Home & Garden Digital Marketing Week and New Event

The Garden Bloggers Conference is now part of Home & Garden Digital Marketing Week!

2015 Garden Bloggers Conference

2015 Garden Bloggers Conference

Home & Garden Digital Marketing Week conveniently brings together three events in one location… our two luxury home & garden digital marketing conferences including the Garden Bloggers Conference and Design Bloggers Conference (March 6-8, 2016)…and now the new Home Design Digital Marketing Summit (March 8-9, 2016).

Debuting this year during Home & Garden Digital Marketing Week, the Home Design Digital Marketing Summit (HDDMS) is a MUST ATTEND for everyone selling luxury products and services to consumers and trade. The conference is built in response to overwhelming demand from interior designers, bloggers, retailers, showroom operators, architects, landscape architects, and garden professionals that are eager, but need guidance and more expertise, in understanding how to navigate the changed and continually evolving digital marketing landscape.

One action-packed and information-filled week offering all the right internet marketing, branding, and social media approaches for growing any style of luxury home design business in this new marketing reality. One All-Access Pass registration allows you to attend all three conferences during Digital Marketing Week.  Or, you can attend just one of the three conferences with a corresponding event-specific pass.

Whatever combination of events you choose, you will discover a chock-full calendar of on-site receptions and a plethora of after-parties and complimentary programming at designated locations in close proximity to the conference hotel.

The Luxury Home Design Industry

…has evolved in its reliance on the internet for personal and business branding, sale of design services and products, and participation in home design marketplaces and forums that connect consumers and the trade. It is increasingly challenging, and often intimidating, for interior designers, architects, landscape architects, garden professionals, showroom operators, luxury home retailers, manufacturers and brands to keep up, understand, and successfully execute a balanced internet marketing program in an evolving digital landscape.

As Organizers

…of the sixth Design Bloggers Conference and third Garden Bloggers Conference we have been guide and witness to the design trade’s enthusiastic transition from traditional to web-based content and social media marketers. First websites, then blogs and social media, and now industry marketplaces, e-commerce engines, and lead generation technology have been helpful to those home and garden professionals insistent on learning and participating to avoid being left behind.

While our blogger conferences continue to offer packed agendas with industry rock stars, top bloggers, internet marketing pros, leaders in brand building, social media gurus, and industry pros with success stories to share, the digital marketing opportunity and education imperative in the Home & Garden space has blossomed. Esteem Media has now taken on the job of fulfilling the unaddressed need for valuable face-to-face networking and practical takeaways on topics ranging from direct to consumer web sales, personal branding, social media, design marketing platforms, lead generation, content marketing, digital alliances, and more during one action-packed, networking-galore, and content-rich Home & Garden Digital Marketing Week – exclusively for the luxury Home & Garden industry, specially tailored for our industry’s unique needs, and in a comfortable and non intimidating environment comprised of your industry peers.


  • Interior Designers
  • Design Bloggers
  • Industry Product Manufacturers
  • National and Local Design Showrooms
  • Architects, Luxury Design Retailers
  • Garden Bloggers
  • Landscape Architects
  • Industry PR and Agency Professionals
  • Market Centers
  • Anyone interested in learning how to use digital tools to market
    more effectively to the Luxury Home & Garden Consumer.


Grand Hyatt Atlanta in Buckhead
3300 Peachtree Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30305

Register for the All-Access Pass which allows you to attend all three conferences during Digital Marketing Week.  Or, you can attend just one of the three conferences with a corresponding event-specific pass.


Highlights from the 2015 Garden Bloggers Conference

GBC- kfp-selfie-stickWe are so grateful to our attendees, speakers, sponsors, and exhibitors for making our second Garden Bloggers Conference a success!

So many to thank – from Nate Berkus, Bunny Williams, Marcus Sheridan, Shawna Coronado, Lisa Steele, Jan Bills, Linda Ly, Rochelle Greayer, Sara Bendrick, Nick McCullough, Allison McCullough, and Kelly Fitzsimmons just to name a few.

