Experiencing Chicago

June 1, 2009 SF2 059 (2)The blogdom’s annual get together is now history.
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Shown above is a Calendula flower taken at the Chicago Botanical Garden’s veggie area.June 1, 2009 SF1 045 (2) There was a whirlwind of fabulous events in the faire city of Chicago, each deserving of an in depth analysis.
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Shown above is my friend Gail enhancing the view of the Lurie Garden at Millenium Park as she captures the river of blue Salvias.June 2, 2009 009 (2)Different points of view of these shared experiences will be expressed on the blogs of those who attended. It is suggested that as many be read as possible.
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Shown above is the painting “Jasper In May” by the very talented Carolyn Gail of Sweet Home and Garden Chicago who so graciously opened her sweet home and garden to us. A lucky name drawing allowed this to hang proudly in the addition at the Fairegarden abode.June 2, 2009 SF 101 (2)New friends were made and the golden friendships from last year’s Austin fling were renewed.
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Shown above is a Rice Paper butterfly enjoying a salty snack at the Butterfly House at Lincoln Park.bloggers-415 (2)The above shot, taken by the kind people at the Chicago Botanical Garden might be the closest thing to a group shot of the bloggers. Those who took the later train from the hotel are not pictured.June 2, 2009 SF 150 (2)On the last day after the official festivities three of us took the architectural cruise down the Chicago River through downtown. It was a fine end to a busy and fun filled weekend. There will be more photos featured in dribs and drabs as we readjust to our normal routine in Tennessee….June 2, 2009 001 (2)…Where the lilies are blooming.
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Shown above is LA (Longifolium/Asiatic) Lilium ‘Royal Fantasy’.
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For those interested, the winner of the Viola Beauty Pageant is Loueez with Opal a very close second. Click here to view the contestants and the voting.
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Frances

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40 Responses to Experiencing Chicago

  1. Rose says:

    Frances, I was so thrilled to finally get to meet you this weekend! What an unforgettable experience Spring Fling was. I have been checking blogs, old friends and new, off and on for their perspectives on the weekend in between weeding and planting and watering (apparently Hubby and Daughter thought a few “sprinkles” of rain was enough to water the homeless plants!). I think the river of salvia is going to be pictured on everyone’s posts:) In fact, Beckie and I spent Sunday morning visiting the Lurie Garden again. I think the two of us felt like a couple of giggly schoolgirls all weekend; most people don’t think of us as a “comedy act”:) The butterfly house was a high point to me; you must be a very sweet person to attract so many:) And it was great to finally meet one of the few other Ringo fans:) Glad you survived the drive with me–did I mention I don’t see well at night??

    Hi Rose, it was a pleasure to get to know you better through our intimate times together. Ringo indeed! What were we thinking? HA What I remember about the drive back to the hotel was laughing the entire trip. You did a great job for a night blindness sufferer, but of course the capable navigation by Beckie was vital. :-)
    Frances

  2. Sunita says:

    Frances, what an absolutey stunning photo of the calendula! And I’m more than a little jealous when you speak of get-togethers. How fun!

    Hi Sunita, thanks. There was so much to see and so many photos taken it was difficult to choose which ones might be different from the rest. Everyone should start saving their pennies now, that’s what I did last year, to attend the 2010 fling in Buffalo, New York.
    Frances

  3. Kathy says:

    So glad you enjoyed yourselves. Yes, I’ve already seen the river of salvia on several blogs, but I’m always happy to see it again.

    Hi Kathy, thanks. Wish you had been there, it was fabulous, but still it was fun to visit you on the passed around phone call. :-)
    Frances

  4. Gail says:

    Frances, It was a delicious weekend….gardens, food and visiting with friends (truly the best part). It’s possible that I am showing the photo you caught me taking on my SF post today! I loved having coffee at home this morning, but sure missed our fun conversations! See you soon! Btw, the photo of the river tour is wonderful and aren’t the lilies sweet for waiting for you to come home and show off their gorgeous blooms! gail

    Dear Gail, delicious was the word, wasn’t it? Several lilies are opening now and the daylilies have just begun, so nothing was missed. It seems dry and the rain barrel will be called into use finally. I miss you too. :-)
    Frances

  5. nancybond says:

    What a wonderful time you’ve all had! One never knows what happens from year to year — NY is getting much closer to Nova Scotia! Perhaps next year. ;) Your photos are lovely and I’ve been having a great time seeing the sights from different perspectives. Love the group shots, too!

    Hi Nancy, thanks. We really did have a wonderful time visiting gardens and chatting with other like minded folk. It does seem that Buffalo might be the closest these events come to you, hope to see you there next year!
    Frances

  6. Oh my goodness….what fun!!! Wish I could have been there!!

    Save your pennies starting now, Princess! It is so worth the trip. I hope you attend next year in Buffalo, too. :-)
    Frances

  7. It was so fun to see you again & visit gardens with you. I see you like the 333 Wacker Building as much as I do. Was I right about it, or what?

