And there were some fabulous exhibitors who were there to talk about their products and who were extremely generous with both their time and their gifts, and I'll be talking about those at a later date, but something else came to mind that needs expressing first.....
Now it's no secret that I am a big fan of social media. I've been tweeting, facebooking and Instagramming for years now and it's always been, for me, a positive thing that has truly enhanced my life and given me the confidence I have to do what I do. But today really brought that home, in quite a moving way.
Me and the lovely Charles who I first chatted with via Twitter, having a right old laugh!! Photo by the lovely Steph Hafferty who I also met on Twitter!!
Today a community came together. An extraordinary community of garden bloggers, all different but joined together by a love of gardens and growing. A community which is supportive, generous and kind. A community that usually chats on Facebook and Twitter but that today came together and made a statement. Not a spoken or written statement but a silent one that said we are a community that will support each other. A community that has, when needed, one voice, albeit made of multiple voices.
These were such good fun and as you can see were shared as an Instagram story-a new and fun way to share your day!
And then I looked around and realised that it was more than that. There were people on stands, exhibitors and journalists who are all friends that have been made through the joys of social media. Through sharing posts, through sharing successes and failures and through a combined love for what we all do, this community is growing, gaining traction and creating a slightly alternative voice within mainstream garden media.
Since the garden bloggers community became a more structured entity through organised Twitter chats and Facebook groups I think, probably unbeknowingly, a force has been unleashed. With more people using social media, exploring different platforms and enjoying conversations with each other and joining in with conversations, using hashtags and generally getting on no matter where in the world they physically are, it feels, to me at least, that there's somewhere to go for help, advice and most importantly for support.
And I think this can only become more exciting as we go forwards. For years many of us have said we'd like to see an alternative to the traditional garden press, and perhaps here it is, all around us without us actually realising!!
So if you want to join in then do!! You don't even need to be a blogger to join in the conversation really. Just get online and look out for posts with the tag #gdnbloggers and get involved!