We also want to acknowledge the generous support of:

  • Bonnie Plants for providing 5 new garden bloggers the opportunity to attend the event as part the Conference Scholarship Program and Sponsorship.
  • Proven Winners for sponsoring the 2015 Garden Bloggers Conference Hall of Fame Awards. This year our Hall of Fame winners included Best Overall Blog: Red Dirt Ramblings, Dee Nash; Best Blog Graphics, Photography, and Presentation: Green Thumb White Apron, Brett Youmans; Best Writing: Mother of a Hubbard, Cathy Rehmeyer; and Best New Blog: Redeem Your Ground, Doug and Brittany Scott.
  • The Garden Writers Association and The Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD) for embracing our event from the very beginning and sharing our vision for the focus of the program.
  • The more than 70 exhibitors and sponsors on our expo floor shared with our sister event Design Bloggers Conference – from ADAC to Vita – who strive to make our lives better and more beautiful.

Garden Blogger Conference After Party EventIf you missed the event we figured that we couldn’t summarize the conference any better than YOU, our attendees, so here you’ll find a collection of the highlights, recaps, new friends, and key takeaways from the conference, along with lots of photos.

Hoping we all meet again next year!




Marcus Sheridan, Web Marketing Guru, Keynotes Garden Bloggers Conference

Marcus-Sheridan-largeCalled a “Web Marketing Guru” by the New York Times, Marcus Sheridan has traveled the world, helping businesses and brands of all sizes simplify marketing in the digital age so they get results. Known for his contagious enthusiasm and boundless energy when on stage, Marcus has since become a popular speaker and has been called the ‘Gary Vaynerchuk of the Swimming Pool Industry.’

I had the pleasure of hearing Marcus speak recently and the attendees absolutely adored him! In fact, he was rated as the #1 speaker at this conference. We are so fortunate to have been able to book Marcus since he is a highly-sought-after keynote speaker.

He speaks passionately about what he has learned himself and provides simple, real-life examples of how he has made his brand and business wildly successful. In fact, as a result of his own meteoric rise, he has become a very successful HubSpot Partner, training inbound marketers  and companies everywhere how to find success.

Marcus Sheridan is the founder of The Sales Lion, one of the internet’s fastest growing marketing websites focusing on the transformational powers of inbound marketing on small businesses. But before spreading the good word about marketing, Sheridan, who also owns a prominent swimming pool company, established the most popular swimming pool website in the world through content marketing. (Marcus is also known as “The Pool Guy.”)

Marcus’ topic is entitled How Content Marketing Can Build Traffic, Loyal Readers, Your Brand, and Your Bottom Line: With more and more bloggers, and more and more content, standing out from the crowd and building your online presence is harder than it has ever been. In this highly interactive and fast-paced session, popular speaker Marcus Sheridan will explain specific ways you can create content that will not only generate more traffic and loyal readers, but will also help brand you as a thought leader with a unique approach and a top go-to source for gardening information.

Hope you get a chance to hear Marcus – it’s like a religious experience!

Bunny Williams in the House!

bunnywilliams_041514Bunny Williams will be illuminating the stage at the  Garden Bloggers Conference!

By day, Bunny is one of New York’s most successful interior designers, a woman whose hours are filled with high-powered meetings, magazine photo shoots, and detailed consultations with clients. But when the week shades into Friday evening, Bunny can be found in the idyllic retreat of her Connecticut garden, the emotional center of her life and the source of perhaps her greatest creative efforts. After five days at the top of the design world, nothing means more to this warm and brilliant woman than to spend the next two with her hands in the dirt, musing about the effect of trees and flowers, paths and benches.

The passion Bunny feels for her garden is a deep one shared by countless others — in the country, in the suburbs, and even in the city. Gardening has become America’s favorite pastime, but its vocabulary remains intimidating, even to those fluent in the language of style and design. Applying the lessons we’ve learned about interior space to the outdoors is a good idea, but it doesn’t work without help: before we can decorate the outdoor room we need to understand its character, and few people can guide us to that understanding better than Bunny Williams.

See the entire agenda and speaker line-up.   The conference program will include  learning about:

  • What Do Successful Bloggers Do
  • The Power of Personal Branding for Professional Success
  • How to Build a Strategic Social Media Presence & Memorable Brand Recognition
  • How to Monetize Your Online Brand
  • How to Expand Your Brand into Video & Gain a Global Presence
  • The Ultimate Blog Platform
  • How to Prevent Your Website from Getting Hacked
  • How to Get More Qualified Traffic & Drive Readers to Action
  • Connecting with Users: What You Should Know About Search and Analytics
  • How Photography Can Help Build Your Brand, Differentiate Your Blog, & Build Traffic on Your Web




Cultivating Garden Style

Cultivating Garden Style Book Launch Party compliments of Studio 'g'Darn, I missed the fun launch party at the stunning Tower Hill Botanic Garden (and scrumptious cake) in celebration of Rochelle Greayer’s first book!

