Garden Bloggers Spring Fling 2008

Spring Fling Wrap-Up

Garden Bloggers Spring Fling 2008 is over, but by all accounts it was a blooming good time. When you get 37 garden bloggers together, you can count on a lot of thoughtful writing and wonderful photographs afterward. We’ve collected links to all the follow-up posts and compiled them for you here. If you blogged about Spring Fling but don’t see your post listed, please let us know so we can include the link. (New posts will be added to the end of the list as we receive them.)

Enjoy reminiscing about the event, seeing what you missed, and/or dreaming about next year.

Spring Fling Group Photo

Pam at Digging (Austin) tells what meeting May Dreams Carol was like, while showing photos from the incredible garden of Wildflower Center-docent Jenny Stocker, who gave the early birds a tour on Friday morning. If you want to know who attended the Spring Fling, Pam posts the group photo from lunch and provides names and links. More people pics—and the Texas martini recipe—can be found along with her observations from the happy hour held at her house. She also gives us “mug shots” of the door-prize winners at the Farewell Dinner.

Bonnie at Kiss of Sun (Austin) talks about meeting bloggers and spouses at the Welcome Dinner and doing a whole lot of yakking.

Diana at Sharing Nature’s Garden (Austin) shows us the sights on the Wildflower Center tour, including that beautiful, blue Texas sky. She follows up with eye candy and some people pics from the Natural Gardener and James David’s garden.

MSS at Zanthan Gardens (Austin) blogs about the Welcome Dinner, noting that “most of our conversations included references to each other’s posts, [and] all that accumulated detail … made us feel like old friends.” A humorous follow-up post shows us pics of Mr. Peeps, her tiny golden-barrel cactus with googly eyes, who made the rounds during Spring Fling.

Frances at Faire Garden (Tennessee) escapes from a birdcage, covets glazed pots, and angers silky chickens on her virtual tour of the day.

Julie at Human Flower Project (Austin) compares the meet-up to cross-pollination and wonders what fruit will grow as a result. Read on for the ideas buzzing in her head, not to mention some fine photos. In her Photos category, she also offers a short profile of fellow blogger Kathy Purdy.

Carol at May Dreams (Indiana) posts about the collection of ideas she gathered from gardens she visited. She also writes about the metaphorical and physical journeys that gardeners make, and proclaims (to our delight) that the Spring Fling has “transformed” the world of garden blogging.

Brianna at Seeds (Austin) thoughtfully analyzes what made the lunchtime discussions and Tom Spencer’s talk meaningful for her. She also gives us a series of lovely images from the Wildflower Center.

Dawn at Suburban Wildlife Garden (Austin) conveys the excitement of the day’s events and offers her favorite images from the Wildflower Center and James David’s garden.

Susan (Maryland) at Garden Rant shares meaningful quotes from Tom Spencer’s lunch talk, “Gathered Stones: Garden Memories.”

Karen at Savannah Gardener (Georgia) shows us scenes and plants she loves, like Hinckley’s columbine, from the Wildflower Center, plus huge water cisterns from the green-built Starbucks in southwest Austin.

Gail at Clay and Limestone (Tennessee) writes about an idea for an arbor she picked up in James David’s garden. In an earlier post, she talks about Spring Fling events and how her shyness evaporated when meeting other garden bloggers.

Barbara at Mr. McGregor’s Daughter (Chicago) eloquently considers the social nature of garden blogging, and how, like neighbors over a virtual fence, we wanted to meet in person. She also compares her experience of Pam’s actual garden versus her virtual one at Digging.

Lori at The Gardener of Good and Evil (Austin) talks about seeing more of Austin during Spring Fling than she’s seen while living here for four years, and she shows us some sights from Sunday’s holdover sightseeing along South Congress Avenue.

Susan at Lifescapes (central Texas) shares her joy at meeting four of the garden bloggers who have been hosting her book tour on their blogs, Cold Climate Kathy, Annie in Austin, May Dreams Carol, and Zanthan Gardens MSS.

Rachel at In Bloom (Austin) lets her photos (and her explanation of how she took them) give us a sense of the garden delights to be found during the Spring Fling.

Annie in Austin at The Transplantable Rose (Austin), feeling a little “sprung” after four days of socializing (she started early and finished late), writes that she enjoyed the carpooling as a chance to chat with other bloggers. She also posts a photo of herself with author/blogger Susan Albert, who hosted a book-signing for us at the Wildflower Center.

Linda at Herself’s Houston Garden (Texas) gives us albums of lovely photos from the Wildflower Center and James David’s garden. She also summarizes the day’s events and analyzes the differences in climate between Houston and Austin.

