A Growing Presence

November 30, 2009

At the annual gathering of the Garden Writers Association, more than 400 horticultural scribes and shutterbugs enthusiastically crowded into Duke's Sarah P. Duke Gardens for an afternoon and evening this fall.

The visitors were said to be so absorbed in their visit that it was difficult to round them up when it came time for a cocktail reception and dinner. The nonprofit association includes writers for newspapers and magazines, bloggers and authors, photographers, and television and radio reporters. One popular video blogger, Patti Moreno (known to her admirers as Garden Girl), taped a segment in the gardens for her website. Others tweeted their praises on Twitter during and after the visit.

Officials hope the writers and other landscape luminaries who attended will broadcast more than seeds in the year to come. They expect a significant presence for the gardens in various media outlets in the future, inspiring more gardening enthusiasts and tourists to visit campus.

Bill LeFevre, executive director of the gardens, says his staff was pleased to host a group of visitors so dedicated to exploring and celebrating the diversity of plant life.

"Plus," he adds, "it was an absolutely gorgeous night to be in the gardens."