Monday, May 16, 2022

Who's Who at the Madison Fling


Whatever drives you to blog or communicate on social media about gardening, there's a place for you at the Garden Bloggers Fling, as evidenced by the diverse group of people planning to attend the Madison Fling in June.

Below are short profiles of participants and what they're all about. Note: If you haven't submitted your photo and information yet, please do so when you're ready; we'll add your profile right on up to the start of the Fling. (Click here for the full list of attendees, organized by location.)

We're sure you'll find kindred spirits here, as well as reasons to reach out to people with interesting and unique projects and activities. And if you need a little extra help putting names to faces, you may also find this a helpful reference once you arrive in Madison, so bookmark this page!


Rachel Balk
Blog and/or handle: Small Boots Gardening
Location: Buffalo Grove, Illinois
I design and install gardens for Chicagoland families, so they can enjoy their outdoor spaces. It's called Garden Snippets: How 10 minutes in the garden can transform your outdoor space. I also love to sketch and take visual notes to help people see the possibilities for their space. I offer gardening workshops, ad hoc. I offer online and in-person garden consultations. I also purchase and install plants for people who are local. This includes non-gardeners and people who once were avid gardeners but now need a helping hand. 

Maya Bartolf
Blog and/or handle: Flowers & Grapes
Instagram: @flowers_n_grapes; Twitter: @flowers_grapes; Facebook: @flowersandgrapes
Location: Northern California Wine Country
Flowers and Grapes is my ad-free online indie magazine for gardeners, flower fanatics, wine country enthusiasts, and nature lovers in Northern California. It's an independent magazine that celebrates the seasons and the region, and encourages you to get out and explore the wine country. Published quarterly in spring, summer, fall, and winter, each issue is packed with natural beauty and regional focus to inspire gardening, sustainability, entertaining, cooking, travel, and living a rich life in Northern California. You can read current and past issues of Flowers and Grapes for free at flowersandgrapes.comIt can grow only with your support! In one year, it has grown its audience to more than 5,000 readers worldwide, and our fans have generously crowdfunded the publishing of this unique ad-free quarterly magazine with their generous contributions on Patreon.  

Vicki Blachman
Blog and/or handle: Playin' Outside
Location: Austin, Texas
Playin' Outside is a collection of photos and observations in my own pollinator-centered garden.
PollinATX is what's happening around Austin related to our becoming a Xerces-certified Bee City USA and ongoing projects to retain that coveted certification. My biggest project for two years has been getting Austin certified a Bee City USA. Now I'm working with Keep Texas Beautiful (KTB) to encourage KTB affiliates to become Bee Cities. I'm also working with Xerces and Monarch Watch to establish a pollinator corridor through Texas, and with AgriLife Extension to establish an official Pollinator Garden certification.

Photo: Adriana Robinson
Natalie Carmolli
Blog and/or handle: Proven Winners® ColorChoice® Plant of the Week
Location: Grand Haven, Michigan – along the lovely shores of Lake Michigan!
The purpose of my blog is to provide gardeners and garden communicators with information and inspiration for their next gardening-related project. Just as Alice found a whole new world when she stepped Through the Looking-Glass, the hope is that my blog introduces gardeners and garden communicators to the fantastical world of flowering shrubs, whether viewing them Through the Greenhouse Glass, or in their own backyards. I’m also an actor! During the shutdown, my husband and I performed a one-act play called "A Betrothal" that was filmed where we played breeders at an iris show. I've also recently filmed an “unconventional garden tour” of the display gardens for Spring Meadow Nursery. Ask me for the link! I've been having a great time travelling the region this spring, speaking to groups about Proven Winners® ColorChoice® shrubs and how to use them in their landscape plans.

Connie Cottingham
Location: Athens, Georgia (soon Northwest Arkansas)
I'm a travel writer who loves public gardens and pedestrian spaces. I'm also a destination expert at travelthesouthbloggers.com, and a garden writer, blogger, and speaker. In Summer 2022, this Southern girl is moving from Athens, Georgia, to her roots—Northwest Arkansas. Follow GardenTravel Experiences gardening and garden travels blog and sign up for "Love Notes from the Garden"—short, weekly gardening emails interwoven with history and humor.

