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Who’s Who at Austin Fling

There are as many reasons to write a garden blog as there are reasons to make a garden. Some bloggers enjoy documenting the seasonal changes and excitement of their own gardens. Others aim to educate or inspire other gardeners about cool plants, beautiful design, or specific interests. Some love ornamental gardens of flowers or foliage. Others value gardens that provide food for the table. Still others garden to feed and shelter wildlife. Whatever drives you to blog about gardening, there’s a place for you at Garden Bloggers Fling, as evidenced by the diverse group of bloggers planning to attend Austin Fling this May. (Here’s the list of attendees, organized by location.) Below are short profiles of participating bloggers and what they’re all about. We’re sure you’ll find kindred spirits here as well as reasons to reach out to bloggers doing something interesting and different. And if you need a little extra help putting names to faces, you may also find this a helpful reference once you arrive in Austin, so bookmark this page!

Kylee Baumle Blog: Our Little Acre Location: Northwest Ohio Focus: I write about my ornamental, edible, and houseplant gardening; monarch butterflies and their conservation; and a random topic now and then. Projects and Publications: Right now my focus is on the monarch butterfly and how we can help increase their (and other pollinator) numbers. I’ve written two books, Indoor Plant Decor: The Design Stylebook For Houseplants (with co-author Jenny Peterson) and THE MONARCH: Saving Our Most-Loved Butterfly. My photographs have appeared in a number of books, magazines, trade publications, and plant catalogs. I do public speaking, primarily educating about monarch butterflies and promoting habitat conservation to benefit them and other pollinators. All of this came about as a direct result of my blog, which celebrated 11 years in January!

Tagline: A noun. A verb. A blog.

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Focus: Together with my sister, Sarah Battersby, we write about gardening, gardens, and garden events in and around Toronto. We also bring home ideas and inspiration from garden travels around the world of interest to city gardeners anywhere.

Projects and Publications: Aside from our day jobs as a freelance copywriter (Helen) and college instructor in graphic design (Sarah), we’re garden coaches and speakers. In fall 2017, we also became the new publishers of a beloved, long-running local garden diary and guide, The Toronto Gardener’s Journal 2018. We’re working on spin-offs (to be announced).

Vicki Blachman Blog: Playin’ Outside Location: Austin, Texas Focus: Curiosity drives my learning, writing, and teaching – whether it’s about supporting our native bees, rainwater harvesting in our increasingly wonky climate, or my struggle to bring design to the chaos my curiosity creates. If it makes me smile, I like to share it. Projects: I’ve been working on a book for several years. It’s not about gardening but rather about what foods mean “home” to the homeless and marginally housed. When it happens, the proceeds will go to a local nonprofit that makes every dollar count to provide housing for Austin’s homeless.

Gerhard Bock Blog: Succulents and More Tagline: Embrace spikiness! Location: Davis, California Focus: My main interests are succulents, but I also grow a wide range of plants from the various Mediterranean climate zones around the world. Like many of you, I’m zone-blind – i.e., I often experiment with plants that aren’t supposed to grow here. In addition to documenting my own garden, I also showcase public and private gardens I have the opportunity to visit on my travels. Projects: My other passion is photography. It’s a blessing and a curse because I often spend way too much time in Photoshop trying to come up with the best possible photos for my blog.

Loree Bohl Blog: Danger Garden Tagline: careful, you could poke an eye out Location: Portland, Oregon Focus: My blog name comes from my love of spiky plants, but that’s not all I cover. I write about my garden, nursery visits, and public and private gardens I visit. Everything is fair game, and there are always lots of photos. Projects: I’m still busy trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up, but right now I am enjoying serving on the board of directors for two West Coast horticultural organizations (Hardy Plant Society of Oregon and Pacific Horticulture) and helping to spread the joy of gardening.

Botanical Interests

Judy Seaborn and Laura O’Connor

Blog: Botanical Interests Blog Location: Broomfield, Colorado Focus: Gardening, cooking, and craft tips. The Botanical Interests team will host Garden Bloggers Fling in Denver in 2019.

