website, I hope you'll check it out (or better yet become a member and receive the print magazine — the story appears in the Summer 2017 issue). Maryellen could not have been more wonderful to work with, and I was invited into the McCulloch's stunning home multiple times to chat. Our first visit took place on October 20th, fall color was all around and I couldn't help but snap some photos...
Knowing my love for the "less hardy" plants, Maryellen included a tour of the greenhouse in my visit (the structure is visible in my fist photo above). One of these little citrus fruit was picked and put in my hand. I believe she said they were great in a cocktail but mine just sat on the counter for weeks, lending a bit of sun to a PNW autumn.
I was also sent home with a tall (almost 3ft) totem pole cactus (Lophocereus schottii monstrose), like the ones shown here (maybe it even was one of these, I've lost track). It's now got pride of place on the patio, one of the first things you see as you step down.
I am so lucky to be a part of the amazing Portland gardening community, part of the garden blogging community, and part of Pacific Horticulture.
And because I think you should know about it, this is where I mention an upcoming fundraiser for Pacific Horticulture, at the amazing Bella Madrona (info and registration here), the generous and talented Geof Beasley has agreed to open his garden for an afternoon. We held the final event of the 2014 Garden Bloggers Fling in this garden. None of us wanted leave, I can't wait to go back!
Weather Diary, July 2: Hi 83, Low 54/ Precip tbd
All material © 2009-2017 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.