Mark Dwyer
Blog and/or handle: Landscape Prescriptions by MD
Location: Janesville, Wisconsin
I'm the garden manager for the Edgerton, Wis., Hospital Healing Garden, which I designed in 2011. Previously I was director of horticulture at Rotary Botanical Gardens (Janesville, Wis.) for 21 years, where I did a very regular horticulture blog (3,000 posts) for more than 12 years. I also operate my own landscape design company, Landscape Prescriptions by MD, offer many presentations and garden writing projects, and spend time with my family in Janesville, Wis. Gardening in Wisconsin is an exciting adventure each year. I try not to worry about what I can't control from Mother Nature (deer, inclement weather, Japanese beetle damage, etc.). I like to focus on the rewards of immersing myself in the garden, and the excitement of observing seasonal transitions, pollinator activity, vegetables ripening, cloying fragrances, and so much more.

Jane Finch-Howell
Blog and/or handle: MulchMaid: Muckraking at Longview Ranch    
Instagram: MulchMaid; Facebook: Jane Finch-Howell
Location: Portland, Oregon, and Astoria, Oregon
I blog about my mostly evergreen garden in Portland, and occasionally from Astoria, Oregon. I've been blogging for more than 13 years, but these days it's often on the 15th of the month for Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day. I have a special affinity for agaves and aloes, native and drought-tolerant plants, pushing my zonal envelope, and for all-season trees and shrubs, though my modest city gardens can only hold so many of those! I'm currently working on creating a new garden in Astoria, while keeping up on my Portland garden, as well. I recently added two small community garden beds to the mix in Astoria, so I'm getting my vegetable mojo back. I'm just a gardener who happens to blog about it. ;-)

Idelle Fisher
Blog and/or handle: Good Environmental News Blog 
Location: Denver, Colorado
My personal blog is about good news about the environment—I wanted to share only good news for a change! Sandia Seed’s blog is all about growing peppers and vegetables organically. Recent projects I’m proud of: I have my own website design business and I love working with clients making a difference. I redesigned the People and Pollinators website to be visually engaging and packed full of beautiful photos and info on how people can help make Colorado a safer place for all. Lots of my photos are included in the site, as well, including the Bumblebee Goldenrod image on the first slide. I was also super happy to work with Garden Blogger Flinger Shari Wilson on redesigning her amazing blog, Nuts for Natives. Her blog is about native plants for the Chesapeake Bay region, packed with great info and resources, and featuring her beautiful photos!

Amy Free
Blog and/or handle: Create Ecology
Location: Wisconsin
My blog focus is, "Your place is their place." I encourage readers to notice the ecology where they live, and to engage in efforts—none too small!—to foster a healthy, diverse ecology. I am an award-winning science-themed Peeps dioramistI also provide community education as a master composter.

Kevin Gepford
Blog and/or handle: The Fuchsia+Blog at The Fuchsietum | A Garden in Portland and
Instagram: @TheTortoiseProj Twitter: @TheTortoiseProj
Location: Portland, Oregon
I'm the behind the-scenes muscle as photographer, editor, and invaluable technical supporter at The Fuchsietum. I recently started The Tortoise Project, a journey that will culminate in "Tortoise," a single-topic book on the world’s most popular reptile.

Stefanie Gilmour
Blog and/or handle: See Jane Dig
Instagram: @seejanedig
Location: Michigan
My blog and feed focus on urban gardening, gardens for wildlife, and the science behind gardening.





Photo: Olivia Flasdick
Kim Halyak
Blog and/or handle: Cooper-Young Garden Club: Beautifying Our City One Garden at a Time
Location: Memphis, Tennessee
I focus on club beautification projects, yard of the month, and general garden topics. Our annual garden walk, now in its 7th year, is our huge fundraiser to beautify our neighborhood and fund beautification grants. We started with 23 gardens in 2016 and now have 100 gardens on tour, along with educational booths, garden speakers, art vendors, musicians, and the Backbeat Tours Shuttle. We're the largest garden walk in the South. Our goal is to go citywide with open gardens in Memphis in 2023. I talk in my community about garden tourism, adding curb appeal, ways to beautify the neighborhood, and so on.

