Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Waimea Valley, Oahu, HI

Waimea Valley is an historic botanical park with hiking trails, a waterfall swim area, Polynesian historical cultural center, arboretum, botanical garden, nature preserve, and bird sanctuary that also has the requisite restaurant and gift shop. It's on the North Shore of Oahu, right across from the beautiful beach on Wiamea Bay.

Waimea is Hawaiian for
"reddish brown water," which you have
in spades if your island is formed from
volcanoes that leave behind soil rich in iron.
We weren't sure what to expect, we visited because we were headed to the North Shore in Search of beaches and saw hat there was a hike in a nature center nearby and decided to go. It really wasn't a "hike." It was more of a walk through a park - paved main roads, groomed paths, stone stairs and bridges large and small.

It's a pretty park with areas divided into plant types (bromiliads, hibiscus, begonia, ginger and helicona and more) but also had areas by Pacific region (Hawaii, Guam, Sri Lanka, Central and South American, Madagascar, Galapagos Islands and more), as well as areas defined by plant use (medicinal, food, fruit/nut/spice gardens). Plants and areas are well-marked. One point made well is that the Hawaiian Islands are home to more than its native plants -- plants come from those other areas of Guam, Central and South America, Madagascar and more. Did you know that not even the pineapple is native to Hawaii?

Sunday, February 24, 2013

It was a good week.

It started off in Hawaii -- always the start to a good week.

Next I was informed that the National Garden Festival, of which I co-founded, and help to organize, is to receive a tourism award.

I was asked to write a blurb for the back cover of a book on garden tourism.

Three "Hearts in the Gardens" posters were purchased online and mailed out to Sacramento,  Montana and another locally.

Next week I'm going to NYC for a garden tourism "press junket" with Sally Cunningham, we have appointments, so far, with Traditional Home and This Old House magazines.

I was notified I am to receive an advertising industry award, a major award akin to a lifetime achievement award "...to recognize outstanding achievement and service in the communications industry with a record of achievement over an extended period of time, which includes contributions to the industry and the community."

I'm busier work-wise than I've ever been, working on an annual report, a university viewbook, corporate standards manuals, ad campaigns for home developers, corporate branding project for a CPA firm, multiple museum exhibition programs, newsletters, invitations, direct marketing postcards, two logos and more. This first quarter of 2013 I may invoice more than my first year of employment.

And then last night I went to see the stage musical of Priscilla Queen of the Desert.

It was a very good week.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

I could put down roots in Hawaii

Ufa-halomtano heritiera longipetiolata (from Guam)
We went to Hawaii for the weekend. Doesn't that sound cool? It was a quick trip over President's Day weekend. We climbed Diamond Head, visited Pearl Harbor, did the Dole Plantation, visited Wiamea Valley Botanical Park and spent time on a beach and in the ocean every day.

From all the gardens and forests we saw, one thing that struck me was the roots of plants. Roughly speaking, there are two seasons: November through April the climate is humid, with temperatures of about 81°F (and lows of 65°F). More rain falls during the cooler season -- June through October. It's drier with daily high temperatures of about 84°F (and lows of 70°F). When your weather is this nice, you can expose your roots.

With average temperatures like that, I think I could put down roots there.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

A Tribute to the Garden Walk Founder

Marvin Lunenfeld and Gail McCarthy. Photo by Don Zinteck
This article by former Garden Walk Chair Arlan Peters appeared in the Buffalo News on Thursday, February 7, 2013. This is the unedited version.

When my friend, Marvin, died in November, he left us an important legacy.  Dr. Marvin Lunenfeld had a long distinguished career as a university professor.  He was the author of numerous historical works and received awards for his scholarship.  I and many others in the Elmwood Village knew him as a good friend and neighbor.  He was an outspoken advocate for causes he supported in the community.

Beyond everything else, though, Marvin’s greatest gift to his community was   Garden Walk Buffalo. Marvin and his wife, Gail, first conceived the idea for the Garden Walk in 1995.  They persuaded some neighbors in the Norwood-Utica area to join them in opening their gardens to the public for two days, and in late July that summer 29 back- yard gardens were available for viewing.  Even with almost no funding and limited publicity the turnout was impressive.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

A new speaking gig - Garden Tourism Conference, Toronto

I've been asked to give a talk on Buffalo's successes with Garden Walk Buffalo (and it's by-product, the National Garden Festival) and partnering with tourism professionals to get the word out on Buffalo's growing garden tourism industry.
The Garden Tourism Conference, held on Monday and Tuesday, March 18 and 19, in Toronto's Delta Chelsea Hotel has a theme this year of Gardens and Tourism: A Match for Success. (See the complete program here). The conference is organized and hosted by the Canadian Garden Tourism Council.

I think this is Ed's
yearbook photo.
And to emphasize the "Match for Success" point, I'm teamed up with Ed Healy, VP of Marketing Visit Buffalo Niagara (VBN) to give the presentation. We've not yet actually come up with a presentation to give, but I'm sure we will by March 18! The VBN's been a great partner, first with helping spread the word of Garden Walk Buffalo, and then later in helping to form and be a catalyst for the events that make up the National Garden Festival. Between the two of us, we can talk for hours about tourism and the ever-growing garden sector. But don't let that scare you. We only have 45 minutes. And we'll have pretty pictures to look at.

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