GWA Indiana 2011
Aug 25th - Aug 29th, 2011

Sunday, August 28
6:15 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. Early Morning Photo Shoot Departs for Arts & Parks Tour
8:00 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. Arts + Parks Story Tour with Breakfast & Lunch

The Arts + Parks Tour will encompass two of Indianapolis’ finest public gardens. The Indianapolis Museum of Art is unique among museums because, not only does it have a stellar art collection, it is blessed with 152 acres of gardens and grounds. While you are encouraged to visit the art inside while you’re there, GWA will concentrate on the outdoor art of gardening. ( )

The main campus has a great variety of planting situations from woodland gardens to a handicap accessible garden to a nearly one-acre green roof planted with red maples, shrubs and perennials in addition to turf. Large containers can be found around a grand fountain in the very front of the building.

After traversing the main campus, visit the Oldfields-Lilly House. The French-chateau-style mansion is a National Historic Landmark, one of the few intact Country Place Era estates in the Midwest. Designed in the early 1900s by Percival Gallagher of the Olmsted Brothers firm, the property includes a one-acre naturalistic ravine garden, two large strolling gardens, a formal garden and a majestic tree-lined allee.

Finally, make your way toward 100 Acres, a combination of Nature’s design and artists’ designs inspired by nature. In only its second year of opening, the park has 11 commissioned site-specific works of art. A decade of reclaiming the severely disturbed acreage has meant removal of thousands of invasive exotic plants. Last year, a large amount of Indiana natives were planted in a years-long process of replacing those invasives.

Donna’s notes ... The Museum was closed to the public for the morning so it was a great treat to be able to wander the grounds on our own after breakfast. Fiskars sponsored a wonderful healthy breakfast that we all appreciated very much. We sat around munching on mini bagels with ham and egg or you could fill your bagel with smoked salmon and herbed cream cheese. Tables of fresh blueberries, watermelon and cantaloupe with yogurt and granola mix, great coffee and iced tea and even a table or two of baked goods. Very nice indeed. On each of the tables they had placed terracotta pots filled with shears tied in green ribbon with a note card saying “ Thank you Garden Writers! It’s a SHEAR pleasure working with you. Classy and that is why we all appreciate Fiskars and their great garden tools. They have new tools coming out in 2012 so watch for them! New Loppers and Bypass Pruners. Also 3 new Reel Mowers.

What was so impressive about this Museums gardens is that they are free to the public – and so is the Museum. The building we had breakfast in would be a wonderful venue for events. With huge windows that show the trees I cannot imagine how beautiful that view must be in the fall with the leaves turning colour. The Museum is very proud of its collections of Post Impression, Asian and African items. There are in fact over 55,000 items on display in this beautiful building. They also have one of the most significant collections of works by Turner outside of Great Britain and collections of Japanese Edo-period paintings and Chinese ceramics. On display until February 12th, 2012 is Material World, an exhibition showcasing such items as Bill Blass, designs from Dior and Chanel as a Chinese imperial robe embellished with gold threads.

The other thing of interest was the fact that they have their own Horticultural Society with over 350 members. What a wonderful place to hold hort. Meetings. Their greenhouse gift shop is chock a block full and there was a lineup of garden writers buying things so that proves it’s a great place to buy garden goodies. The greenhouse was originally built in the 1920’s, rebuilt in the 1940’s and used to provide flowers and vegetables to the residents of the Lilly house. It was expanded in 1993 and named in honor of Madeline F. Elder.
What surprised us too was the fact that they have the largest green roof in the country. It is near the Museum entrance and is called the Sutphin Mall. This broad expanse of grass is in fact the green roof filled with rows of trees, shrubs, perennials and benches to sit and enjoy. At one end is the Sutphin Fountain and at the other end is the sculpture of the famous LOVE that you see in Philadelphia at their Museum of Art. A beautiful place and we can understand why they have so many wedding parties booked here for photography.

Our second visit will be historic Garfield Park. The Sunken Garden was dedicated and opened to the public on Oct. 29, 1916, and the original Conservatory was designed and built in 1914! GWA will be concentrating on the Conservatory, the Sunken Gardens and the Children’s Gardens. ( )

Garfield Park Conservatory is located within the 136-acre park, on Indianapolis' near south side. The facility is open to the public and offers workshops, gardening demonstrations, youth education and guest lecturers on horticulture and landscaping. The conservatory features special exhibits throughout the year, including holiday poinsettias, fall mums and the spring bulb show!

The Sunken Garden includes three acres of European classical formal gardens. The garden's graceful historic fountains, paved walkways and benches throughout the landscape make it a gorgeous and relaxing retreat from city life.
Donna’s notes … the sunken gardens (circa 1900’s) were very nice and it was a shame the fountains were not working to enjoy the full impact of this garden. There were three and I am sure they look magical when working. We then toured the glasshouse, full of the plants that I now live with – orchids, helliconia, bananas, cacao etc A lovely waterfall inside provided these plants with the humidity they needed but I can tell you it got a bit warm in there with all of us trooping through. The children’s’ garden was bright and cheerfull and full of plants to explore using your five senses. Big painted rubber tires full of plants, plants climbing up trellises or walling down raised planters. A big covered area with work tables completed the garden.