Kathleen Hennessy
Blog and/or handle: Bold_North_Home
New blog coming soon: BoldNorthHome.com
Location: Oakdale, Minnesota
Hello fellow Flingers! My blog and Instagram account focus on gardening and home improvement. I’m a confessed rose and hydrangea fanatic who's lucky enough to cultivate my love of gardening in both my personal and professional lives. My “real” job is in horticulture marketing. I work with Monrovia Nurseries helping their team with public relations and marketing tasks. I also work with Danziger, a global breeding company based in Israel. I’ve written for consumer and horticulture industry trade magazines and spent a few years as a television news journalist. In 2016 I was part of the team that brought the Fling to Minneapolis. 

Caroline Homer
 
Blog and/or handle: The Shovel-Ready Garden and
Location: Austin, Texas
I focus on gardening (vegetables, citrus, ornamentals, annuals, perennials, bulbs), travel (Fling, urban farm tours, national parks, Europe), and DIY garden projects.
I’ve been a Travis County master gardener since 2012 and a registered dietitian since 1989, currently working in neonatal intensive care.

Kathy Jentz
Blog and/or handle: Washington Gardener Magazine, the award-wining publication for Mid-Atlantic gardeners, and
Cats in Gardens, featuring photos and art of cats in garden settings
Location: Silver Spring, Maryland (Washington DC area)
I'm frugal and I practice small space gardening. I'm working on a new book, but not allowed yet by the publisher to discuss it: Hopefully, I can tell everyone at Fling time! I also started National Seed Swap Day several years ago (the last Saturday of January), trying to spread the word to have seed swaps hosted everywhere that day (or around that date) and to get it converted to a nonprofit. Our new book is just out: "The Urban Garden: 101 Ways to Grow Food and Beauty in the City," by Kathy Jentz and Teri Speight. I'm also available for speaking on many topics and am happy to do so on Zoom for garden clubs and groups outside my region. My most popular talks are  "Winning the War on Weeds," and "Dealing with Gardening Mammals (Deer, Rabbits, etc.)." You can see more about my speaking and reviews at Great Garden Speakers.

Sharron Johnson
Blog and/or handle: Cooper-Young Garden Club: Beautifying Our City One Garden at a Time
Location: Memphis, Tennessee
I write the "Yard of the Month" articles for the Cooper Young Garden Club. One of the projects I’m working on is “Making Memphis Beautiful Again.” I’m the president of the Cooper Young Garden Club and co-chair of the Cooper Young Garden Walk. Beautification of public spaces is my passion.

Cat Jones
Blog and/or handle: cat_jones_atx
Location: Austin, Texas
I’m a nature enthusiast and a photographer. These two passions intersect on my Instagram page, where I encourage others to take time to reflect on the beauty of small moments to be found in the ordinary. I garden for wildlife, and while I can’t say I like them all, all are welcome.





Photo: Eric Weber
Sheri Kaz
Blog and/or handle: My Garden Zone
Location: Greenfield, Wisconsin
I focus on organic vegetable gardening, pollinator-friendly landscaping, and strawbale gardening. Vegetable gardening has been my hobby since I was a young girl growing up on a farm in Wisconsin. In 2010, I transformed a vacant lot into the Historic Montclair Community Garden (in Denver). When I recently moved back to Wisconsin, my wonderful (fellow garden blogger) pal Idelle Fischer took on the responsibility of the Denver community garden. I'm currently a member of the City of Greenfield Pollinator Committee and I enjoy learning about native plants and flowers. Before becoming an interior designer, I was a writer, producer, and director, working in television and advertising.

Diana Kirby
Blog and/or handle: Diana’s Designs
Location: Austin, Texas
I enjoy communicating about landscape design, plants, gardening, and wildlife. In addition to my design/build landscaping business, I teach design classes in several county master gardener programs in Texas. I do speaking engagements to local groups and nurseries.

Janet Ledebuhr
Blog and/or handle: The Queen of Seaford
Location: Hodges, South Carolina
I focus on gardening with shade, deer, rabbits, and mature trees on a sloped lot. I'm working on a bird photo book of birds in my neighborhood.

