What to call the plant-obsessed people attending the Perennial Plant Association’s shindig last week in Baltimore? Terms like “geek” and “nerd” seem better suited to people who stay out of the sun, so I’ll call us (me, included) fanatics – in a good way.  And I’d never encountered more of them than I did in just one day of this week-long event.


I recognize very few of the tanned, well above-average-looking people in this group shot.


Ah, but these folks I know. From left, Janet Draper chaired the event and disappointed, I’m guessing, no one because everyone raved about what a great event it was.  800+ attendees, too! With her is a familiar face from the Toronto Botanical Garden – Tony Spencer.  On the right are two of my newest hort pals – horticulturist/author Ruth Clausen, who recently moved to Maryland, and DC-area designer Barbara Katz.


I signed up for the all-day Design Tour, and my bus captain happened to be Monika Burwell here – sister of Kurt Bluemel and plantswoman in her own right. With her, Simple is his usual photogenic self. (Here’s a post about Simple.) On the right is famed Ohio State researcher  Steve Still.


Trying to eat dinner but obliging my “It’s for GardenRant!” photo request are Allan Armitage and Oregon grower Dan Heims.


From left, Timber Books editor Tom Fischer,  author and plantsman David Culp, Cassian Schmidt of Hermannshof Gardens in Germany, and GardenRant’s own Allen Bush! (No blog brainstorming took place, though – we barely had time to say hi.)


On the left, Brent and Becky Heath chat up Richard Olsen, director of the National Arboretum.  On the right, I don’t know who these guys are (maybe one is Kelly Norris?) but look, folks – young people in horticulture!!


I’ve saved the best for last – my all-day bus companions, four locals and one Chicagoan who fit in just fine.

Clockwise from upper left are my pal John Boggan, a botanist and blogger, with National Cathedral head horticulturist Joe Luebke, whom I finally met in person and bonded with instantly.  We all enjoyed meeting Todd Jacobson, head of horticulture at the Morton Arboretum.

Local pal Carolyn Mullet is a garden designer and popular garden tour leader.  I’m showing Carolyn in her booth at the trade show because – well, what are friends for?

Lastly, I’d seen a stunning garden by landscape designer Tom Mannion and it was a treat to gab with him over the course of the day.

boggan ph oto

After touring gardens all day and dining outdoors with these folks at Cylburn Arboretum (above) I was bone tired, but so, so glad I attended.  The gardens were wonderful (photos coming soon) and so were the people. 

Photos by me, Janet Draper, John Boggan, and Brienne Gluvna Arthur.