Natalie Carmolli Blog: Through the Greenhouse Glass Tagline: Information and inspiration for garden writers Location: Grand Haven, Michigan Focus: This blog focuses on a plant of the week in the Proven Winners® ColorChoice® line of shrubs. Projects: We often do plant giveaways! It’s important for us to hear about our plants, especially new varieties, being trialed in gardens of people who can then write about them and share their insights online. Sound like you? Drop me a line, and let’s see what we can get going. Besides gardening and talking about gardening, I’m also an actor and director in local civic theater!

Jim Charlier Blog: Art of Gardening Location: Buffalo, New York Focus: Garden travel, ideas, inspiration, and great Buffalo, NY gardens by the well-traveled past president of Garden Walk Buffalo, America’s largest garden tour. Projects and Publications: I’m currently working on a gardening book, co-authored with Sally Cunningham, to be published by St. Lynn’s Press in fall 2018. I’m vice president of Gardens Buffalo Niagara, which organizes and promotes garden tours, a garden art sale, bus tours, and Garden Walk Buffalo, America’s largest garden tour. I helped plan the 2017 GWA Annual Conference in Buffalo and the 2010 Buffalo Garden Bloggers Fling, and I’ve given talks at America In Bloom’s 2015 Conference in San Louis Obispo, CA, as well as spoken twice at the International Garden Tourism Conference in Toronto. My garden photography has been published in many garden magazines as well as garden books. My garden itself was featured with an eight-page spread in This Old House magazine’s June 2017 issue.

Tagline: outdoor living: the border + beyond

Location: Las Cruces, New Mexico

Focus: Landscape design mostly in the Desert Southwest, my projects and others’ projects, physical geography and ecology, and inspiration from being outdoors or travel.

Projects: I’m developing an ecoregion-based climate zone system for gardens, and transitioning from 3 decades in landscape architecture into planning, including a corridor plan for El Camino Real in my county. I’ve started a book and a booklet on arid-region landscape design, and I make presentations to regional groups including the Native Plant Society and workshops focused on resource-efficient horticulture. I contribute to others’ publications on like topics.

Lori Daul Blog: The Gardener Of Good And Evil Tagline: Lush Landscapes For Tough Climates Location: Austin, Texas Focus: Native and well-adapted plants that are beautiful and useful, feed pollinators and wildlife, and are hard to kill. Projects: As my landscape design business has taken off, I spend more time tending client gardens than my own these days. My own garden serves as a test plot to try out new plants. I’m a firm believer in trying and maybe killing something a few times before planting it in someone else’s garden. I’ve also gone through a few distinct phases of plant obsession: roses, then agaves, and now water gardening.

Andrea Fox Blog: Transplant Studio Tagline: grow where you’re planted Location: Caldwell, Texas Focus: I like to document the plant and critter discoveries I’ve had in the places I’ve come to know as a gardener. My husband and I have recently relocated to a rural property in Texas. We have yet to establish any gardens, but there’s plenty to learn from all the nature and wildlife that surrounds us. Projects: I’m an avid knitter, quilter, and bread baker.

Tagline: Living and gardening in beautiful San Antonio

Location: San Antonio, Texas

Focus: Sharing what I’ve learned about keeping my garden looking good year-round in our tough South Texas climate. I also include plenty of tours of both public and private gardens along with the wonderful sights of beautiful, historic San Antonio.

Kim Halyak Blog: Cooper Young Garden Walk Blog Location: Memphis, Tennessee Focus: Sharing Cooper Young Garden Club activities and garden events around the city, highlighting garden design, and promoting our annual Cooper Young Garden Walk. Projects: The project closest to my heart is growing and promoting our neighborhood garden walk throughout Memphis and beyond. In only our 3rd year, we have grown from 24 gardens to 80 gardens. Our long-range goal is to expand our garden walk throughout Memphis and have Memphis become a garden tourism destination. I give talks on “Garden walks as catalysts for neighborhood and city-wide beautification projects and pride.”

Wendy Hatoum Blog: The High Country Gardens Blog

Location: Shelburne, Vermont

Focus: Organic, sustainable, waterwise gardening; gardening with native plants; new plant introductions

Projects: I grew up gardening in Los Angeles and Salt Lake City and have spent the last 25 years perennial-gardening in northern Vermont. I have a background in print journalism and digital marketing and have worked as the brand manager of High Country Gardens since 2013.

