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The Germinatrix, A Garden Show Wimp

by germinatrix | April 7th, 2011

the one picture I managed to take- not your conventional garden!


Sorry, everybody.

Last year, I did SUCH a fantastic post about the San Francisco Garden Show – yes, the pictures were blurry, but I had a VIDEO and everything!

This year, I got bupkiss. I was doing a lecture on The Edible Front Yard, and I get SO nervous that all I can do is sit around and gossip. If I even LOOK at anything horticultural, my brain begins to spin – “Who do I think I am?” and “Clearly I suck” or “I am going to open my mouth and all that will come out will be a big embarrassing burp”. So I have no pictures of any value. Clearly, your Germinatrix kinda sucks. But my lecture was pretty good!

So instead of pretty pictures, I’d like to take you on a verbal journey of highlights, via this list of my favorite memories of SFGS 2011, in no particular order:

***  Walking through the show with Jenny Nybro Peterson, fab garden designer from my beloved Austin, Tx. But she is more than that – she is an amazing source of bright, loving white light! REALLY!!! Ask anybody who knows her. While we were walking around, I would be going on about stuff in a critical manner – but Jenny illuminated the show! She looked at every display for “take-aways”, things she could learn and glean even if the display wasn’t totally on point. I was stunned. Who IS this positive, open creature and how did she walk into my dark realm? I started looking for take-aways, too – and by the end of the show I was wearing pastel pink. Yes. Her power is THAT strong! (and I look GREAT in pink!)

***   Rich Radford. Swoon. Last year, this designer won the gold medal with his post-apocalyptic garden (which I loved). He also won the hearts of every woman (and many men) who gazed into his deeply warm, chocolatey brown eyes. And he has a South African accent. Last year, I shamelessly trotted after him like a puppy dog. This year, I was more composed; adult – I played it cool. As a result, he stopped to talk to me in the press room and winked when he left. I almost swallowed my tongue.

***  A sprited conversation with Amy Stewart (awesome authoress who writes the books I wish I could write) and Steve Aitken (EOC of Fine Gardening, who has a super dry sense of humor and made me laugh way too loudly) at the writer’s dinner . The topic was “Do garden shows do their public a disservice by being too fanciful?” I, of course, took both sides of the argument – which is my clever strategy for always coming out on top. Amy was on to me from the get go. We all got nice and animated and drank lots of sangria, and I forgot all the smart, witty things I’d WANTED to say and just ended up saying “YOU know… I mean, right? You know what I mean, right Steve?” I don’t think I’ll be getting any writing jobs from Fine Gardening anytime soon…

***  Sitting next to Laura Livengood Schaub the day of my talk. I was on my computer, trying to settle myself and remind myself of all of the pithy phrases I wanted to casually toss off, and Laura was sitting next to me, doing her important Laura things. There was such a feeling of warmth and comfort coming from her, I couldn’t help but be happy. That woman is like a snifter of really delicious brandy – tasty, soothing, lovely. One always wants more!

***  Rebecca Sweet‘s party – which I didn’t stay at long enough! It was a fabulous blend of fun garden folk, with special martinis made just for me by the wonderful Tom (Rebecca’s super great husband), who even made me an extra martini when the one I was drinking mysteriously went flying across the room and smashed on the floor. I SWEAR it wasn’t ME! I also won the door prize, and I NEVER win anything!!! I also decided that I was going to move to Richmond, CA to be closer to Annie’s Annuals and my new friend Maureen Decombe. AND Elayne Takemoto (the voice of Annie’s) and I decided we are related somehow.

*** Laughing my BUTT off any time Susan Morrison said anything. That woman is so witty and awesome and sly – she can literally just look at me and I will erupt into laughter. She also approved of my use of the term “Cock-blocked” (it happened to be the ONLY way to describe the situation in question!), which of course makes her my friend for life.

***  The poised, elegant Debra Lee Baldwin almost running over Steve Aitkin’s foot with her rental car. And she was STILL graceful while doing it! Amazing!

***  Farmer Ben (watch the video!). Sorry, Rich Radford – The Germinatrix is flighty; her heart can never belong to one man.

***  Standing at the podium, taking a breath before I started my talk, and seeing my beloved blogfriends sitting together in one big, supportive group. Those beautiful faces. You know who you are! I had to swallow a knot in my throat, took another breath, and then lectured away!

Thank you all for making SFGS a show to remember – even without pictures!
XOXO Your Germinatrix

ps – okay YES this is a very name-droppy post, but it sort of HAD to be! Don’t roll your eyes at me!!!

