Sunday, May 13, 2018

A FLINGing good time

Can a week really have gone by since I spent the weekend with a group of 93 garden bloggers, touring Austin gardens? The annual event, the brain child of local garden blogger and author, Pam Penick, held it first meeting in Austin in 2008. Named the Garden Bloggers Fling its aim was to bring together garden bloggers from all over the country. With the help of 3 Austin garden bloggers the first fling brought together 37 garden bloggers from 12 US states. This year the Fling returned to Austin to celebrate its 10th Anniversary and with 93 visitors from all over the USA, Canada and England.

Attendees at the 2018 Garden Bloggers Fling
The Fling officially kicked off on Thursday evening with an introductory dinner at the new Austin Central Library. But..... early arrivals were treated to brunch and garden tour at the home of Laura Wills, one of this year's organizers. She laid out a delicious spread of home grown and home cooked delights, including quiches, and deviled eggs from her own chickens, as well as salsas and pickles from her large vegetable garden. (Where was my camera you might ask. It was largely silent as I was introduced to many new faces) But, all was delicious.

Walk through the wildflower meadow at Laura Wills' garden
Diana Kirby, Pam Penick and Laura Wills did a fabulous job of organizing the event, from the selection of gardens, hotel, lunch, dinner venues, printing out a special anniversary booklet of the 10 pervious flings, gathering together gifts for the Goody Bags, name tags with Austin buttons and many more behind the scenes arrangements.


But most important they spent many hours canvassing sponsors, many of whom attended the fling, and who made the whole weekend more affordable for us all. Thank you Diana, Pam and Laura.


Coupons, garden tools, snack packs, phone gadgets, books, cookies and packets of seeds in our goody bags, made it feel like Christmas morning.


And so to the first event Thursday evening's dinner in an event room at the Austin Library. Because I was not staying at the hotel I did not join the happy band of gardeners as they streamed out of the hotel to walk the mile to the library. I can only imagine what might have happened as they crossed intersections. Old friends, made at previous Flings, were greeted and new friends made over dinner. The organizers welcomed everyone and all the while, on a large screen, gardening programs, courtesy of Hortus TV,  played in silence. We don't get enough gardening programs in the USA and we have to look to look further afield for a good garden fix. Hortus TV is where you will find them all.

And so the day ended with some visiting the roof garden of the library and with everyone in high anticipation of the upcoming 3 days of garden visits. Stay tuned.


13 comments:

  1. Lovely to read. And agree about the wonderful spread that Laura Wills (https://willsfamilyacres.com) offered us for the pre-fling brunch. I felt so delighted to meet as many Flingers on that occasion and it just built from there. I love your way of thanking the sponsors. The list was impressive and I am so looking forward to trying out seeds and reading all the catalogues etc.

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  2. It really was a Flinging good time! Thanks for capturing the initial excitement so well. I look forward to your follow-up posts.

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  3. Jenny, it was so mice to meet a fellow garden and blog enthusiast. Your garden was delightful and very photogenic. You inspired me with your reseeders like Nigella. I got some awesome pictures of them!! thanks for opening your garden to us!

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  4. It was great to meet you at the Fling, Jenny, and thank you for opening your garden for us! It was gorgeous!

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  5. I have no memory of seeing you at the library event! Then again there are large parts of the Fling where I think my head was elsewhere. C’est la vie!

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  6. The Fling is such a wonderful event. I really appreciate all the work the organizers did, and the generosity of our sponsors. I loved your garden, Jenny, and was so happy to see the model of the house that shows brilliant design for house and garden.

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  7. I had wanted to go since it was going to be in Austin but the timing and cost wasn't on my agenda this time around. Maybe the next time! It would be fun to meet up with other gardeners. From what I've read on other blogs it looks like it was a great time!

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  8. Looks like everyone had a great time. I must admit it's a larger crowd than I am comfortable with in general.

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  9. It was great to meet you in person at last, Jenny. Sodden as both we and your garden were during our tour, I enjoyed the visit very much and hope to weed through my photos of it soon. Should your own travels bring you my way, I would love to return the favor and show you around my own garden some day.

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  10. Thanks Jenny! It was so much fun to host the early birds in my garden! I'm so glad you joined us for the Fling this year, both as a garden host and attendee :)

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  11. Ooh, thanks for this informative post about what was going on behind the scenes. The sponsors were incredible! We are very fortunate for their support, indeed. Diana, Pam and Laura (et al) did a fantastic job!

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  12. Oh how fun! One of these years I'd love to go to one. I look forward to more posts about this year's fling!

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  13. Yes, thanks to all the sponsors, people opening up their unique gardens, and of course the instigators - I mean - organizers of much of this. It was great again seeing you and your boulder-hauling husband, otherwise known as David!

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