We are so excited to see Rochelle’s new book is now available. Cultivating Garden Style, Rochelle’scultivating-style-cover gorgeous guide to outdoor design features 23 unique garden styles, suggestions for recreating the looks, and tips on discovering your personal style. Simple step-by-step projects help homeowners personalize their space, helpful tips offer essential lessons in gardening and design, and more than 1,500 dazzling color photographs offer endless inspiration.

rochelle-greayer-429Rochelle,  one of the Garden Bloggers Advisory Board members, is the founder and editor of Pith + Vigor, a literary newspaper and online magazine for garden enthusiasts. In addition, she is the creator of the popular blog Studio ‘g’, named one of the top ten gardening blogs by the editors of Better Homes and Gardens and BHG.com; co-founder and editor of Leaf Magazine, a digital design magazine for garden makers; and a weekly columnist (The Gardenist) for Apartment Therapy, “one of the most influential interior design sites on the Web” according to Forbes magazine.

A graduate of the English Gardening School in London, she has been designing gardens for private residences and hotels around the world since 2002. A lover of fresh homegrown food, she is also one of the founders of the Harvard Farmers Market, the largest weekly farmers market in central Massachusetts. Prior to her garden design and writing career, Rochelle was a physicist rocket scientist (yes, really), riding in the cockpits of F-14s and F-18s and helping launch Russia’s first commercial satellite.

Prior to writing her first solo book, Cultivating Garden Style (Timber Press, September 2014), in 2012 she was featured in Luke Dixon’s Keeping Bees in Towns and Cities and in 2004 and 2005 she worked with Rosemary Alexander to co-author The Essential Garden Design Workbook and The Garden Makers Manual.

We are looking forward to seeing Rochelle in February at the 2015 Garden Bloggers Conference.

Margaret Roach’s Gardens and The Garden Conservancy

I heard Margaret Roach talk about her passion for gardening last year and one of her comments has had lasting impact: Create your garden where you can see it from your window or any vantage point where you can enjoy it! What a simple idea!

When I found out that Margaret’s garden would be available to visit during the Open Days of The Garden Conservancy I could not miss the opportunity to be see her personal points of view from her own garden and meet Margaret once again and bestow the well deserved Garden Bloggers Conference Hall of Fame award for winning in the category of “Best Overall Blog” for A Way to Garden.  She joins our other blog winners from Garden Rant, Beyond the Wild Garden, and Born To Grow.

Margaret Roach is among our first Hall of Fame Award Winners for the Garden Bloggers Conference.

I was so happy to be able to present the award in person and later the award found a spot near her one of her three books And I Shall Have Some Peace There: Trading in the Fast Lane for My Own Dirt Road published in 2011 about her decision to leave the city fast-lane life working as Editorial Director for Martha Stewart Living and move to her rural garden fulltime.

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The Gardens of Margaret Roach in Copake, NY Open for The Garden Conservancy

I can see why Margaret Roach fell in love with this area – the views off the Taconic Parkway are brimming with green lushness and shadows of the mountains frame the skyline. Margaret is chatting with one of her guests browsing the array of the plants on display from Broken Arrow Nursery.

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Variegated foliage and texture maintain a strong influence in Margaret’s gardens and define the many paths around her home.

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One can’t help but be awestruck by these gigantic leaves – Margaret told us it was related to the Astilbe plant family but I can’t remember the name. In fact, there are so many unusual plants which occupy this 2.3 acre garden which I could not identify.

roach-giant-plant roach-lush-views

Margaret enjoys views of her garden pool and in the distance two modern Adirondack chairs punctuate the hillside.

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Alfresco dining near her thriving vegetable garden.

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You can tour Margaret’s garden again in August and September during the Garden Conservancy Open Days, attend guest lectures and browse for new plants to purchase. Have fun!