12 Responses to “The Germinatrix, A Garden Show Wimp”

  1. Your memories are correct, dear Germi. But I’d add a few more: while Jenny is indeed the source of the brightest light possible, that girl can turn on a dime and be as dark as the rest of us…cursing like a pirate under that gleaming smile (one of the main reasons I love her so much!). Cock-Blocked wasn’t the only term we three glommed onto, either. The other acronym, alas, I must keep under my hat for it’s just a tad too rude for such an esteemed blog as yours (you know what I mean here!!). And I’d have to completely agree with your love of Maureen and Elayne – are they the FUNNIEST or what!! Those two slay me!! Having Elayne describe her old, gimped up dog as ‘her hairshirt’ is one of the funniest analogies I heard all week. And elegant, graceful Debra….she’s another one smooth as silk, with a lightening-fast edge you don’t want to be on the receiving end of….ahhh…I love our gardening community, don’t you?

  2. I am SOOO with you, Sweet One! Our posse is rad. Fun, lovely, smart – and BAD ASSES, every one! (including your lovely self, OF COURSE!) And I DO know what acronym of which you speak – it must be kept tight within the circle of 3, only to be busted out in special occasions when its invocation is necessary. It is THAT powerful! Thank you for being the most incredible hostess and for adding to all the fun! XOXO!!!

  3. Aw, my precious…I hope you didn’t think it was too weird that I kept wanting to touch your face (that skin! no homo!) I too will always remember the time we spent together NOT talking (whoever thought that could be possible?) Last year was so frantic for me; this year I luxuriated in long conversations and lots of them…bliss. And to have Miss Jenny stay with me was the hugest blessing; she kept me connected and relaxed for the whole show. My cats are STILL sleeping on her bed all day, waiting for her to come back.

    I’m so glad you wrote about this, because in the end, there are all kinds of pictures, but not enough of the personal stories. The network of friendships that have grown in our community over the last two years is truly astounding; I don’t know how I would have survived without all of you, truly. I raise my snifter to you, darling Germi and hope we meet again soon….xoxoxolls

  4. How fun it sounds! You make me wish (yet again) I had been there, but reading these anecdotes makes me feel I know each person just a little bit better. Wish I’d heard your talk too. Put the next one up on YouTube for us in flyover country!

  5. Will I ever live down Steve trying to exit my rental car while it slowly rolled forward (his right foot bumping along the asphalt), while Susan Morrison advised gently, “I think you have to put it in park.” Ah-ha! Put it in PARK. See, it was a Japanese car, and I don’t speak Japanese. Not that the car did, either, but I normally drive a German car. Worlds apart.

  6. Concern for Steve’s feet aside, I was less worried about the confusing Japanese directions on how to put the rental car in gear, and more concerned about Debra’s belief that turning on the hazard lights would somehow heat the car.

    How obnoxious are we, Ivette, turning your public comment stream into an insider’s gossipfest? But your post captures how wonderful it can be when friendships formed online migrate into the physical world. Spending time with you and everyone else mentioned here was fabulous in every way. And as someone who has admired the impressive names you’ve mentioned in your writing, how exciting to finally have my own name dropped! Something to cross off the bucket list, for sure.

  7. I get home from work, and I’m greeted by this Love Fest at Germi’s! I, too, had the most fabulous of times with my lovely homies (wait, can you describe homies as “lovely?”). First, your presentation was awesome and not just “pretty good”–we were all weeping and gnashing our collective teeth, and I mean that in a good way.

    I could never have imagined our blogship turning into anything like what we have now–a supportive collection of women who are designing, writing, growing businesses and encouraging each other every step of the way!

    And now that we have totally turned off the rest of Ivette’s readership (but really, Ivette, you totally started it), I have to say that I am heartily offended that I remain unaware of this mysterious acronym. I require immediate DMs or emails with this info.

    My closing statement is this: I hope you all are buying small T-shirts because you know we don’t like to look too organized.

    XOX JP

  8. Sniff..sniff…I didn’t make the cut.

    Despite not being mentioned, I too think we are a lucky group of bloggers to be able to spend such quality time together! What a fun time we had.

    And Germi – I would have gladly shared my photos. I sent many a photo to Susan when she discovered she had few. I think we spent too much time giggling and that is why some photos went by the wayside.

    Hugs to you all.

  9. Steve A says:

    I just want to say that I didn’t mind the torrents of rain, I didn’t mind being mocked for wearing another argyle sweater (my wife bought 5 of them for me for Christmas, so I don’t have much choice), I didn’t mind being subjected to repeated hugs, I didn’t mind being made to smile on at least two occasions, I didn’t mind that Rebecca wouldn’t delay her entire party for two days just so that I (maybe) would attend. I don’t even mind that my foot might have gotten run over by a moving car.

    I do mind that no one introduced me to Jenny Peterson. I love fab garden designers from Austin, Texas. And I, too, am often described as an “amazing source of bright, loving, white light.” Ask anybody*

    (*Excludes people who have ever interacted with me.)

  10. Oh you guys!!!

    Thank you all for making my memories so fantastic! And Pam – we need to get you here NEXT year! More fun for everyone!!!

    TLoe, you are so loved – it would have taken TWO posts to describe how much…

  11. says:

    What T-Loe said.

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