People from Garden Bloggers Buffa10

I never cease to marvel at how a love of gardening (and blogging about it) brings together people of all ages, from disparate growing regions, backgrounds, and politics, and forges instant friendships between them. To go for the obvious metaphor, we’re like a home-grown bouquet picked from a rambling cottage garden (like the Hope Blooms garden, pictured above).

Garden bloggers form a marvelous support group, sharing gardening and blogging advice, offering congratulations when someone has an article or photo published, giving high-fives for a blogging anniversary or encouraging words when someone needs them. Meeting and reconnecting with fellow garden bloggers is why so many of us are willing to travel hundreds or thousands of miles to attend meet-ups like Garden Bloggers Buffa10. The gardens, dinners, and other activities offered by the hosting committee, wonderful and enticing as they may be, are purely a bonus. The personal connection is what Garden Bloggers Spring Fling, as it was originally known, is all about.

I met so many interesting people this year and renewed friendships with those previously met, and yet I have so few personal photos to show for it. Dang! I wish I had more. At any rate, here is a sampling of people pics from the weekend. You’ll find a few more in my other posts about Buffa10. Pictured here, Jean (Dig, Grow, Compost, Blog), Susan (The Bike Garden), and Lisa (Natural Gardening). I met Jean last year in Chicago, and later we discovered, in a small-world moment, that she and my husband had been co-workers many years ago in Austin, before she moved to Louisiana. Susan is a fellow Texan from Lubbock whose blog I’ve long enjoyed, though we’d never met. And Lisa, I learned, is gardening in upstate South Carolina, my old home state. You can see that we all hit it off right away.

Dee (Red Dirt Ramblings) has been a friend since she came to Austin for the first garden blogger meet-up, and since then I’ve had the pleasure of visiting her Oklahoma garden.

I’d never met Helen (Gardening with Confidence), though I read her blog, or Susan (Miss Rumphius’ Rules), though we’re both members of Garden Designers Roundtable. Strong, successful women both—it was a pleasure to meet them.

Lunch at the fabulous Rue Franklin on Friday landed me at a table with this delightful trio: Marmee (Things I Love), Gail (Clay and Limestone), and Frances (Fairegarden). Both Gail and Frances bravely came to Austin for the first meet-up; Marmee and her sister Meems of Hoe and Shovel (not pictured) were new attendees, and it was great to meet them both.

Half our group of 75 garden bloggers ate lunch in this dining room; the other half had the other side of the restaurant. It must have been a challenge for the planners to find restaurants that could accommodate our large group.

My intrepid and always delightful friend and traveling companion from Austin, Diana of Sharing Nature’s Garden. Diana and I got to know each other on the planning committee for the first garden blogger meet-up in Austin in 2008. We haven’t missed one since.

The happy-hour party in Gordon Ballard and Brian Olinski’s garden. Doesn’t this look like fun, even in the rain? It was. Gordon is behind the bar, probably mixing up another batch of sangria. They are very hospitable, and their garden is lovely.

Elizabeth Licata (Gardening While Intoxicated and Garden Rant) and Jim Charlier (Art of Gardening), our Buffa10 hosts. I can’t say enough good things about their hospitality. They made all 70+ of us feel welcome at all times and showed us a wonderful time, even opening their own gardens up to the entire group for happy hour and lunch gatherings. Kudos to them both. They received a standing ovation from our group at the final dinner on Saturday, and it was well deserved.

But there are more garden pictures yet to show you, so follow me down Gordon and Brian’s rain-wet path until my next post on Buffa10.

All material © 2006-2010 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

19 Responses

  1. Carol says:

    Exactly, it is the people we meet, whom we’ve connected with online, that really make these events so special. I’ve been reading some of the blogs of these bloggers for years before finally meeting them in person and because of that it takes literally just a few minutes to feel like I’m talking to someone I’ve known forever. It’s crazy and hard for people who don’t garden/blog to imagine, but it is true!

  2. I still hold that among every group, there’s always one jerk. I could not find that person in this group. As the theory goes though, if I can’t find that person, it might be me!