Elizabeth (Buffalo, NY) at Garden Rant posted early and often. She dishes about dining on “huge platters of charred flesh” at the farewell dinner and about the happy hour at Pam’s house. Midway through the Spring Fling on Saturday, she finds she can’t rant, only rave, but notes that people’s personalities differ from their online personas. Earlier, after arriving in Austin, she expresses astonishment at the number of BBQ and Tex-Mex restaurants—which she got a taste of that evening at the Welcome Dinner. Luckily her accommodation troubles didn’t spoil her trip. Click here for an album of her photos.

Layanee at Ledge and Gardens (Rhode Island) keeps her chin up while telling about her airline mishaps and missing the Spring Fling. Her tales of other travelers caught in the system along with her brings to mind the old punch line, “You can’t get there from here.”

Nancy at Nancy’s Garden Spot (Houston) enjoyed “good food and good conversation” at the Welcome Dinner; got a little lost while carpooling (but not for long) and was interviewed by a Statesman reporter at the happy hour; shows us beautiful sights from the Wildflower Center; points out that while James David’s garden is built on a grand scale, it is “full of small, cherished areas“; and ponders the food theme of her plant wish-list with photos from the Natural Gardener.

Dee at Red Dirt Ramblings (Guthrie, OK) got in early on Friday and did some garden and foodie sightseeing of her own. She also writes about the Welcome Dinner, noting that garden bloggers are both fun and LOUD. In a follow-up post, she tells us about Lady Bird Johnson and her legacy, the Wildflower Center, which we toured on Saturday.

Carol at Lost Valley Gardens (central Texas) gives her impressions of the garden tours and the lunch talk and includes some lovely photos of blooming plants.

Bill at Prairie Point (north Texas) notes that he’s not even sure how to begin to describe the events of the Spring Fling. First he must sort through 180 photos.

Libby at Aurora Primavera (Austin) touches on the instant affinity that arises between avid gardeners with “noses close to the ground.”

Cindy at From My Corner of Katy (Texas) gives us a good summary of the day, as well as the status of the wildflowers between Houston and Austin and her winning of the long-handled CobraHead tool at the County Line dinner.

Robin at Bumblebee (Maryland) admits to her initial reluctance to attend Spring Fling, though she changed her mind in order to meet Cold Climate Kathy. Now she’s friends with a whole lot of garden bloggers, many of whom are featured in great people pics here.

Anneliese at CobraHead Blog (Wisconsin) likes the sustainable-gardening mission of both the Wildflower Center and the Natural Gardener, though she bemoans her lack of photos from the visits.

Lee at The Grackle (Austin) confesses, with regard to Tom Spencer’s lunch talk, “I certainly never thought I’d get teary-eyed at the Circle C Nuevo Leon with a bunch o’ gardeners, but Tom worked his magic!”

Brianna at Seeds (Austin) follows up with photos of James David’s garden. She writes, “What a privilege, to be full-time stewards of such a lush, vibrant space.”

Dee at Red Dirt Ramblings (Guthrie, OK) gives us a reflective review of Tom Spencer’s talk, reminding us that we’re all trying to find and create, in Tom’s words, “approachable beauty.”

Stuart at Gardening Tips ‘n’ Ideas (western Australia) gives us a nice shout-out, wishes he could have attended, and wonders whether Spring Fling will be an annual event.

Laura at Greenfish Artist and Gardener (Louisiana) shows off her artistic eye with beautiful photos from the Wildflower Center and hopes to have made lifelong friends at Spring Fling.

Bonnie at Kiss of Sun (Austin) tells us what she learned at Spring Fling and concludes, “Bringing together so many creative and passionate gardeners can create an energy that you can carry away with you.”

Tom at Soul of the Garden (Austin) lets his camera do the talking with a series of photos of James David and Gary Peese’s amazing garden. Scroll down to “April 10–morning” to find the post.

Diana at Sharing Nature’s Garden (Austin) gives us more photos from the David-Peese garden and summarizes the up-and-down temperatures that characterized Spring Fling weather.

Dee at Red Dirt Ramblings (Guthrie, OK) tells about hanging out at Pam’s house during the happy hour and about meeting author Robin Chotzinoff.

Kathy at Cold Climate Gardening (upstate NY) writes about meeting other bloggers at the Spring Fling, and finding time to talk to some but not enough time to talk to everyone.

MSS at Zanthan Gardens (Austin) points out that many Spring Flingers took a photo of James David’s formal lawn. She wonders what drew so many of us to that elegant, grassy space, even while we didn’t venture into it.

Annie in Austin at The Transplantable Rose (Austin) gives us snapshot memories from the Fling.

