Spring Fling memories & anticipation

Gulf Coast penstemon ( Penstemon tenuis)

One year ago this week, thirty-seven garden bloggers from across the U.S. were converging on Austin for a first national meet-up we dubbed Garden Bloggers Spring Fling.

‘Bath’s Pink’ dianthus ( Dianthus gratianopolitans ‘Bath’s Pink’)

The first guest I met was Carol of May Dreams Gardens, whose wish to see “all those gardens of the Austin garden bloggers” had helped inspire the event. Click here for my impressions of Carol and pictures from Rock Rose Jenny’s stunning early-April garden.

‘Marilyn’s Choice’ abutilon

The cool, sunny, agreeable weather we’ve enjoyed this week is remarkably similar to the weather during last year’s Spring Fling, which surprises me considering how volatile central Texas weather can be. It reminds me of the pleasant weekend spent mostly outdoors at various gardens around town, showing visitors what Austin is like and finding that we all had so much in common we couldn’t stop talking for one minute. What a blast!

Silver Mediterranean fan palm ( Chamaerops humilis var.’cerifera’)

Fast-forward one year, and it’s the garden bloggers in Chicago who are working around the clock (well, I hope they’re getting some sleep) to plan Chicago Spring Fling 2009. It’s scheduled for the last weekend in May, and as the garden tours and social events are finalized my anticipation is growing.

Mexican buckeye ( Ungnadia speciosa)

I look forward to reconnecting with friends made last year in Austin, and to meeting new bloggers from across the nation. Here’s the Chicago Fling guest list so far—about 40 social-minded garden bloggers. Some of the names I know; others I don’t yet. I sure hope I have time to meet everyone, and please let there be name tags to aid memory-challenged people like myself.

Squid agave ( Agave bracteosa)

If you’re a garden blogger, are you going to be there this year?

Enough fantasizing about good times to come. Back to work, but first let me show you the growing ‘Macho Mocha’ mangave flower stalk…

…up close and personal.

And another.

Happy April!

All material © 2006-2009 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

New Zealand bloggers visit Austin

Lynsey, Marica, Zophia, Pam, and MSS anticipating fish tacos at Hula Hut

An international bloggers meet-up of sorts has sprung from the Garden Bloggers Spring Fling last April. Lynsey Gedye, a Wellington, New Zealand, blogger at Tea Garden (and 3 or 4 other blogs) posted about the upcoming Spring Fling last January. He’d recently visited Austin to help make a movie and was wishing he could return for the Fling. Considering the distance, I was surprised when he emailed me recently to say that he and his family were returning to Austin in June, and would I be interested in saying hello in person over coffee?

I had really wanted a foreign garden blogger to attend the Spring Fling, and I’d urged our Canadian blogger friends, YE/Bliss in the Netherlands, and even Stuart in Australia to come, to no avail. Well, having Lynsey, his wife, Marica, and her daughter Zophia visit just two months later makes up for not having an international contingent at the Fling. ;-)

Dressed all in black—with gray piping to indicate casualwear, they told me with a laugh—Lynsey and Marica were soaking up the rays and the triple-digit heat, having flown into summer from New Zealand’s mild winter just a few days before. Zophia, based in London, had met up with them in Denver and then Austin. MSS of Zanthan Gardens joined us (wearing a tee that read, “Nobody reads my blog”) for lunch at Hula Hut on Lake Austin. I had a great time visiting with them and am glad they made time for our get-together.

Lynsey organized Blog Hui 2006, New Zealand’s first international bloggers conference, which, unlike the Garden Bloggers Spring Fling 2008, did attract international bloggers. With the Garden Bloggers Fling 2009 occurring in Chicago, perhaps we’ll see a few Canadians next time. For that matter, maybe Lynsey will join us for it too.

All material © 2006-2008 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

Spring Fling & garden bloggers get press

Susan Harris of Garden Rant and Sustainable Gardening and Austinite MSS of Zanthan Gardens (with Mr. Peeps) at the Garden Bloggers Spring Fling—the first annual garden bloggers convention—a few weeks ago

Garden bloggers who attended the 2008 Garden Bloggers Spring Fling, held here in Austin on April 5, got front-page press in the Life & Arts section of the Austin American-Statesman today. Carol of May Dreams Gardens is called a “rock star,” and she, Dee, and MSS get plenty of quotes in the story by Robin Chotzinoff.

Click here to read the Statesman article.
(Link no longer available.)

If you’re here today because of the Statesman story, welcome! I hope you enjoy visiting my virtual garden. If you like what you see or just want to say hi, please don’t be shy about leaving a comment. I’d love to hear from you.

All material © 2006-2008 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.