Group photo at Spring Fling

The Garden Bloggers Spring Fling 2008 came in like a lion and went out like a lion. The socializing, nonstop talking, and garden visiting began for me on Friday morning and didn’t end until late Sunday afternoon. It was a more incredible experience to meet all these garden bloggers in person than I ever anticipated, and I’m so grateful to each and every one of them for taking a chance and taking part. And to all those who helped throughout the event in ways large and small, you were appreciated.

Those who couldn’t join us have been clamoring for photos and stories, but I only have time for one right now. However, it’s a good one—the group shot of everyone who attended the Spring Fling. We took this just before devouring our fajita lunch and hearing Tom Spencer speak. Thank you to my sister-in-law for popping over to take our photo.

Back row (on chairs, plus a couple of very tall guys), left to right: Carol (May Dreams Gardens), Ron (Lost Valley Gardens), Bonnie (Kiss of Sun), Cindy (From My Corner of Katy), Bill (Prairie Point), Frances (Faire Garden), Barbara (Mr. McGregor’s Daughter), Geoff (CobraHead Blog), Lee (The Grackle).

Middle row, left to right: Rachel (In Bloom), Robin (Bumblebee), Susan (Lifescapes), Carol (Lost Valley Gardens), Annie in Austin (The Transplantable Rose), Kathy (Cold Climate Gardening), Julie (Human Flower Project), Dawn (Suburban Wildlife Garden), MSS (Zanthan Gardens), Mary Ann (Idaho Gardener), Gail (Clay and Limestone), Suzanne (Vert), Karen (Savannah Garden Diary), Dee (Red Dirt Ramblings), Vive (Something About Blooming and Butterflies), Lori (The Gardener of Good and Evil), Pam (Digging), Laura (Greenfish Artist and Gardener).

Front row (seated), left to right: Susan (Garden Rant/Sustainable Gardening), Brianna (Seeds), Diana (Sharing Nature’s Garden), Anneliese (CobraHead Blog), Libby (Aurora Primavera), Linda (Herself’s Houston Garden), Vicki (Playin’ Outside), Elizabeth (Garden Rant/Gardening While Intoxicated), Tom (Soul of the Garden), Nancy (Nancy’s Garden Spot).

I am collecting links to all the posts about the Spring Fling and will share them on the Spring Fling website in a day or so *. If you post about it, please send me the link so I can include yours. Thanks!

*Update, 4/8/08: The Spring Fling Wrap-Up post is up.

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

29 Responses

  1. I want to thank everyone who made the effort to come. To drive or buy airline tickets, stay in a hotel, and rent a car in order to spend one day with a lot of people you’ve never met shows a tremendous amount of gumption on your part. And thanks to your families for understanding your passion and not talking you out of it.

    Although I had a great time at all the events and garden tours (without you I would have never seen the David-Peese garden), the most important thing to me about Spring Fling was having the opportunity to meet and talk with all of you. Non-stop talking indeed!

    So, to all of you who came–you made this such an incredible event–something which far exceeded the expectations that Pam, Diana, Bonnie and I had as we sat around one day wondering what possible could entice a bunch of other gardeners to come visit us in Austin.

    Even looking at this photograph, I still can’t quite believe it really happened.

    Well said, MSS. My sentiments exactly. —Pam

  2. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Thank you so much for the group photo Pam. I can’t wait to read everyone’s take on the Fling
    and to see all of their pictures. What a fantastic group!

    I’ll get that post up soon, Lisa, with all the Spring Fling links. Reading them will, I hope, give you a sense of what it was like to be here. —Pam

  3. Well, my plan to hide off in the corner didn’t work so well, did it? It was an incredible event, a once-in-a-lifetime meeting of gardeners from many different hardiness zones and walks of life, all drawn together by s shared obsession over plants and gardens and getting our hands dirty in the dirt, and sharing about it via the Internet. Thank you to Pam, MSS, Diana, and Bonnie for planning and organizing the event. The day could not have been more perfect. We saw so much, but I never felt rushed all day long.