Elizabeth Licata
Blog and/or handle: Garden Rant
Location: Buffalo, New York
I’ve been a regular writer for Garden Rant since 2007, after contributing a guest rant about the overuse of American flags in front gardens. I live and garden in Buffalo, which, far from the frozen wasteland many assume it to be, is a lush paradise of gardens, historic architecture, galleries, museums, theaters, and fun. As editor of Buffalo Spree magazine,  I help keep Western New Yorkers apprised about what’s happening in their region. I’m also a freelance writer and art curator. I’ve been published in Fine Gardening, Horticulture, ArtNews, Art in America, the Village Voice, and many other publications. I also do regular radio segments for the local NPR affiliate, WBFO. And I’m involved with Garden Walk Buffalo—the largest free garden tour in the U.S., and possibly the world. And I’ve written the text for a book about Garden Walk, and written and edited several art-related books.

Theo Margelony
Blog and/or handle: The Fuchsia+Blog at The Fuchsietum | A Garden in Portland
Twitter: @Fuchsiarius; Instagram: @Fuchsiarius; Facebook: The Fuchsietum
Location: Portland, Oregon
I blog about fuchsias, the garden, horticulture, plants, nature, history, and travels far and wide. My website was formerly called Fuchsias in the City, while living in Manhattan, but was changed to The Fuchsietum after I was transplanted to Portland, Oregon, a couple of years ago. A whole new garden is in development. I'm currently vice president of the Oregon Fuchsia Society, and I give talks on Zoom about fuchsias, their culture, and their history to fuchsiaphile groups all over. Just ask me and I’ll Zoom in!

Photo: Laura Robles,
Robles Photography
Susan Martin
Blog and/or handle: Gardener Sue’s News
Facebook: @gardenersuesnews;  
Garden Crossings retail garden center blog 
Proven Winners and Instagram: @provenwinners  
Stonehouse Nursery wholesale perennial grower  
Plantskydd animal repellent
Location: Holland, Michigan
A few gardening topics I’m passionate about: plant breeding and new introductions, shade gardening, container gardening, and general gardening how-to topics. I'm a full-time freelance garden communicator, content producer, consultant, and marketing specialist servicing a select group of clients in the horticulture industry, including Proven Winners; as well as wholesale and retail growers, plant breeders, and manufacturers of gardening-related products. This year marks my 22nd anniversary of working in the business of horticulture.

Jean McWeeney
Blog and/or handle: @jean_mcweeney
Dig, Grow, Compost, Blog (blog now archived)
Location: Houston, Texas
I focus mostly on pollinator plants, and I'm currently growing in containers. I also post about traveling (pre-pandemic), especially if I’m visiting gardens; and birds and other wildlife. And food. :-) I'm on the board of directors for the nonprofit Plant It Forward (PIF), which empowers refugees to develop sustainable urban farming businesses that produce fresh, healthy food for our community. Our organization secures land, trains and mentors farmers, and facilitates sales to local markets. Located throughout Houston, our farms are cultivated with sustainable practices that enrich the land and support the surrounding community. I give the occasional talk to garden clubs about growing gardens sustainably, planting for wildlife, and inspirations from garden travel. I also have a garden coaching business.

Margaret Mishra
Blog and/or handle: The Gardening Me
Instagram: @thegardeningme
Location: Southern Ontario
My blog focuses on edibles, with an ever-increasing interest in ornamentals. I also LOVE growing from seed. I’m in the middle of renovating the raised bed vegetable garden, and expanding a number of perennial/mixed borders.


Ann Munson
 
Blog and/or handle: @moorgardens
Location: Monona, Wisconsin
My focus is perennial gardens, garden design, recycling organic matter back into the gardens, and creating habitats for birds and other critters. I also collect vintage garden artifacts. My current project is getting gardens ready for the tour by 2022 Madison Garden Flingers!



Natasha Nicholes
 
Blog and/or handle: We Sow We Grow: Growing Gardeners Globally & Getting Dirty by Nature
Location: Chicago, IL 
We focus on helping people with self-proclaimed "black thumbs" grow into accomplished gardeners through community efforts and support. We’re hosting our third annual “We Sow We Grow Summit,” October 7-9, and we're actively looking for speakers. I'm also available to speak virtually and in person. We have a private gardening community and are offering a three-month trial to community members. We love connecting with gardeners and growers from ALL zones and would love to help foster our community through grassroots efforts like this garden Fling!