    Hi MMD, so right, my friend. As soon as we entered the curve in the river, I knew it was your fave. Thanks for your hospitality. :-)
    Frances

  8. skeeter says:

    Ah, that beautiful Purple River again! I feel like I have seen it with my own eyes in person now with all the wonderful pictures from the Spring Flingers! I have not heard of any table top dancing ;-) so I assume any music was not of the train variety. I was wondering as I notice the train ride but of a different type train… Choo choo…. Love the pic of the Calendula and the group photo of course but we need names to match to the faces you Spring Flingers! :-) The pic snapped from the boat ride makes the buildings look like Ruins in the reflection! Really beautiful city and I need to get there next year! Yep, I am a bit blue with envy today Sigh…

    Hi Skeeter, believe or not, I was thinking of you when riding those trains. The sound of the clickety clack was different from the beat we know in the songs, and the legs were way tired from all the walking too. But my heart was dancing on the tables. :-) Save your pennies now for Buffalo next year, you will love it. :-)
    Frances

  9. Dave says:

    That river of salvia is definitely on my mind! I saw Gail’s picture of it too this morning, a very neat concept! Glad you had a fin trip!

    Hi Dave, if only you could have seen it. With your large open space, you definitely could recreate that look at your place.
    Frances

  10. Dave says:

    Oops typo, fun trip, not fin trip. Sound like you went fishing! ;)

    I didn’t correct it because it is cute. There was fishing on the river while we were on the cruise. :-)
    Frances

  11. Darla says:

    I just know you and the rest of the bloggers had a wonderful time. So much to see and say, so little time to do it all. Love the photos of the Salvia, Gail showed them too!!

    Hi Darla, we really did. Next year you need to go! :-)
    Frances

  12. Pam/Digging says:

    Frances, it was wonderful to see you again and to spend more time with you than we were able to in Austin. What lovely photos you captured, especially that river of salvia. You may be the lucky one, but we all felt lucky to have seen the beautiful gardens that we were treated to, don’t you agree?

    Hi Pam, thanks for that, and yes, we were all so very lucky to have seen those sights. Chicago was magnificent.
    Frances

  13. layanee says:

    You made it home with camera intact! Great shots as always and I love the ‘little bit of Gail’ in that first shot of the drifts. They are imprinted in my mind’s eye forever entwined with the memories of friends finally met and forever kept.

    Hi Layanee, yes, it was so good to be home but the memories are still swirling. Pam’s description of you as “elegant and mischievious” nails it. Good times and good friends. Until we meet again….
    Frances

  14. Randy says:

    I so glad you all had such a wonderful time and took such great pictures for us to enjoy. :-)

    Hi Randy, thanks for that. Wish you were with us, maybe next year. Save your pennies starting now. I keep telling everyone that, but it is how I was able to afford this trip. BTW, I wore the rose crystal necklace you sent me to every event. It may have influenced the winning of the oil painting at Carolyn Gail’s, good karma goes far. :-)
    Frances

  15. Hi Frances, your photos are lovely (as usual!). That river is showing up on all the blogs–and I can’t get enough of it! I enjoy seeing the other bloggers’ faces; I just wish there was a group shot with everyones NAME attached, as well! Haven’t seen one yet…maybe you’ll put names? Looks like a wonderful time was had by all. Perhaps one day I will get to meet you and/or some others. I’ll probably be meeting Janet and/or Racquel this summer, and maybe Les, and some other VA garden bloggers. Looking forward to that! Jan

    Hi Jan, thanks. I don’t know if there will be a photo with names. These were taken by Denise of the Chicago Botanical Gardens. I would ask one of the organizers about it, maybe Linda at Garden Girl? The meetup of Virginia bloggers sounds great. Maybe you guys could have a spring fling there some time? I would love to meet you. :-)
    Frances

  16. Susie says:

    What a beautiful shot of the river of Salvia! Also the river itself with the Chicago skyline. Sounds like fun, wish I had been there with you all!

    Hi Susie, thanks and welcome. It was a trip worth saving for. Next year will be in Buffalo. I would love to see you there. :-)
    Frances

  17. Jean says:

    Oh, I had too much fun! I’ll probably be spending all day working on my photos and posts and looking at everyone else’s posts. I especially enjoyed meeting you and all the other bloggers. Sorry I missed the butterfly house though!

    Hi Jean, same here! It was a pleasure to meet you finally. There were many photos here, I just picked out a few. It is fun seeing what angles and vistas the other bloggers captured. The butterfly house was a high point for me. :-)
    Frances

  18. Frances, you and the other Spring Flingers have done a great job for horticultural travel to Chicago (which is already a city I love). Wish we could have been there to see it all, and to meet all of you. Thrilled to hear that next year will be in Buffalo, which is a short drive from Toronto. Pennies will be saved!