After our tour we made our way over to another part of the gardens to have our lunch which was sponsored by GMC. A yummy meal including what they call a ‘hoosier’ treat which are fried biscuits sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and then you serve them with apple butter. What can I say, I had three! For desert we had ice cream carts full of ice cream sandwiches and berry popsicles to choose from….it was great.

Breakfast sponsored by Fiskars ( ) and lunch sponsored by GMC ( ).

Concurrent Sessions
1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Meet the Editor
The traditional print glossy is undergoing major changes in how it delivers "content" to readers. Stephen Orr is at the forefront of these industry changes. With the continuing goal of delivering useful, inspiring and informative gardening editorial to Martha Stewart Living magazine's audiences, Orr and his colleagues rely on multiple media platforms and new technology. Learn how MSL's innovations are enhancing the magazine-subscriber relationship and hear from Orr about how you can change your communications strategy to reach your own audience. He will also showcase the various ways gardening articles are tailored for web, digital and mobile technologies. The presentation will conclude with a Q&A. Presenter: Stephen Orr, Editorial Director of gardens for Martha Stewart Omnimedia.

Bridging the Gap: How to Bring Traditional and New Media Together to Make Money
There are two basic ways to enter the world of garden writing: traditional print or digital media. This training shows how to use both traditional and new media channels to grow your business. You’ll learn a five-step process for navigating the new world of writing and publishing. Be sure to bring your laptop or pen and paper. Panelists: Jean Ann Van Krevelen, White Willow Media and Jodi Torpey, .

The Benefits of Beneficials
Jessica presents groundbreaking research regarding the intricate connection between plants and insects. She introduces over a dozen species of beneficial insects found in backyards. Learn to understand the garden’s cycle of predator and prey and how to use it to your advantage. Participants leave knowing how to attract beneficials to the garden through the plantings and insectary borders. Presenter: Jessica Walliser, The Organic Gardeners.

Concurrent Sessions
2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Harvesting a Fresh Crop of Print Assignments
This session provides an overview of current print market conditions; calendar considerations when pitching; approaching new editors with pitches; and ways to mine new print markets by readership category. The session also covers a methodical geographical approach to new markets and a look at maximizing book-related magazine and newspaper coverage. Presenter: Nan Chase, Freelance Writer.

Tech Report for Garden Communicators:
Meet Tools and Technology that Will Work for You

Learn how one writer uses technology tools to organize projects and her home office business. Database tools like Bento and FileMaker, with predetermined templates, make it simple to track the plants in one's garden, or any other inventory need, such as resources for future articles. Project management tools like MindManager help track complicated projects, like writing a new book, from start to finish. The dynamic nature of these kinds of tools make it simple to rearrange priorities quickly, much more creative than a "to-do" list or a static outline. Calendars and "To Do" lists now work on both your at home computer and your smart phone or a tablet such as the iPad, helping you to keep track of your life no matter where you find yourself. And learn the reasons why Apple's iPhoto is the simplest way for you non-professional photographers to organize the thousands of photos you collect. Presenter: Carol Moholt, The Bay Area Gardener.

Chic Plants for Hip Gardeners
Gardeners need chic, sustainable, thriving plants for modern lifestyles. Plants are the very essence of fashionable gardening. Gardeners need to know the basics of gardening as well as the opportunity to craft landscapes that are uniquely their own. Let’s help our readers demystify the intimidation of new things and talk about plants on their merits. Plantsman Kelly Norris will take the audience on a journey through a world of hot, functional and head-turning plants for modern gardens—unusual, new, plus a few tried and true. Presenter: Kelly Norris, Rainbow Iris Farm/Gardens by Kelly Productions.

3:30 p.m. Coffee Break
Break Sponsored by All American Daylily Selections (

Concurrent Sessions
4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Follow the Lead
Powerful lead sentences are clear markers along the reading journey. These signposts occur at the crossroads where readers want to know which way is this story heading? This lecture will offer invaluable tips to strengthen your writing guideposts, including leads, opening paragrphas and transitions. Presenter: Mary-Kate Mackey, writer/adjunct professor.

Past, Present, Future: EBook Publishing
This session is an Ebook publishing overview of what tools are currently available to writers and a discussion of the pros/cons of each format and distribution system. Also, Kathy will delve further into the marketing and PR aspects of E-publishing. Presenter: Kathy Jentz, Washington Gardener Magazine.

Sustainable Practices Panel
Join this panel for a look at the many facets of sustainable landscapes and gardening. Learn about the way Americans are interacting with their lawns to make highly visible changes through the use of several sustainable practices such as rain gardens to ameliorate storm-water runoff and contamination of water by pesticides and fertilizers.
As professional designers, we set trends and influence what is accepted by the gardening & non-gardening public. In our work we can demonstrate that well-designed “sustainable landscapes” - whether “natural”, contemporary, or more traditional - are not only beautiful but also solve problems and provide additional benefits.

With the incorporation of holistic principles and sustainable design, a landscape can increase in beauty and value over time while requiring fewer resources and can become a living, vital part of the natural ecosystem. Panelists: Marietta Loehrlein, Western Illinois University Professor and Sabrena Schweyer, Salsbury-Schweyer, Inc.

7:30 p.m. Dinner on your own


  • New Eden
  • Kids Garden
  • Plant a Row Grow a Row