Photo: Jeanne Everts

Camille Paulsen
Blog and/or handle: @tahomaflora
Location: Puyallup, Washington
I enjoy sharing photos, plant knowledge, and inspiration from my own garden, and from other gardens in the Pacific Northwest and farther afield. I’m actively involved in several educational gardening organizations, including the Northwest Perennial Alliance, the Lakewold Gardens Horticulture Committee, and the Tacoma Garden Club. As a member of the Puget Sound Garden Bloggers Fling committee, I’m excited about bringing the Fling to the beautiful Pacific Northwest.





Photo: David Penick
Pam Penick
Blog and/or handle: Digging: Cool Gardens in a Hot Climate
Instagram: @pamdigging; Facebook: Pam Penick - Digging
Location: Austin, Texas
I enjoy writing about all the gardening goodness I can dig up! My emphasis is on great garden design, tours of gardens I visit, waterwise gardening, agave love, Texas native plants, and lawn alternatives. I'm a freelance writer and the author of two books, "Lawn Gone!" and "The Water-Saving Garden." For five years I've organized the Garden Spark speaker series of talks about garden design. I was a planner for both the 2008 and 2018 Austin Flings. But blogging is my first love and where I began this second career as a garden writer and occasional designer (my first career, pre-kids, was in publishing). Find me at Digging, where I've been writing about Texas gardening and beyond for 16 years, and on Instagram and Facebook.

Photo: Aiko Purdy
Kathy Purdy
Blog and/or handle: Cold Climate Gardening: Hardy plants for hardy souls.
Location: Oxford, New York
I provide information for people gardening in USDA Zones 5 and colder: plant profiles, garden design, book reviews, native plants, coping strategies, and anything that strikes my fancy. My 20th blogiversary is coming up in August. I have one of the longest-running garden blogs published on the Internet.
I write for Northern Gardener magazine, and have written for Fine Gardening, Horticulture, Garden Gate, The American Gardener, Upstate Gardeners' Journal, and The Rock Garden Quarterly.

Judy Seaborn
 
Blog and/or handle: Botanical Interests Blog
Location: Broomfield, Colorado
My passion is helping gardeners learn the joy of gardening, starting with a seed. Our blog provides readers with organic seed gardening tips and tricks, delicious garden-to-table recipes using homegrown herbs and vegetables, and DIY projects for craft-lovers.

Teresa (Teri) Speight
Blog and/or handle: Cottage in the Court
Location: Prince Georges County, Maryland
I write about musings from the garden, book reviews, garden travel, and gardens I visit. I've written my first book, "Black Flora," and co-authored a second book, "The Urban Garden: 101 Ways to Grow Food and Beauty in the City," with Kathy Jentz. I also have published featured articles as a freelance writer. I'm co-chair of the Fiesta Place Community Garden, and have served as Urban Garden Chairperson for National Garden Clubs since 2020. I'm also founder of Jabali Amani Collective—a garden club focused on building communities by connecting with the earth in the African American community.
I'm a Great Garden Speaker, and I feature talks on small space gardening, perennials, gardens imitating life, children’s gardening, and more. I also give talks about my book, "Black Flora," and "African Americans in Horticulture." I'm also working on a fiction book about the garden and having faith in the earth.

Beth Stetenfeld
Blog and/or handle: PlantPostings
Instagram: @plantposter; Facebook: PlantPostings
Location: McFarland, Wisconsin
I'm a writer, editor, and master naturalist volunteer and instructor. I started my botanical/nature/gardening blog, PlantPostings.com, in 2010. I write and edit for numerous clients, including Northern Gardener, Olbrich Botanical Gardens, independent book writers, and many more. Through my Wisconsin Master Naturalist program involvement, I participate in continuing education, wildlife surveys, and promotional projects. Gardening in Southern Wisconsin is mostly pure joy. The soil, the warm summers, the plants that thrive here—they all contribute to experiences that induce deep peace and contentment. Most days during May through October, I can’t imagine anything more enjoyable than gardening, hiking, and spending time outdoors in this part of the world. And from November through April, there’s a little break for enjoying other hobbies, caring for indoor and overwintered plants, and planning for the next growing season.