Caroline Homer Blog: The Shovel-Ready Garden Location: Austin, Texas Focus: Gardening (vegetables, citrus, ornamentals, annuals, perennials, bulbs), travel (Fling, urban farm tours, national parks, Europe), and DIY garden projects. Projects: I’ve been a Travis County Master Gardener since 2012 and a registered dietitian since 1989. I post my photography on my Flickr site, Caroline Homer Photography.

Cat Jones

Blog: The Whimsical Gardener

Location: Austin, Texas

Focus: Passionate about gardening and photography. The Whimsical Gardener is where the two meet. You can find me on Instagram too.

Tagline: Welcome to my garden

Location: Greenfield, Massachusetts

Focus: My blog focuses on local gardens and gardeners, and my emphasis is on sustainable gardens, as well as organic farms and vegetable gardens. I also review garden books. Gardeners are always learning, and we need our books as well as conversations.

Projects and Publications: Before I began blogging, I wrote “Between the Rows,” a weekly garden column for our local Greenfield Recorder. For 36 years I gardened on 60 acres in a very small town. Now, as a gardener on a small town lot, I have become especially interested in public gardens. For several years I’ve been on the volunteer committee for The Bridge of Flowers in Shelburne Falls, MA. I also volunteer with a wonderful group of women revitalizing the gardens in Greenfield’s Energy Park. Our focus is not only beauty but native plants and sustainable management. I have also volunteered with a group to design and plant sustainable gardens around a new community center. In 2012 I published my book The Roses at the End of the Road, a humorous take on life among the roses on our former 60 acres. From time to time I give talks about local gardens as well as my own.

Denise Maher

Blog: A Growing Obsession

Location: Long Beach, California

Focus: Plants, Gardens, Design.

Projects and Publications: Working with local designers and plantspeople to create “pop-up” markets and plant fairs.

Theo Margelony

Theo Margelony and Kevin Gepford Blog: Fuchsias in the City Location: Manhattan, NY

Kevin Gepford

Focus: The Fuchsia. But also nature, travel, history, and assorted adventures from an urban garden filled with fuchsias, hostas, ferns, and way too many other shady things. One world, one garden! Projects: Theo is the writer. Kevin is the photographer, graphic artist, and Photoshop editor. Away from the garden and the blog, Theo works as a museum administrator in medieval art and does heraldry. Kevin works as creative operations director for digital marketing graphics on a corporate website, and also does old-fashioned pinhole photography with his wonderful box cameras.

Jean McWeeney Blog: Dig, Grow, Compost, Blog Tagline: Tracking the cycle of my gardening life Location: Ruston, Louisiana Focus: I blog about my garden and the gardens of friends or ones I see while traveling. Projects: I retired from the software industry 4 years ago, and today I run the nonprofit North Louisiana Farm Fresh, which is in charge of the Ruston Farmers Market. I also help with some local political groups. On the gardening side of things, I offer garden coaching services to do-it-yourselfers and give public talks about gardening for birds and pollinators, mostly in north Louisiana. I also sell the occasional photograph.

Cinthia Milner Blog: B.B. Barns Garden Blog and Cinthia Milner Location: Asheville, North Carolina Focus: I write the blog for garden center B.B. Barns, and the focus is on all things related to gardening. For my own blog, Cinthia Milner, I have fun and write whatever I want, and it isn’t always about gardening, although my most popular blog post is called Dream of David Austin English Roses. Projects: I recently started a group that offers women the chance to mentor women working in the field of horticulture. We’re horticulturists, landscape architects, breeders, nursery owners, growers, and contractors. We meet monthly, inviting speakers, taking field trips to work places, and learning and networking with each other. I am also a garden coach for B.B. Barns Garden Center and do a lot of speaking, mostly regionally, but I’ll go further if requested.

Projects: I’m excited to be collaborating with three outstanding bloggers – Noelle Johnson (also attending Austin Fling), Ann McCormick, and Jacqueline Soule – on Southwest Gardening, which launched in January. In my offline life, my husband and I have 4 acres of land and grow vegetables each summer to sell at rural farmers markets. I also offer garden consulting with a focus on edible gardens in low-water conditions. As a freelance editor and writer, I consult with nurseries, landscape designers, growers, and other businesses on communications with their customers.

