Digging In-2017

Digging In-2017 was an amazing success!  I couldn’t have asked for better people to spend a few days with! This was one talented and talkative  group! It’s hard to believe that no one knew each other before the gathering.  It didn’t take long for everyone to start chatting like they were life-long friends!  Being in a room with other like-minded people who all have the same type of business provides for an amazing dynamic!

The gathering brought 21 professional container garden designers together from all over the United States. Attendees came from the East Coast, West Coast, Midwest, and South. The range of business experience was a great mix from almost 20 years to those who have started within the past year.

The gathering took place March 20-21 at Naper Settlement in Naperville, Illinois, just west of Chicago. If you’ve never been to Naperville I highly recommend it! It s a great town, with lots to see and do!

Here’s a quick recap:

We kicked off the gathering with Christina Salwitz also known as The Personal Garden Coach. Christina is from Seattle and she shared her knowledge on using Social Media to help your business grow.  

Everyone was so captivated!


Marshall Dirks of Proven Winners introduced us to the latest and greatest annuals for 2017. He also shared the process of how plants become “Proven Winners”, a fascinating and time-consuming process.  Knowing what goes into making these plants makes you appreciate them that much more!


We finished off our first day with a great dinner on the rooftop of Empire, it was the perfect place for our group because it felt like we were in a greenhouse!  

Lots of fun and great conversations were going on!


Day two started off with Helen Weis, owner of Unique by Design Landscaping & Containers in Oklahoma City. Helen is an energetic speaker who really knows her stuff!!  She shared her design tips to make every container great for each season.

At lunch, Joan Mazat of Ball Seed joined us. She shared Ball’s  process for trialing flowers that are best for containers.  Joan shared some great plant combos with the group!

Laura Eubanks, owner of Design for Serenity in San Diego, inspired us with her amazing work with succulents. She shared her succulent story of success and I can’t tell you how giddy everyone was when she was demonstrating some fun living art she created using succulents.

Check out her YouTube channel for great succulent tips! Her adorable daughter Hannah came with her and she made a fun video of their trip to Naperville, check it out here!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7iC46yIH4Y Laura’s true personality shines in the video and I guarantee it will make you smile when you watch it!



We concluded our gathering with a fun tapas-style dinner at Quiubo.

It was hard for everyone to say goodbye to this wonderful new network of friends.  We all agreed another day would have been great!

A huge thank you to those who supported the event, we couldn’t have done it without you! Ball Seed, Dramm, Proven Winners, M&M Wintergreens, Crescent Garden, Camille Paterson, Potrisers, Bogs Footwear, The Mud Room & Hopz Girl  Thank you thank you thank you!

There was so much wonderful going on at Digging In it’s hard to describe!  When you own a small business it can be lonely and you can feel isolated. It’s easy to be sucked into your routine, you forget there is other life out there! Networking and community are so important– for learning, for inspiration, for motivation and for creativity!

Wonderful relationships were cultivated at the gathering!

This community of container garden designers has bloomed into something beautiful! I’m so excited to see it grow— Digging In 2018 here we come!