Jenny and David Stocker
Blog and/or handle: Rock Rose
Instagram: @jennyrockrose
Location: Tucson, Arizona
We are just down-to-earth, do-it-yourself gardeners, who for 21 years worked on creating the garden areas surrounding our Austin house, situated on a rocky hillside seven miles outside the city. It was truly a labor of love, and David never shied away from helping fulfill the dream. After meeting Pam Penick at a garden tour and learning about the rewards of blogging, we joined the garden blogging community. That, and the Austin gardening community, enriched our garden experience while living in Austin.

Our lives changed dramatically last year when we sold the house and moved to the desert city of Tucson. We now have a smaller property, with little space to garden, more appropriate for our age. Needless to say, we seem not to be short of things to do—many of which require some hard labor, once more. We do it all ourselves. The desert and its critters are a challenge. Only time will tell if we're getting it right. I’m sticking with the Rock Rose blog title as this garden definitely has plenty of rocks, with more being added each week.


Chan Stroman
Blog and/or handle: Bookish Gardener and 
Instagram:@bookishgardener 
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
I love to garden and read, avocationally.


Anneliese Valdes
Blog and/or handle: The CobraHead Blog
Location: Cambridge, Wisconsin
I'm part of the Cobrahead LLC family team, serving in sales marketing, and shipping, among other areas. Our company was formed to develop and market the Cobrahead Weeder and Cultivator—a multi-purpose hand tool for use in gardening, horticulture, and agriculture. I'm also a part-time musician, and a member of the indie/pop band, Gentle Brontosaurus. Wisconsin's winters are long and often harsh, but we still manage to have great gardens each year. The summer days are long and warm, and water is abundant. Growing up with my dad's vegetable garden right outside spoiled me for food variety, and I think folks would be surprised at just how many crops we can grow in such a short season. I just wish I could grow citrus here!

Judy Valdes
Blog and/or handle: The CobraHead Blog
Location: Cambridge, Wisconsin
I blog on recipes, always featuring the fruits and vegetables produced from our garden. We publish a newsletter once a month which reaches 10,000 subscribers for Cobrahead Garden Tools.

Noel Valdes
Blog and/or handle: The CobraHead Blog
Location: Cambridge, Wisconsin
I blog on sustainable, small-scale vegetable growing, with an emphasis on the use of open raised beds and maximizing food production in small areas. I speak at garden shows, garden clubs, and master gardener events. All of my writing and speaking efforts are part of publicity for CobraHead Tools, which I started in 2002.





Photo: Tim Spira
Lisa Wagner
Blog
 and/or 
handle: Natural Gardening and
Location: Asheville, North Carolina and Le Bic, Quebec
I write in my blogs about gardening with natives, vegetable gardening, nature observations, and sense of place. My current project is a book about the improbable acquisition of our cottage in Quebec four years ago—by two Americans who didn’t speak any French at the time, but loved the magical, natural landscape nearby and the historic place that we acquired. I often do presentations about gardening for nature, pollinator-friendly gardening, and four-season vegetable gardening, as well as other topics.



Donna Waters
Blog and/or handle: Sun and Snow
Location: Boulder County, Colorado
I focus on edible gardening and preserving in the Rockies, and I host an annual plant swap in May. When I’m not gardening, I design optics at Proof of Concept Optical Engineering.

Shari Wilson
Blog and/or handle: Nuts For Natives: Gardening for the Chesapeake!
Location: Washington, D.C.
I have fun with native plants, and I share tips, design, how-tos, and plants, and more plants! It's not for any profit; just promoting native plants. I do lots of talks. The most popular page on my website is "Where to Buy Natives"an always up-to-date link to places selling native plants available now! My website was designed by fellow Flinger Idelle Fisher of PickleWix Web Design!

Barbara Wise
Blog and/or handle: B Wise Gardening and
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
I focus on container gardening, life lessons from the garden, and teaching gardening skills to a new generation of young gardeners.

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