Bunny Williams’ Garden and Secrets Tours

Part garden touring and part road rally – four garden tours comprise the agenda on Trade Secrets‘ second day.  I never tire of driving the beautiful countryside surrounding Sharon, Connecticut which this year includes Falls Village and Cornwall and where our next adventure takes us.

Bunny Williams and John Roselli’s Affair with the Home and Gardens

It all starts at Bunny and John’s home in Falls Village and your first glimpse is of the Greek temple-style pool house (also featured in House and Garden) which is surrounded by heirloom apple trees and soft long grass. The pool is encased in rustic stone and flows with the overall design and ambience.

bunny-williams-poolhouse-300 bunny-williams-pool-300

Cutting garden and inside look at their renovated barn with luxurious and comfortable furnishings.

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Inviting dining area in the barn with views of the parterre garden in white and green hues provide a calming backdrop.

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Nearby arbors connect to a sunken formal garden on the other side of the house.

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We say good-bye to Bunny and John’s comfortable home and head out to Cornwall Bridge for our next tours.

bunny-williams-front-house-300  bunny-williams-house-sideview-300

Stay tuned for the next installment of the Trade Secrets Garden Tours in Cornwall Bridge and Cornwall.

Bunny Williams’ Trade Secrets, Meet-Up Old and New


Bunny Williams, Honorary Chair for Trade Secrets, 2-day event which started in Bunny’s backyard more than 10 years ago.

Making the trek out to Bunny Williams’ Trade Secrets is a much anticipated weekend for many of us. This is only my second year but already I feel a kinship with this event which provides an opportunity to meet up with some of our Garden Blogger Conference alumni as well as chat with new gardening aficionados.

For garden lovers, Trade Secrets is a weekend to explore some of the finest gardens and to browse for a few of your favorite things. The event typically attracts about 1,000 attendees.

This popular two-day event, now in its 14th year and held on May 17-18,  includes a rare plant and garden antiques sale followed by a day of garden tours that benefits Women’s Support Services (WSS), a non-profit organization founded in 1981 that provides services to persons in the northwest corner of Connecticut who have experienced domestic violence or abuse.

“I look forward to this weekend every year,” said Bunny Williams of Bunny Williams Inc., one of the world’s largest and most prestigious design firms. Williams founded Trade Secrets 14 years ago when she offered to hold a small plant sale to support WSS.

trade-secrets-matt-mattusI was elated to see Matt Mattus,  Plantsman, Author, Visual Designer, Trend Consultant,
Garden Bloggers Conference Advisory Board Member and Founder and Blogger of Growing with Plants.

Matt is admiring his new purchase from Guy Wolff Pottery, one of the many vendors at Trade Secrets. You can see the complete list of vendors here.

We also had the pleasure of hearing Matt speak at last year’s Garden Bloggers Conference where he gave a very informative and engaging presentation entitled “Photography and Online Branding: Learn how photography can help you build your brand, differentiate your blog, and build traffic on your website.”

trade-secrets-snug-harbor-1Tony Elliot, proprietor of Snug Harbor Farm, is another Garden Bloggers Conference alumnus who was exhibiting at Trade Secrets. Topiaries and succulents were in abundant display and I walked away with a healthy Lemon Cypress topiary.

Tony makes gardening a fun adventure at Snug Harbor Farm-from Mad Hatter Tea Parties, Holiday Workshops and an animal menagerie.  Take a virtual tour of his eclectic nursery in Kennebunk in this video.


trade-secrets-groupI was thrilled to see Rochelle Greayer again, founder and blogger of studio g – this was her first Trade Secrets. Rochelle was one of our featured “Blogging Rock Stars” at the last Garden Bloggers Conference. She and Matt provided some expert guidance on the key topics to include in our conference program.

Andrew Keys is on the far right in this photo. Andrew is the founder and blogger of Andrew Keys Writes Things.



New Friends

Matt also introduced me to Taylor Johnston who is launching a new line of garden workwear which she is modeling in the photo.

