I ENJOY CONNECTING with other gardeners, and have a new idea of how to do that with more of you in 2017, no matter where you live. In response to inquiries from readers too far away to attend my garden tours or workshops, or even a lecture I’m giving around the Northeast, I’m proposing a series of webinar-style “events” I think of as a virtual garden club.
I need your help, in the form of a short survey (link at the bottom of this story), to decide if it’s a good idea, and what format it might take. The survey probably won’t take you more than 5 minutes to complete.
Background: For more than 20 years, I’ve lectured to garden audiences, and also hosted Garden Conservancy Open Days at my own garden in the Hudson Valley of New York (as I will again).
In 2016, in response to visitors’ requests requesting more time to chat and ask questions than is possible at the big tours, I added smaller, more personal half-day garden workshops, and they sold out. (They’ll be repeated in 2017.)
But that still doesn’t address geographic limitations. Some of you are just too far away to visit, no matter the format.
I attend and learn from a lot of webinars—with Cornell Lab of Ornithology, with various horticulture trade groups and nursery associations, with eOrganic (the organic arm of Extension online), besides ones about technology that help me with the website.
They vary not just in subject, but in length, price, day of week and time of day–and that’s where I want your feedback.
Using a platform such as GoToMeeting or GoToWebinar, which you can access easily from your computer, iPad or even smartphone, I’m proposing something like this:
One possibility: I’d give a slide talk on a particular subject, then open up the floor for questions—the virtual version of the familiar format you’d expect at a slide talk at your library, garden club, etc.
Alternatively, I could occasionally host Q&A-only sessions without a lecture first, to really dig into all the issues you’re wanting help with. Maybe ticket-holders would even submit their questions ahead of time, so I could prepare in-depth replies. For years I hosted a live garden call-in program on Sirius Radio when I worked at Martha Stewart, so I know everyone has questions!
Will you take the survey and help me decide if this is a good idea or not? Here’s the link—and again, it will take less than 5 minutes. Thank you! If you have any other thoughts, it’s fine to put them in the comments here, too, but the survey tool helps me really tabulate the feedback more easily, of course.