What do garden bloggers do at a conference? Visit gardens!
The Garden Bloggers Fling was centered at the Hyatt Regency Reston in Reston, Virginia and we toured gardens from there. In three and a half days we visited the National Botanic Garden link and the gardens of the National Mall link, public gardens such as Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, Maryland link, private gardens that are open to the public, for example the garden at Hillwood Estate in Washington, D.C., link and private gardens that the organizers talked the owners into sharing with us. It was consequently intense, with lots to experience.
My previous conferences were mostly academic, with people sharing research, so this felt more like a garden tour than a conference. Some attendees immediately posted about the event, others wrote about it well after returning home (see links at end). Some attendees had very nice cameras and were clearly collecting beautiful photos, others casually snapped cel phone pictures. Sometimes the group scattered across the garden all wildly taking photos, elsewhere we walked sedately down the paths.
It is hard writing my view of the Fling. My memories are jumbled because I knew no one when I arrived, it moved fast, and Washington is not my region, so even the plants I could name were different species or varieties. Furthermore, others have written about the event, which is somewhat intimidating. (See list below).
I very much enjoyed being with people excited about all the elements of gardens, from design to texture to plants. Each day featured many beautiful gardens and exquisite plants.
Here are some images that stick with me:
|Milkweed among the blueberry bushes|
Wonderful arrays of colored leaves:
|Glorious combinations of foliage|
|United States Botanic Garden lawn|
|Tropical room in the National Conservatory|
Many places we visited, bees and butterflies were visiting the flowers. I'd linger, fascinated. Here is a bumblebee on a purple coneflower (Echinacea). The bumblebee ignored me and my camera. We grow purple coneflowers and have bumblebees in Colorado, but that didn't make it any less fun to watch. (And, likely both bumblebee and coneflower are different species from those in my yard in Colorado.)
|Bumblebee on purple coneflower, Echinacea|
|Plant lady, Brookside Gardens|
Visiting gardens always provides useful gardening ideas, so the Garden Blogger Fling was terrific for that. I now have a Plan for the messy flowerbed under my maple tree. More important, I met lots of people whose blogs I will follow and whom I hope to see in the future.
Last but not least, there was the joy of seeing all the plants.
Here are posts about the event from others:
A Leafy Indulgence - Day 1 Continued link and previous post
Bonnie Lassie - Hot and Wet during the Fling link
Cobrahead Blog: Willowsford Farm link
Danger Garden A few Fling memories...and other posts link
Digging - Long views and classic garden rooms in Brinitzer Garden: Capital Region Garden Bloggers Fling and more link
Down 2 Earth Designs - My third Garden Bloggers Fling and how I fell in love with succulents Link
Frau Zinnie - The Gardens of Hillwood link
Gardenbook Fling Prequel link
Garden in a City All Flung Out link
Garden Rant Garden Bloggers take DC (area) link
Garden with Diana Garden Bloggers Fling--A Glimpse and subsequent posts link
More than Oregano - A dazzling tour of 20 garden containers link
Late to the Garden Party - Zoning out at the Mary Livingston Ripley Garden link
Natural Gardening You can grow it! link
The Paintbox Garden Rhapsody in blue: Linda Hostetler's Virginia garden link
pbmGarden Smithsonian Gardens link
Plant + Shoot Flinging for the first time link
Queen of the Dirt: Pollination Can't be Outsourced. and subsequent posts link
Ravenscourt Gardens-- Priming the pump: summer garden tours. link
Red Dirt Ramblings: A Visit to Hillwood link
See Jane Dig Garden Bloggers Fling link
Sharing Nature's Garden/ Diana's Designs, Austin - Garden Bloggers Fling cottage-style garden of Casa Mariposa link
Studiology - The Art of the Fling link
Toronto Gardens - A Cunning Plan for Your Cutting Garden link
Veg Plotting - Photography on tour - a cautionary tale link
Wills Family Acres Concrete-Garden Bloggers Fling, DC link
The Garden Bloggers Fling blog, July 10, has a more complete list: link
Comments and corrections welcome.
Kathy Keeler, A Wandering BotanistJoin me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AWanderingBotanist