Mary Ann at Idaho Gardener (Boise) took excellent notes on the Wildflower Center tour and laments not being able to bring home a copper globe mallow from the Natural Gardener. She shares the joy of discovering the yummy Texas (or Mexican) martini. Lucinda’s colorful garden (visited on Sunday) and James’s elegant one are showcased in her third post.

Pam at Digging (Austin) gives a photo tour of Lucinda Hutson’s enchanting Mexican-themed garden, which the late stayers and some Austin bloggers visited on Sunday after the Fling.

Vive at Something About Blooming and Butterflies (Austin) is thankful for “gardening conversations, our stunning stroll through James David’s garden, those 100 buds waiting on Pam’s Belinda’s Dream, [and hearing poet] Mary Oliver aloud again.”

Kathy at Cold Climate Gardening (upstate NY) walks us through MSS’s cottagey meadow garden, shows us poppies and bird baths at the Natural Gardener, and considers the pathways that made her uncomfortable in James David’s garden.

Pam at Digging (Austin) serves up her cannellini bean dip recipe from the happy hour at the Spring Fling.

Susan (Maryland) at Garden Rant posts about a coffee break at Starbucks, its green roof, and huge rain cisterns.

Robin at People with Dirty Hands (Austin) reprints her article about the Spring Fling that appeared in the Austin American-Statesman, where she’s a garden columnist. She dubs May Dreams Carol “a rock star” and interviews Dee and MSS to learn more about the attractions of garden blogging.


Spring Fling, Good Eats

Austin is famous for its barbecue and Tex-Mex cuisines. A tasty fajita lunch and a Texas-sized BBQ dinner will keep our army of garden bloggers on its feet as we Spring Fling around town. If you travel on your stomach, here are some details you might be craving.

Lunch with Tom Spencer: “Gathered Stones: Garden Memories”

Tom Spencer
Saturday, April 5, 11:30 am to 1:00 pm
Nuevo Leon in Circle C
5900 West Slaughter Lane #D550

Beef and Chicken Fajita Buffet

$20 per person (includes tax and tip)

Marinated, grilled beef and chicken with tortillas, served with guacamole, sour cream, cheese, pico de gallo, rice and beans. Includes chips, salsa, and iced tea.

Other beverages or alcoholic drinks are not included and must be paid for separately.

BBQ Dinner and Door Prizes

County Line Photo Credit Pam PenickSaturday, April 5, 7:30 pm
County Line on the Lake
5204 FM 2222

“The Cadillac” All-You-Can-Eat

$31.50 per person (includes tax and tip)

Choose up to 7 meats including: lean brisket, moist brisket, sausage, beef ribs, pork ribs, chicken, and ham. (Turkey may be substituted for brisket, beef ribs, or pork ribs at no charge.) Veggies include potato salad, cole slaw, and beans. Beverages include sodas and iced tea. Homemade bread and ice cream are also included.

Other beverages or alcoholic drinks are not included and must be paid for separately.

They don’t call it a party room for nothing! A few lucky guests will win fabulous, garden-related door prizes.

Friday Welcome Dinner

Matt’s El Rancho, 6:00 pm SHARP
2613 S Lamar Blvd
Matt's El Rancho

If you’ll be in town on Friday evening, the Austin garden bloggers would be pleased to join you for a Tex-Mex dinner and welcome you to Austin. We are not renting a party room at Matt’s, and everyone will be ordering off the menu, so we do not require pre-payment for this meal. However, in order to make a reservation for a big-enough table or group of tables, we ask that you let us know as soon as possible whether you’ll be joining us.

How To Make a Seating Reservation

We’ve reserved private dining rooms at both Nuevo Leon and The County Line on the Lake. Seating is limited to 45 and 40 guests, respectively, and a spot will be held in your name with pre-payment. Already nearly half of the seats at lunch are spoken for, so we encourage you to send payment ASAP to hold your spot.

In order to accommodate as many bloggers as possible, seating at both lunch and dinner is currently restricted to garden bloggers only. However, if dinner seating is still available on March 15, the reservation deadline, we may open seating at the County Line to spouses/significant others as well. Seating reservations and payment will be considered final as of March 15. After March 15, we cannot accept cancellations, and no refunds will be given. Space in the private rooms is limited to those purchasing meals.

Please send a check for the total amount for one or both Saturday meals in order to hold your seats. Seats available on a first-come, first-served basis, so don’t delay. Checks should be made out to Pam Penick and mailed to her; email Pam for the address. Please indicate on the check which meal(s) you are paying for. She will send you confirmation of your reservation(s) via email.

Please email us if you have any questions about the meals or the seat-reservation process. We look forward to seeing you on April 5th!

Contact: Make Lunch and Dinner Reservations