    Hi Helen, thanks. With Buffalo as next year’s destination, we look forward to seeing some Canadians in the mix. Be prepared with throat lozenges, so much talking you know! :-)
    Frances

  19. gittan says:

    Hi Frances, nice to have you back! It must have been great fun meating so many bloggers and visit those gardens together. I’m looking forward to see more / kram gittan

    Hi Gittan, you are too sweet, thanks. It is good to be home, but we are still in a whirlwind with all the sights and sounds of Chicago in our mind. Be sure and check all the posts of everyone, we all have our own perspective. Kram.
    Frances

  20. Brenda Kula says:

    Oh, love that first photo! It’s already over. Well, be safe getting home anyway.
    Brenda

    Hi Brenda, thanks. It may be over, but my mind is still full of it all. Home safe and sound, but it will take several days to feel back to normal. Those were some heavily scheduled days, the only way to get to see and do so many wonderful things, but my life at home is quite different. Boring, actually, by comparison. Maybe you can come along to Buffalo next year, that is if all your projects get done. :-)
    Frances

  21. linda says:

    Hi Frances, very nice post on SF – your photos are wonderful. So glad you enjoyed Chicago.

    It’s good to be able to catch my breath and do some blog hopping today – it seems like ages since I’ve had the time.

    It was fantastic meeting you and chatting here and there when we got a chance!

    Hi Linda, thanks for everything. Your hard work really helped make this get together fun and memorable for us all. Next time you can go as a guest, like Pam did this year, and really enjoy it. Let’s make sure we make time for in depth chatting! :-)
    Frances

  22. joey says:

    Enjoyed catching up on your fab SF weekend, Frances. I thought of you often and do believe I heard laughter, carried in the wind (I think it was the night car ride with Thelma & Louise)!

    Hi Joey, thanks. I wish you could have been there too, lots of good food! Thelma and Louise, an apt description. :-)
    Frances

  23. So glad you posted the painting as I missed seeing it when you won. It was lovely in your post coming right after those purple salvia “dots.” Enjoyed meeting you and have been looking forward to some big pix from you. Glad to see you were able to get a seat on the river cruise!

    Hi Linda and Mark, it was a joy to meet you two, too! I was just telling my husband and your he said she said. I was worried about being able to capture the beauty of the fabulous painting by Carolyn Gail, it is a treasure. The river cruise was fantastic, but chilly. I was ready with my long underwear though. If you ever have the chance, do give it a go.
    Frances

  24. Janet says:

    Your trip looks like it was just wonderful. Touring the Chicago Botanical Garden and Lurie Garden must have been great. The poppies and the river of Salvia seem to be in many of the posts from those who went.

    Hi Janet, thanks. Wish you could have been there too, you would have loved it. I took over 300 photos, not all of them good of course, but will try and sprinkle them here and there throughout the coming posts.
    Frances

  25. Diana says:

    Frances — It was wonderful to get to see you and spend some time together again doing some of our favorite things. I’m not sure how you captured the color and translucence of that Calendula, but it’s amazing. I also love the shot from the river, since we didn’t get to do that tour, I have a sense of how nice that must have been. AND, I have now fixed my reply/name problem! Thanks for telling me about my typo!

    Oh yes, our favorite things! Your were a delight, Diana, and spending time with you and Pam and the others was the real reason for the trip. But seeing those gardens was a close second. The calendula and ranunculus photos came out the best, but do not really convey those gardens personalities. The first thing I checked on your comment was to see if the *d* had reappeared in garden! HA :-)
    Frances

  26. Siria says:

    Hi Frances! So glad you had a wonderful time in Chicago. Love all the fun posts on the Spring Fling! Your pictures are wonderful as always.

    Hi Siria, thanks. We truly did have a glorious time there, wish you could have come too. :-)
    Frances

  27. Beckie says:

    Frances, it was truly a joy to meet and visit with you. What a weekend indeed! I am enjoying seeing the posts about Spring Fling and getting others’ views and impressions. Hopefully we won’t have to wait a year til we can meet again. :)

    Hi Beckie, thanks so much. I am thrilled to have been able to get to know you better, as the navigator without equal! Too fun for all. You, (and Rose) helped make Chicago so full of fond memories for me.
    Frances

  28. Sherry says:

    I so enjoyed reading your spring fling post and seeing the group photo.
    I think you all must have had a wonderful weekend!
    Sherry

    Thanks, Sherry. Wonderful weekend describes it to a T! :-)
    Frances

  29. What a fun time you had… and wasn’t it great that Chicagoland provided the perfect weather? I’m sure everyone has great memories!