Tamara Paulat Blog: Chickadee Gardens Tagline: Gardening on two acres near Portland, OR, with a focus on sustainability and native plants Location: Saint Helens, Oregon Focus: I focus on native West Coast plants, sustainability, attracting wildlife, and climate-appropriate gardening. My husband and I are creating a small farm from scratch. I invite readers to come along with us on our journey of making our dream garden on a blank slate of two acres. Projects: I work for Joy Creek Nursery in Scappoose, Oregon. Part of my job is to manage Joy Creek’s Facebook account, so I’m constantly in the 4-acre gardens photographing my heart out. I am a Hardy Plant Society of Oregon member and have written articles for them as well as for Pacific Horticulture.

Jenny Peterson Blog: Jenny Nybro Peterson Tagline: healthy gardens, healthy lives, urban farming Location: Austin, Texas Focus: Wellness, gardening, and urban farming. Projects and Publications: I post a Wellness Tip of the Day video, Monday-Friday, on my Facebook page, where I talk about creating a healthy life in body, mind, and spirit. I am also a smoothie fanatic and find every way I can to hook people up to them! I’m author of The Cancer Survivor’s Garden Companion: Cultivating Hope, Healing and Joy in the Ground Beneath Your Feet (Silver award winner from GWA) and co-author of Indoor Plant Decor, and I’m a public speaker and wellness advocate.

Jim Peterson Website: Garden Design (publisher) Location: Redlands, California Focus: Garden Design provides information on plants, garden-related products, design ideas, garden tours, garden shows and events, and seasonal gardening tips. Projects and Publications: Garden Design produces a quarterly magazine that’s ad free, with in-depth insights on plants and gardens and world-class photography. Also, in 1999 I started The site provides information and resources on decorative concrete to more than 14 million people per year.

Location: Rancho Palos Verdes, California

Focus: Creating a drought-resistant garden, Mediterranean and succulent plants, and floral/foliage arrangements from garden material.

Projects: I’m a volunteer docent at South Coast Botanic Garden.

David Salman Blog: The High Country Gardens Blog Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico Focus: Organic, sustainable, waterwise gardening; gardening with native plants; new plant introductions Projects: David is the founder and chief horticulturist of High Country Gardens. He has a series of planting and informational videos, is a sought-after speaker in the world of horticulture, and has written numerous articles for Fine Gardening, American Gardener, and Horticulture magazines. David’s plant introductions include Bouteloua gracilis ‘Blonde Ambition’ and Agastache ‘Ava’. David is a distinguished recipient of the American Horticultural Society 2008 Great American Gardeners Award.

Barbara Segall Blog: The Garden Post Location: Sudbury, Suffolk, United Kingdom Focus: Gardens in the UK and abroad; gardeners and their stories; ornamental and productive plants; grow-your-own, particularly herbs, salads, and fruit; plants in food; and garden travel. Projects and Publications: I edit 3 magazines for member organizations (Herbs, for the Herb Society; The Horticulturist, for the Chartered Institute of Horticulture; and Suffolk Gardens Trust Newsletter) and write for various magazines such as Hortus. I’m the author of 12 books, including Secret Gardens of East Anglia. I also review books and give talks. I have a small town garden and an allotment in the town. I love garden visiting and general garden nosy-ness!

Mary Beth Shaddix Blog: A Growing Curiosity Location: Birmingham, Alabama Focus: My main focus is edible gardening, where I constantly feed my curiosity about food (mainly because I’m always hungry). I also enjoy plantsman profiles, botanical history, and doing anything to grow new generations of gardeners or get people outdoors. Projects and Publications: As a writer – see my website Mary Beth Shaddix I create content in home, garden, travel, and food categories for media brands such as Southern Living, Cooking Light, HGTV Gardens, and Garden & Gun. And I am lucky to live and breathe plant life 24/7 as co-owner of Maple Valley Nursery, a wholesale growing operation. I have more ideas (than time) to expand A Growing Curiosity into a platform that celebrates and encourages a sense of wonder about the natural world around us. Cooking Light Pick Fresh Cookbook (2014) is a hybrid recipe and garden how-to book. I enjoy speaking opportunities and keep an ongoing wish list of future book ideas. To feed my growing curiosity and garden adventures, I’ve evolved my marketing and publishing career into a successful boutique firm, helping national consumer brands tell their stories effectively.