    You were hiding? ;-) I’m glad you enjoyed yourself, Carol, and didn’t feel rushed. I had a wonderful time and am so glad to have met you and the others. —Pam

  4. linda says:

    Wow! That’s a lotta garden bloggers all in one place. I’m so glad the event turned out so wonderfully. I’m looking forward to hearing all about it!

    I’ll get those links compiled soon, Linda, and hopefully have time to post a few of my impressions too. —Pam

  5. Frances says:

    Pam, a whole lotta words will be written about this event from a whole lotta garden bloggers. It was the best! Thanks for all your hard work, ladies! Here is the link for my first post,, It may not work, but you know how to fix it. Warmest wishes, Frances

    So glad to have met you (and Heathcliff the financier), Frances. The time spent talking with bloggers was wonderful. Thanks for coming! —Pam

  6. Rurality says:

    I’m sure being there was tons of fun, but it’s fun just to see a picture of all these folks together! I actually recognized a few of them. :)

    There’s more to come soon, Rurality. I’m glad you’re enjoying the follow-up posts and photos. —Pam

  7. Thank you, Pam, for all you and the other Austin bloggers like MSS did. I had such a wonderful time.~~Dee

    Me too, Dee. It was wonderful to meet you in person. Thanks for coming! —Pam

  8. Gail says:


    It was the best time ever, thank you and the committee for all the really hard work that went into bringing everyone together…Here is my first post, there is so much to say!…and a link Gail

    Gail, it was fantastic to meet you (and your husband). Thank you so much for coming. There IS a lot to say about the weekend, isn’t there? —Pam

  9. Phillip says:

    It is great to see faces behind the blogs. Also, some blogs that I’m not familiar with (yet). It sounds like y’all had a great time!

    Yes, no one felt too shy for the group photo, so we’re all there. It was wonderful to talk in person with so many garden bloggers. Hope you can make it to the next one, Phillip. —Pam

  10. Nancy Bond says:

    How great to “meet” everyone and be able to put faces to blogs! Thanks so much for sharing this!

    You’re welcome. I’m glad you’re enjoying the coverage, Nancy. —Pam

  11. chuck b. says:

    Wow, lots of new blogs for me to visit. You took that photo in your living room, right? Congratulations to the Spring Fling Four on a great project!

    Thanks, Chuck. The photo was taken at the lunch restaurant, in a party room. My living room held a number of bloggers later that afternoon, but this many wouldn’t fit in it. —Pam

  12. Brenda Kula says:

    So many bloggers! My goodness, it must have been fun. Perhaps I can get there next year. Please tell us about all the fun for those who missed it. I know you will in good time. I’m sure you’re quite pooped!

    I am physically tired, Brenda, but mentally energized from all the conversations I had with different bloggers. It was wonderful. I do hope to see you at a future Fling. There’s talk about next year’s already, but it won’t be in Austin. Something this special needs to move around the country so more people have a chance to go. —Pam

  13. Hello

    I’ve been peering into the screen and getting lost.

    Would it be possible to add some extra descriptions (blue top / warlrus moustache / yellow dress / long flowing locks – that kind of thing) to make it a bit easier to work out who’s who?

    I’m so thick, I can’t even work out which row is which, let alone count along them.

    (But I would still like to ‘put faces to blogs’!)

    Esther Montgomery


    Rather than taking the time to add descriptors after each name, let me explain what I consider the back row. It starts with Carol in the yellow blouse, perched way up high on a chair. It skips over to Ron, who’s standing in between the paintings, wearing a maroon shirt. Up to Bonnie in yellow with the draped sweater, and across to tall Geoff and Lee on the far right. The middle row starts with Rachel in the red blouse and includes all the people clustered together standing up, all the way to Laura in the brown-belted blouse on the right. The front row is pretty obvious. I hope that helps, Esther. —Pam

  14. Diana Kirby says:

    Pam – great post and thank you so much for all those links. I’m eagerly checking each blog to see what I can see! And thank YOU for this inspired idea and the vision to make it happen. I don’t know when I’ve had quite so much fun and I’m already eagerly looking forward to more of the same somehow, someway. Thank you, thank you.