    Hi Shady, thanks. We were very lucky with the weather, Monday morning it was pouring rain but all we had to do was get to the airport. None of our events were affected by poor conditions. The memories will last a lifetime, but photos help. :-)
    Frances

  30. Hi Frances, I swear I commented on this post, but I see I in fact did not. I love the photos, especially the way the windows of the building look in the boat tour photo. Did you like the tour? I loved it!

    Hi Monica, hmm, I thought you did too, but the computer and WordPress were acting up when I got back home so who knows? The tour was a high point for me, I wish more could have gone on it. Very interesting.
    Frances

  31. Lola says:

    Good memories indeed. Sounds as though all had a marvelous time. I loved seeing all the pics from the blogger s. Helps me feel as though I were there.
    Glad you are home safe.

    Thanks for that, Lola. I am not a good traveler, one of the reasons I drove to Gail’s to have someone to fly with. We did have a great adventure, fun and laughter filled, the best kind. Wish you were there too. :-)
    Frances

  32. Frances, It was such a delight to meet you. That butterly knew a good thing when it found you. I have good pictures of you and Gail with the picture. I will send them via email if you send me your email. My address is on my blog profile.

    Hi Lisa, thanks, I will contact you about the photos. There was a good one of you and Tena on the train that I posted today, hope that is okay. You guys helped make this a laughter filled weekend. Especially Thursday! :-)
    Frances

  33. TC says:

    Well say no more, the viola I voted for won! And where were all the men at the gathering in Chicago? I counted about three in that photo out of about a hundred women. ;~P

    Hi TC, HA! There was a lopsidedness to the gender participation for some reason. The guys needed you! :-)
    Frances

  34. teza says:

    Frances:
    It’s funny how I waited with anticipation for your return to Fairegarden, knowing there would be a fabulous Spring Fling Post to follow, but at the same time anxiously awaiting your return to the garden …. your photos greet me every morning before I head off to the nursery! Perhaps next year I can consider, much closer for he who doesn’t fly… if I was meant to, I’d have wings! LOL!

    Hi Teza, thanks, you are just the sweetest thing! Hope you selected some fine additions to your garden for your birthday. I do hope you are able to attend next year, I would love to meet you! :-)
    Frances

  35. ourfriendben says:

    I’ve been on and enjoyed that Chicago river cruise a number of times, Frances, so I know how much you must have enjoyed it. Chicago really is beautiful from the water! And lucky you to win that wonderful original painting from Carolyn Gail! It will remind you of good times and great gardens every time you see it!

    Hi OFB, thanks. The cruise was wonderful, I am so glad to have gone on it. The painting is a wonderful reminder of all the fun for sure. Hope to see you in Buffalo next year. :-)
    Frances

  36. Cindy, MCOK says:

    Seeing everyone’s photos isn’t quite as much fun as being with the bloggers while they were taking them … but I’m enjoying the different perspectives on the beauties of Chicago! It was great to visit with you!

    Oh, yeah, did you make it to the Love-In?

    Hi Cindy, I know what you mean, it was certainly a treat to get together with old friends and make some new ones too. I do believe you were right about the love in lady though. Did you ever google about the production of Hair in the area?
    Frances

  37. Bonnie says:

    Lovely pictures from my kind of town

    Thanks Bonnie, and welcome. Chicago was absolutely fabulous! :-)
    Frances

  38. greenwalks says:

    Well, maybe the Seattle crowd will have to host in the future just so I can meet you, Gail, and the other fine folks. Glad you had fun; that sea of salvias would have had me raising my camera too! And how nice that you came home to blooming lilies.

    Ooooh, Karen! We would love to come to Seattle and meet you for a fling! A perfect destination for a bunch of passionate gardeners. Hope you come to Buffalo so you can volunteer! :-)
    Frances

  39. carolyngail says:

    Thanks for giving my painting a wonderful home, Frances.

    It was nice to meet you and have you visit my home and garden and of course the wonderful city of Chicago.

    From reading all the posts of Spring Flingers I gather that everyone had a great time.

    Maybe after Buffalo we should have the Spring Fling in the beautiful hill country of Tennessee.

    Oh thank you dear Carolyn Gail, I will always treasure the painting and think of you, your lovely home and exquisite garden every time I look at it. And I want to add, that the choice of restaurant, Andie’s, was fabulous! I could eat there every day. As for a fling here, we don’t even have that much hotel space, LOL. :-)
    Frances

  40. Love that blue river and the painting is gorgeous. It’s fun to see the group pic of most of the garden bloggers enjoying a fling in spring. Even though I’ve not been to a SF (yet
    ) I was able to put a name to many of the faces. Will save me embarrassment later when we do meet in person. ;-)

    Hi YE, it was amazing and you would have loved it. You could have told us all about how Piet was influenced by others, too. :-) And yes, we will meet someday!
    Frances

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