Joanne Shaw Blog: Down2Earth Landscape Design Blog Location: Pickering, Ontario, Canada Focus: Down-to-earth practical advice for gardening and landscape design Projects and Programs: I am a landscape designer and proprietor at Down2Earth Landscape Design. I also host “Down the Garden Path,” an internet radio show that airs live on Monday evenings at 7 pm EST on, and which is also released as a podcast.

Beth Stetenfeld Blog: PlantPostings Tagline: Notes from a USDA zone 5 shade garden in Southern Wisconsin Location: McFarland, Wisconsin (Madison area) Focus: Pollinator gardens, native plants, organic gardening, companion planting, hiking, traveling…wherever I go, I want to see and learn about plants! Projects: I’m a master naturalist volunteer and instructor. In August, I’ll be co-leading my (and our) second master naturalist training session at the UW-Madison Arboretum. I love the master naturalist program! I also enjoy presenting to small groups. In February, I co-presented about the master naturalist program at the Wisconsin Garden Expo. Large groups make me a little nervous. 😉

Focus: Things going on in my garden, gardens I’ve visited, and plants, plants, plants!

Projects and Publications: I write a weekly gardening column for the Chicago Daily Herald and contribute to Chicagoland Gardening magazine and the Kane County Chronicle. I love to speak to groups of all sizes and offer a wide range of topics. More information can be found on my website.

Location: Bibury, Cotswolds, United Kingdom

Focus: I write mainly about gardens or gardening, or occasionally country or village life.

Projects and Publications: I open my garden for the National Garden Scheme, a British charity founded in 1927, which raises money for palliative care. My third and latest book, The Secret Gardeners, features gardens belonging to some of the most famous British names in the visual and performance arts, such as Julian Fellowes (creator of Downton Abbey) and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Julie Thompson-Adolf Blog: Garden Delights Location: Moore, South Carolina Focus: Obsessive organic gardener, eco-adventurer, local food lover, nature nut, wrangler of kids and critters, traveler, and writer. Highly addicted to seed-starting and -saving. Lover of hellebores, tulips, camellias, and heirloom tomatoes. Garden Delights is a how-to DIY resource, as well as a storytelling forum. Projects and Publications: I constantly battle wanderlust with the need to garden. I garden year-round in South Carolina, which makes it tricky as a travel writer and explorer, too. I write for several magazines and work with horticulture clients, so basically I have a dream job. I’m in the process of gutting our big kitchen garden and building my dream garden, but I’d better hurry up or I won’t have any veggies this season! I’m also working on a project about slow foods and the Ark of Taste. I love farmers markets and often sell my organic, heirloom plants at our local market, helping people learn how to grow their own food. My first book will be released in October 2018: Starting & Saving Seeds: Grow the Perfect Vegetables, Fruits, Herbs, and Flowers for Your Garden (Cool Springs Press).

Lisa Wagner Blog: Natural Gardening Tagline: Observations on nature and gardening Location: Asheville, North Carolina Focus: My focus is gardening with natives, wildlife-friendly gardening, vegetable gardening, and nature observations, with occasional travel posts around nature or gardening. I’ve been blogging since the summer of 2007 and love the format. Projects: As a retired garden educator, I still do a variety of gardening presentations and classes at the NC Arboretum, the Botanical Gardens at Asheville, and for groups and symposia, now as a volunteer. I’m also an active volunteer at a local community garden.

Ellen Zachos

Blog: The Backyard Forager Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico Focus: I write about wild edible plants and mushrooms, with the occasional book review and tool recommendation thrown in. Mostly plant profiles and lots of recipes. Projects and Publications: I’ve just dived into the world of online education with a short course for beginning foragers: “Five Super Safe and Easy Wild Edibles for the Beginning Forager”. It’s exhausting and exciting. I’ve written 7 books; the last two, Backyard Foraging and The Wildcrafted Cocktail, are my most recent and dearest to my heart. I speak all over the U.S. and Canada, and I love giving a live performance – blame it on my Broadway background. I do a twice-monthly podcast with C.L. Fornari called Plantrama. We argue a lot, but in a nice way. My goal for 2018 is to create a suite of online courses about safely foraging for and cooking with wild edibles. And maybe a membership site on the same topic.

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