    No, thank YOU, Diana, for all your help. Wasn’t it a good feeling to see how it all turned out? Warm fuzzies all around. —Pam

  15. Bonnie says:

    I love the photo. Your sister-in-law rocks. I used yesterday to let all of the wonderful experiences of The Fling soak into my brain and distill. I think I might finally be ready to post later this week about it but I will never be able to express all the wonderment regarding the fantastic people I met, knowledge I gained, and fun I had. I loved being stuck in the car with the gals in my car, I loved every new location where I would end up next to someone I hadn’t yet gotten to know,
    and I loved seeing it all come together. Truly a wonderful thought you had so many months ago, Pam. Thank you for including us in making it a reality.

    She did take a nice group shot, didn’t she? And we look pretty darn photogenic, I think. I’m still distilling too, and doing catch-up work this week, so I may not get an in-depth post up for a few days. But I’ll be putting up links on the Spring Fling site soon.

    Thanks for all your help with the Fling, Bonnie. You and Diana and MSS were a crack team to work with. —Pam

  16. Vicki says:

    Best high I’ve ever been on … but (no surprise), now I want more. Now. This event exceeded all expectations, as did the warmth, talent, and generosity of all participants. My emotions have been shuttling between childlike delight at the experience and sadness that it’s over – but one constant feeling has been a deep gratitude to all who made it happen and that I was lucky enough to have been a part of it.

    That’s how I feel too, Vicki. It was wonderful to meet everyone, and I was sad when everyone went home. But we can always have an Austin garden-blogger get-together any time we want, and there are a lot of us! —Pam

  17. We always knew you were a gifted gardener, writer and photographer, Pam, but the organization of this event revealed new talents. You, Bonnie, MSS and Diana were beyond amazing. Thank you all so much.

    You are sweet, Annie. Thanks. I’m glad you enjoyed it. —Pam

  18. Dawn says:

    Thank you, Pam! And thanks to your sister-in-law, for her patience in taking our photos. She was so sweet on with us on Saturday. Getting us organized was like herding cats, but she managed us very well. Heehee! ;-) What a nice photo of everyone!

    I had such a wonderful time and enjoyed meeting everyone! I’ll second what MSS said. I appreciate all the folks who bought tickets and hotel rooms. That was above and beyond. I’d also like to thank the ladies who were brave enough to sit in my car while I drove them around (talk about nerves of steel! You know who you are! *wink*) Seriously, thanks Pam, MSS, Diana & Bonnie for your hard work. And to the sponsors for…well…sponsoring us. Pam I meant it when I said Martha Stewart has nothing on you. She has slaves and last I heard you don’t. I’m sorry I couldn’t help you this year. Hopefully next year my life will be a bit less ‘dramatic’ (Eeep).

    Thanks Again Everyone! :-)

    I didn’t have slaves, that’s true, but I did have many helpers, even aside from the official ones. My thanks to everyone who drove carpool (like you), who helped at the happy hour, who made the day run a little smoother. It was truly a group effort and a labor of love. —Pam

  19. Gosh. What a nice thing.

    It was, Hank. Wish you could have been here too. —Pam

  20. jodi says:

    This is a really fascinating and wonderful event that you’ve all pulled off, Pam. It’s so neat to put faces to those whose faces I didn’t know, and it’s obvious that you all had a huge pile of fun, which makes all the work and worry worthwhile. Have you started planning next year yet? (Very big grin).

    Seriously. Congratulations to all of you. Wish I could have been there…maybe next year. One never knows.

