Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Austin Garden Bloggers Fling - Everything Overview

In early May, I joined the Garden Bloggers Fling in Austin, TX for 3 days of fun, gardens and awesome people. I had a great time, and took a ton of pictures. I've loved seeing everyone else's posts come up in the 2 months since!

Now that it's two months later (oops - bad blogger!), I've finished looking at all my pictures, and it's too hot during the day to garden, I figured it would be a good time to go back to Austin and look at what I saw, learned and took home with me.

There are lots of garden-specific posts available on the Fling website, and all those people did a much better job than i ever could of capturing what made each garden so special. For my blog, i wanted to start with an overview of everything we saw, and then look at some specific things I learned, and then plants i now want (of course!) and some special vignettes from all three days. So it will be a bit random, and a bit long, but hopefully it will help me remember all the fun from those 3.5 days!

The whole itinerary is here. After a great dinner and intro at the Library on Thursday, we started on Friday at the Lady Bird Johnson Wild Flower Center.

so cool to see this tower in person!
If it seems that that i have a lot of pictures under a threatening sky, but mostly dry, that would be because i was very bad and wandered around the garden before the rain started, and missed the group photo! The rain started in earnest after i wandered around for about 30 minutes, which was a whole different kind of cool for this Californian... i saw more water fall out of the sky this day then i had in years!

After running back to the bus, we went to Diana Kirby's garden, where the rain made everything shine nicely:
this makes me want to hang rain chains off my trees - if we had rain (or big enough trees...)

Diana was gracious enough to let us shelter, and her garden was gorgeous even with the weather. After leaving her place, we ended up at the Natural Gardener for lunch and walking. The rain started to let up some...
not that i would let the rain stop me from finding Willie Nelson's guitar!
From the Natural Gardener, we went off to Mirador Gardens, which was stunning!
making heart eyes at those hesperaloe funifera...
Mirador also had the most impressive (and gorgeous!) water harvesting system I've seen in a while. And it was working very well that afternoon!

Next was a garden i'd been looking forward to since forever - Jenny Stocker's garden (as seen on Rock Rose):
i took so many pictures my phone died... 
There's not enough words to describe how great Jenny's garden is, and seeing it in person was inspiring. A great way to end the first day!

The second day started drier, and with a garden I've wanted to see as much as Jenny's:
Pam Penick's garden! Of course i had to use this picture...
Pam's garden as seen at Digging is one of the gardens that first got me interested in gardening in the heat. Seeing it in person was awesome! And she fed us tacos!

Saturday's second garden was designer B. Jane's personal garden, and it was like stepping into a fancy malibu resort...
pretty as a picture!
Up next was Colleen Jamison's garden - very different, and gorgeous as well.
the shade was starting to be welcomed!
Then back on the bus for a drive to Hutto, to visit hippos at the Donna Fowler garden:
this one was the cutest, i think!
They also fed us lunch, before sending us on to Tanglewild, the last garden that day.
which had so many parts, it was hard to capture them all...
Sunday started with more great weather, and Lucinda Hutson's gorgeous garden.
featuring her giant gingko tree - one of the first in Austin!
We left Lucinda's colorful paradise for Ruthie Burrus's purely Texas garden.
this in particular just screams "Texas" at me...
From Ruthie's great views, we drove down to Margie McClurg's garden, which is home to these three stunning yuccas:
along with a whole host of other gorgeous plants!
Then it was off to lunch and touring at Zilker Botanical gardens:
including their prehistoric garden, which was awesome.
Once again, the shade was very welcome. Thankfully, Tait Moring's garden offered shade, a gorgeous view, and an even more gorgeous pool to cool off in!
sphere's hiding in the grass
Then we were off to the last garden - that of Kirk Walden. This was a garden that captured my imagination in an unexpected way.
starting with that view... 
We finished the day (and the Fling) at Articulture where we got dinner and drinks, and music!
their space was gorgeous!
And then it was back to the hotel for a night cap with new friends, and a very early wakeup time. I had a great time at the Fling, and really have to thank all the organizers and sponsors that made it happen!

After this overview post, i'll be diving deeper to remind myself of what i saw and learned, and want to take to my own garden. I'll be collecting all my posts here. If i have to hide from the heat outside, thinking about the Austin Fling is definitely the way to do it!


  1. I like the way you've organized your impressions of the fling -- sorry for the heat but I'm glad for your blogging opportunity!

    1. Thanks! The heat comes every year, and after 12 years out here, I've finally figured out what to do inside during the summer!

  2. I still have a lot of my own Fling photos to sort through. I'd planned to hold some posts until the heat hit as well but the heat plague hasn't started here yet (thank goodness!); however, I'm wondering if my memory will still be functioning when I get around to them?

    Stay cool!

    1. I liked going through the photos again - there's so much i forgot already that going through the photos was a good reminder! i hope the heat stays away from you for a while longer!

  3. One of these days I'll get through all my Fling photos, and complicating the issue is the fact that I have visited another 8 or so gardens since returning from Austin. I have a touring hiatus in July, so maybe I'll actually get caught up ! I like a broad retrospective like this-it's helps me remember where I've been.

    1. That's part of why i did it! Just looking through the pictures reminded me of so much... Amazing how things can seem both long ago and not really!

  4. This is a nice little overview. It sounds like you had a good time. I remember wanting to cover everything on my first Fling, but it was overwhelming. So many gardens, so many new ides, and so many new people!

    1. The fling was great, but yes, a bit of an overwhelming experience. I was most worried about the people, but in the end, that was one of the best parts. Which, duh, i should have known gardening people would be nice!

  5. Great overview! And your photos...the yuccas, the ginkgo, etc all so good. I'm planning to post on what I never got to...the *2013* fling...never too late!

    1. It's never too late to post about gardens... although i'm hoping to see lots of your new garden this summer!

  6. I look forward to hearing and seeing more of your impressions, R!

    1. Thank you Pam, and of course, a huge thanks to you and the team for organizing it! I decided to organize my impressions by what i learned, so we'll see how that goes!

  7. I'm sorry I didn't attend the flng this year and even sorrier to have missed meeting fabulous garden bloggers like you! Thanks for this overview post, it really helps put together the posts I've been reading about individual gardens.

    1. There's always next year! :) Putting together this post helped me to remember what all we saw - there was so much!

  8. I’m so glad you decided to attend, and most importantly that you enjoyed the experience. I look forward to reading your future posts but until then I have to ask... how hot is it?

    1. Ha! Stupid hot. 93 deg F right now, with less than 20% humidity and 20 mph winds (not gusts!). Gotta love summer! Next weekend it will be 104 deg F... Thinking back on the fling and all the people i met and gardens i saw is way better than thinking about our weather!

  9. That is an excellent overview, and great photos.

    93F. Oh, yuck. :(

    My house tends to get really, really clean when it's very hot outside, and very dusty when it is mild. Funny how that happens.


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