  3. It was getting to meet and know a little better the gardeners that made me want to go to Buffalo this year. Gardening has a way of bringing people together like no other passion. It was such a pleasure to meet you after long admiring your photos and prose on your blog. Like you, I didn’t take as many ‘people’ shots as I wish I would have.

  4. What a beautiful post, Pam. Thank you for reminding us all why and how we connect, and connect we do despite all differences and distances.

  5. How beautifully written this is, expressing the joy at meeting old friends as well as new. I especially like your phrase “we’re like a home-grown bouquet picked from a rambling cottage garden” as that’s the perfect metaphor! The few times I’ve attended a large tweet-up (or the SFGS) I was overwhelmed with such gratitude for the friends I’ve made via social media and blogging. Thank you for sharing this!

  6. Jean says:

    So nicely said Pam. And in another small world moment, Lisa and I discovered that we most likely attended the same biology classes at UT Austin at the same time! I love how everyone’s smiling so big in every photo. :-)

  7. Yes, you’ve got it, it’s all about the people, and what wonderful people they are. It was fun meeting new bloggers and reconnecting with old friends (3 years, and we’re already “old friends”). The instant connection is amazing, and the open, warm spirit. It’s no wonder we were such a noisy group, it’s obvious we enjoyed being together. I thought I was taking a lot of photos of people, but I wish I had taken more. Next time I follow my mom’s rule and “take photos of all the tables.” (Did you hear my story about that, my kids, and my sister’s wedding?)

  8. Frances says:

    Oh Pam, your people pictures are a delight and your words describe the bond we garden bloggers share so well. There are no strangers here, whether we have met before or not. Thanks for beginning this fabulous journey for us, and allowing me to meet my seperated at birth friend, dear Gail. That is a sweet photo of us with new friend and fellow TN blogger Marmee. The smiles say it all! :-)
    ps I have a lovely shot of you in my upcoming post next week to wrap up the Buffa 10 experience!

  9. That’s all so true. It was wonderful to finally meet so many of my favorite bloggers, as well as making the acquaintance of some new ones. My head is still spinning from it all. What a terrific, generous group of people.

  10. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    What fun seeing some of the attendees.

  11. jim groble says:

    It was a pleasure meeting you in Buffalo. Your pics and narrative are wonderful. jim

  12. Gail says:

    It was a marvelous time! I can’t wait to do it again! I loved seeing old and dear friends and getting the chance to meet new bloggers or put a face to the “voice” I’ve known for a while. I am so wishing I had taken more photos, but thankfully there are 70 plus bloggers sharing their. gail

  13. kerri says:

    I love seeing the people pics and hearing all about the fun. What a smiley bunch of faces :) Wish, wish, wish I could’ve been there to meet you all! I doubt the meet-up will ever be this close to me again.

  14. oooooooooooo! you seem to gave a great time! and Gail and Frances are there! so good to see familiar faces :)
    greetings to all attendees!

  15. chuck b. says:

    70 people…oy vey! How do you find a restaurant for 70 people? All I can think of is pizza.

    Anyway, if it happens in Seattle next year I will nave *no excuse*.

  16. Darla says:

    Love being able to faces with the garden blogs. Nice post!

  17. eliz says:

    I had a good time at that happy hour, in spite of the rain and the bigger than usual crowd. Gordon knows how to make it work, I gotta say. Great pictures as usual Pam. I have so enjoyed looking at yours. They made me want to be back at Gordon’s with you all!

  18. Ah, we hated to miss this event. But a family reunion in Buffalo in August takes precedence. I am enjoying the experience vicariously and reading the posts of all the great folks we met (including you) last year in Chicago. I am not surprised that Jim and Elizabeth did a great job; you could tell they would the moment you met them!

  19. Gordon Ballard says:

    Pam, thanks for posting such nice pictures of our gardens. We truly enjoyed hosting everyone in our gardens and at “El Gordo Cantina”

    Gordon! Thanks for dropping by. I really enjoyed that happy hour in your garden. Thanks again! —Pam