GWA – A Crowdsourced Poem

Mar 17, 2017 | Gardens

I belong to GWA: The Association For Garden Communicators. It is the group for those who write, speak, teach, blog, photograph or otherwise communicate about plants and gardens. Whether you’re a farmer, volunteer master gardener, grower, home gardener or plant whisperer, if you communicate about horticulture, this organization is for you.  Recently I posted on the GWA Facebook Page, asking people to write a sentence – 10 words or less – about why they love this organization. I turned those posts into this crowdsourced poem. 

Why Are YOU A GWA Member?
~ A Crowdsourced Poem ~

Soulmates. Or perhaps Soilmates…
Witty and wise, curious and challenging: A terrific tribe.
Dirt cheap cost, too!!
A wealth of inspiration awaits you.

Feeling automatically supported.
An ever-growing web of hort-heads talking for plants, about plants, and beyond plants.
Best fertilizer for the garden of words.

Soil sisters and brothers.
GWA has helped me cultivate a perennial garden of friends.
Cultivating relationships and growing gardeners to harvest a healthier world.
GWA means careers, friendships, oh, and great gardens.

GWA cultivates green professionals.
Fun vacations, seeing old friends, and making new ones.
Well paying gigs and skills building.
Garden writing dreams come true.
Professional friends for life and livelihood.

Comrades in arms, beauty and wonder, and free legal advice.
Friends for life, spectacular garden tours, and solid writing contracts (thank you, attorneys!).
GWA satisfies my passion for secret gardens with kindred spirits.
Friends, networking, jobs, income, fun, karaoke, learning…

Thank you, GWA

In 2009 we visited Plant Delights Nursery in North Carolina. Here is Tony Avent’s patio. Agave, anyone?

Here is Brent Heath, of Brent and Becky’s Bulbs. He and Becky are two of the people I’ve been blessed to meet through GWA. They are, like other GWA members, so completely welcoming – if you love plants, you’re “good people.”

This was taken on an early morning photo shoot at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. We strolled around a world class garden as the sun rose. It doesn’t get much better than this.

One of the best things about going to a GWA annual meeting is that they are held all over North America. I’ve been able to see private gardens in all sorts of climates – places I’d NEVER get to visit if it weren’t for GWA. This was a private garden in Tuscan, AZ. This is just a small view of the zillions of cacti and succulents in containers on this property. FUN.

Dan Heims, of Terra Nova Nurseries, says “Don’t mess with me!” at the GWA trade show in Indianapolis. Part of the annual meetings is a show that features great plants and products.

This was a meticulously maintained private garden in Quebec City. I LOVED Quebec City. In fact, I’d go back to any of the cities we’ve visited for GWA meetings in a heartbeat.

The Parliament Building in Quebec City had huge displays of vegetables and other ornamental plants when we were there. Veggies in SmartPots were everywhere! And don’t you love the willow-branches arch? You could do this for a wedding, or in your own backyard…

GWA President Kirk Brown welcomes new GWA member Teresa Speight to the meeting in Atlanta. Georgia in 2016.

After I posted this photo I heard from fellow GWA member Mary Palmer Dargan – she told me that this arch is by Carl Peverall and it’s in Lee Dinns Atlanta garden. A perfect example of how GWA member have each other’s backs!  My original caption for this photo was: Here’s another thing that I love about the GWA annual meetings: I always come away inspired. Sometimes it’s an object I see in a garden, or the way that someone has combined plants. Other times it’s the information I get in a seminar or talk that kickstarts a new project or skill set. The annual meetings are go-go-go and yet I always come home invigorated and ready to move on to the next level. As someone wrote for the poem above, Thank You, GWA!




  1. Mary Palmer Dargan

    The arch by Carl Peverall in Lee Dinns Atlanta garden…so glad it is part of the poem!!

    • CL Fornari

      Here is the perfect example of how GWA members “have each other’s backs.” I did not have the name of the artist who did this, nor the name of the gardener. So now I can add these to the caption and give credit where credit is due! Thanks Mary. You’re the best.


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