    I wish you could have joined us too, Jodi, and maybe next year indeed. Rumors are swirling about a Chicago Fling in ’09. —Pam

  21. MA says:

    What a group! Plant geeks, one and all. I am soooooo overstimulated from all that gabbing, gardening, gawking and grinning and good food…….well, I haven’t come down YET.

    Thank you so much for all the effort and thought put into the weekend by the organizers. You are amazing and I am glad I was invited.

    MA, I had so much fun with you, particularly on Sunday when we bopped around together for a few hours. You are a hoot, and I hope we meet again soon, whether in Austin or in Idaho. —Pam

  22. Robin says:

    I’m so glad you got a group shot! I can’t wait to read everyone’s version of their trip.

    Yes, and everyone opted in for the group photo. Maybe garden bloggers are losing their shyness, huh? —Pam

  23. Cindy says:

    I want to blog about the weekend but where do I start???!!! For now, let me just chime in with the others who have said thanks to Pam for all she did to make this happen (and a personal thank you for being my chauffeur). It was a delight to meet each and every one of y’all and to experience Austin’s earthly delights with fellow gardeners! I’m still smiling :-)

    Just jump in with both feet, Cindy. I’d love to read your perspective on the Fling. And like you, I’m still smiling too. Thanks for coming! —Pam

  24. june says:

    You ladies/fellas look like such a warm bunch! I’m just starting to discover some of your blogs but am looking forward to reading more of them. Its nice to be able to put a face to a name!

    Thanks, June. I’m glad you’re enjoying the tales of the Spring Fling. —Pam

  25. Anna says:

    Now I know why there wasn’t anyone to come help me move last week. Ya’ll were whooping it up Spring Flinging. Next year, it’s at my house—bring food. Looks like you had a good time. I’m jealous. Who was wearing gardening jewelry? Did you all speek latin? Were there any embarrassing moments? Did anyone trail toilet paper out of the restroom? Did anyone have dirt under their fingernails? Toenails? Too personal!

    I probably had dirt under my fingernails, Anna. I think I did see some garden-theme earrings on someone, but I can’t remember who. Embarrassing moments? Hmm. What happens at Spring Fling stays at Spring Fling, in that regard. :-) —Pam

  26. Cinj says:

    Wow! That’s a lot of gardening bloggers. No wonder you didn’t get a chance to talk to everyone. Sounds like you had a good time.

    I did enjoy at least a brief chat with everyone. But I didn’t get to have long conversations with everyone, though I wanted to. Carpool buddies, early arrivers, and late stayers—those were the folks I got to visit with the most. And yes, it was a really good time. —Pam

  27. Deirdre says:

    Looks like you all had a wonderful time. I gave you a tiny bit of PR on my site with a cute cartoon. I wish I could have been there…maybe next year. Thanks for posting the pictures, it’s nice to put a face with everyone and I have enjoyed reading about your weekend.

    Ha, great cartoon! Thanks for the PR, Deirdre. I hope to meet you at the next one, if there is one, and I do hope there is. —Pam

  28. Thanks for such a lively and detailed account — for those of us who could not be there to participate, it whets our appetites to attend the NEXT time. It’s fun to see pictures of everyone…

    Val, I’d love to meet you at the next Spring Fling—or Fall Fling, if that’s what it turns out to be next year. —Pam

  29. kerri says:

    What a treat to see this photo, Pam, and put faces with all the blog names. Reading all the comments of people who participated it’s easy to feel the excitement of the event. I’m glad it was so successful and that everyone had such a wonderful time.
    You and the other ladies on the committee deserve huge pats on the back for doing such a fantastic job with all the planning and work involved. Now you deserve a very big rest! I hope you’re beginning to feel ‘normal’ again by now :)
    I’ve been enjoying following some of the links to the Spring Fling posts, and hope to read them all. Thanks for posting them and this wonderful photo.

    Thanks, Kerri. I did need a few days’ rest to recover from all the excitement, but I’m feeling normal again now. ;-) —Pam