Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Garden Tourism Conference, Who was there, Part III



My fellow panel participants (left to right) Kathy Gilber of Vancouver's Sun Yet Sen Classical Chinese Garden, me from the Garden Walk Buffalo Niagara, Dr. Heike Platter from Italy's Gardens at Troutmansdorff Castle, Beth Monroe from Virginia's Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens, and moderator Abbey Spencer of the American Public Gardens Association. I wasn't as scared as I look.
Not only were the speakers at the North American Garden Tourism Conference people doing great things in horticultural tourism, but so were the audience members.
Italy's Dr. Heike Platter

I sat next to my friend Heike Platter, Director of Marketing & Corporate Strategy for Italy's Gardens at Trauttsmandorff Castle. I've visited her garden in Northern Italy before. She introduced me to our other seatmate, Luc Behar Bannelier, the landscape designer in charge of all of Disneyland Paris. I was just in Paris a week earlier and my daughter brought up going to Disneyland Paris. We were there to see Paris, so it was a non-starter. But next trip, we may take up Luc's offer of a guided landscape tour. I was also able to meet Luc's former boss at Disney World, Katy Moss Warner.
 America in Bloom's
Katy Moss Warner

Katy is retired from Disney World, after having worked there for decades. She was the developer of the EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival. Now Katy is a Vice President and City Judge for America in Bloom, as well as President Emeritus of the American Horticultural Society. I could have listened to her talk all day long. I'll do a post on her talk at some point soon.

Japan's Takano Fumiaki
I got to meet Laura Palmer (no, not the one from Twin Peaks), the organizer of the Garden Conservancy's Open Gardens Program. After admitting I've been stealing ideas liberally from their Open Garden program for our own local Open Gardens program. She was glad to hear it and we plan to talk more in the future. I'd love to get some of our premier gardens in Buffalo Niagara on their nation-wide Open Gardens.
Toronto's Harry Jongerden

I talked briefly to Harry Jongerden, director of the Toronto Botanical Gardens. I wanted to introduce myself because I'll be visiting the gardens in early June when I attend the Garden Bloggers Fling in Toronto. Harry's got some BIG expansion plans for the Toronto Botanical gardens he shared with the crowd. I met others from the Botanical Gardens and may look at opportunities get our organizations in front of each others' audiences.
Virginia's Beth Monroe

Dinner was with Michel Gauthier, the organizer of the conference; Casey Sclar, Executive Director of the American Public Gardens Association (APGA) who was also a conference sponsor and moderator; Abby Spencer, also from the APGA; Beth Monroe of the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden; Jonathan Kavalier, Supervisory Horticulturist at Smithsonian Institution; Hyashi Katsuhiko from the Tokachi Millennium Forest; and the amazing internationally renowned landscape architect Takano Fumiaki, of Takano Landscape Planning, who is doing spectacular job of creating, encouraging, and curating many tourist-worthy gardens in Hokkaido, Japan.
Mexico's Jesus Reyes

I did meet, ever so briefly, Jesus Reyes of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - mostly because I was going to be visiting Puerto Vallarta just three weeks later. Turns out he wasn't going to be in Mexico, but in Europe at that time, but I was able to get to the Puerto Vallarta Botanical Gardens and will do a post on that beautiful and innovative garden soon.

I was able to reconnect with fellow garden blogger, Canadian Lorraine Flanigan, who gave an excellent presentation on how botanical gardens and parks (or any organization for that matter) can better position themselves to gain the serious attention of journalists to help get their stories out.
Misplaced Brit,
American Richard Benfield

I spent some time with Richard Benfield, keynote speaker, author of the book Garden Tourism, and Chair of the International Garden Tourism Network. Out of everyone, I know Richard best so I tried to force myself to meet others as much as possible.

In addition to all these fine folks, there were many others I met but was not able to strike up a conversation. Dozens in fact. I do hope I get a chance to visit the conference to see these people again (and visit some of their gardens!) in the future.

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