While waiting for the shuttle to take us back to our cars, I met two sisters who traveled all the way from New Jersey to buy rare plants featured at Trade Secrets.

 trade-secrets-taylor-johnston  trade-secrets-new-friends

Trade Secrets is a splendid mix of antiques and plants. This geranium-looking plant is actually a begonia convolvulacea “Shield of Leaf” offered by The Flower Company. Love the lines on this elegant bench from Privet House.

 flower-begonia  trade-secrets-bench

Italian Terrace manufactures their pots in Italy and they have a distributor in Atlanta at ADAC, one of our sponsors at last year’s Garden Bloggers Conference.

 trade-secrets-italian-terrace-2  trade-secrets-italian-terrace-1

I found one Longhorn in Connecticut but no garden is complete without a birdhouse or two.

 trade-secrets-longhorn  trade-secrets-birdhouses

Part 2 will feature all the garden tours including Bunny Williams home.

Spillers,Thrillers, and Hidden Gardens of Beacon Hill


Chestnut Street Garden, photo courtesy of The Beacon Hill Garden Club

What a delight to tour one of the most picturesque areas of Boston, virtually in my own backyard, on a warm and sunny day in May.  Celebrating its 85th year,  The Hidden Gardens of Beacon Hill is presented by The Beacon Hill Garden Club.


Happy to see that one of our Garden Bloggers Conference Media Sponsors New England Home also sponsored the garden tour in Beacon Hill.

Though the 12 hidden gardens represent the “main event” on the garden tour,  it is the meander through Beacon Hill which rounds out the entire experience. Individuality of color and design so beautifully expressed by an array of arresting window boxes and immaculate courtyards compelling you to stop, admire, and take a picture.

Here are some of highlights of the garden tour and my meandering:

Pinckney Street Garden
The owners graciously allow us to walk through the house to their secluded garden courtyard.  An artist painted the back wall to enliven and lighten the space, and Italian tile replaced the old brick paving. The owners chose the fountain with three angels because it reminded them of their grown sons.

75-Pinckney-St-1 Pinckney-st-fountains

Spillers and thrillers but no fillers here — window boxes adorn the streets of Beacon Hill.

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Pussywillows were a dominant theme in the floral displays along the garden tour.

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Pussywillows add drama to pansies and alyssum.

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Chestnut Street
Tour goers enter this late federal-style row house and walk through the entire length of the house. The garden’s focal point is the mirrored palladian window. Given the lack of light and air in this garden retreat, the design relies primarily on decorative and architectural elements: a pair of  climbing men, the low arcade of French doors, and the sweeping iron stairway to the patio off the second-floor library.  The permanent garden consists of Boston ivy, ferns, moss, and climbing hydrangea. Landscape lighting brings the garden to life in the evening.

chestnut-street1 chestnut-street2

Lovely handpainted murals in the front hall exiting Chestnut Street where tour goers are greeted by another lovely window box.

chestnut-mural chestnut-window-box

Wysteria envelops a Louisburg Square brownstone; and a quintessential cobblestone street.

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Show-stopping courtyard along the tour.

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Topiaries and colorful annuals reside in tidy and tiny spaces.

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Whether you are a weary tour-goer or just meandering, you’ll find plenty of fine bistros and restaurants in the area – The Beacon Hill Garden Club offered a list of nearby establishments. Enjoy!


Highlights from the First Garden Bloggers Conference

Sharing a few highlights if you missed our first Garden Bloggers Conference.  By the way, we are now preparing for our next event – Design Bloggers Conference which will be held at the Grand Hyatt Buckhead in Atlanta, GA  – so perhaps we may see some of you in March!

GBC 2013 sponsors

First, a big thank you to our Exhibitors and Sponsors for having faith in the concept and supporting our event.

From the very start we were bolstered by the shared enthusiasm for this event from our Advisory Board members who deftly guided us all along the way.

We also were thrilled to have the support of some key associations – Garden Writers Association, Association of Professional Landscape Designers, American Hydrangea Society, Georgia Urban Ag Council, and Georgia Green Industry Association.

And where would we be without our illustrious Speaker line-up – from Amy Stewart, Dan Hinkley, Teresa O’Connor, Robin Horton, Matt Mattus, Rochelle Greayer, Michelle Slatalla, Steve Aitken, Felicia Feaster, Amy Flurry, Adam Japko, Dan McCarthy, Chris Heiler and  the entire DigitalSherpa Blog Clinic Team!

GBC 2013_toasting

Here’s a toast to you, our Attendees, for making this conference a resounding success! Yes, a delectable Beaufort Champagne was served compliments of Adam Japko, President of DigitalSherpa and WineZag founder and blogger.

We will be announcing the dates and venue for the 2014 shortly so please stay tuned!