People Of Spring Fling Chicago

June 1, 2009 SF1 017 (2)About the recently attended garden blogger meetup in Chicago, photos of the gardens visited are displayed in many posts, some of them nearly identical. Pondering what we might have in the can that could be of interest yet not shown elsewhere the idea of people came to mind. Normal operating procedure is to not include people photos in the posts with rare exceptions like family get togethers. But this is different and I hope no one minds if some shots are shown of the good times had by all at this yearly event. We begin at my friend Gail of Clay and Limestone’s home. I drove to Nashville from the Fairegarden, a three and one half hour trip, in the gas guzzler, to spend the night at her place so we could fly together to Chicago. On the morning of day one, the sun came through her garden of benign neglect. It was a good omen for things to come.June 1, 2009 SF1 024 (2)Here she is with arms outstretched ready to share the lovliness of her home and garden. Thanks, Gail for your hospitality. You are the most generous of hosts.June 1, 2009 SF1 040 (2)Managing to get overstuffed suitcases and carryons in and out of the gas guzzler, on and off the parking shuttle, to curbside check in, off the luggage carousel, in and out of the cab, into the hotel rooms, sometimes with help, sometimes without, we were ready to explore. The first bloggers we met up with were Lisa of Greenbow and her charming sister Tena. We went straight to the bean (Cloud Gate) at Millenium Park for the requisite photos. Left to right: me, Tena, Gail and Lisa.June 1, 2009 SF1 065 (2)We were awed by the Lurie Garden, did a quick shopping detour then headed back to the hotel. A train ride out to Barrington was in our future and we had to find the Ogilvie station. While chatting at a stoplight about not knowing exactly where we needed to go, this kind lady overheard us and said, “Follow me!”. Follow we did and after purchasing our tickets, were to find ourselves seated with her for the trip. The laughter never stopped that night. Lisa on the left, our new best friend smiling indulgently in the middle and life of the party Tena on the right.June 1, 2009 SF1 073 (2)The reason for the train ride was to view the gardens of the energetic Mr. McGregor’s Daughter. We were late arrivals and only got a quick view, but it was enough to see what a paradise she had created. We came, we saw, then we went to eat at a nearby restaurant. Some took the train home, but some took the Thelma and Louise express. Many thanks to the team of Rose and Beckie for getting us safely back to the hotel, and an hour ahead of the train too! In the photo above is Nancy France of My Garden Spot, MMD and daughter, Tena, Gail and Lisa.June 1, 2009 SF2 073 (2)The next morning we took another train ride, trolley ride, tram ride to and at the magnificent Chicago Botanical Gardens. Many have said this was the high point of the fling. The garden was huge and we did not see nearly all of it. Shown above is me, Carol of May Dreams Gardens, Elizabeth of Garden Rant and Gardening While Intoxicated and Maryann of Idaho Gardener. Note to self: do not lean against something when being photographed, some lower parts are wide enough without being squished flatter.June 1, 2009 SF2 009 (2)The Echium towers at the CBG have been shown on many blogs. If I can find the rest of the name, this will be updated. Gail gives some perspective of the size of it. Added: this is Echium pininana, thanks Chuck B. June 2, 2009 SF 008 (2)It is difficult to get to know someone without having several conversations. There were quite a few bloggers that I really wanted to connect with but did not manage it. An exception is the *elegant yet mischievious* (words of Pam at Digging) Layanee of Ledge and Gardens. Having missed the Austin fling last year due to travel problems, she made an extra effort to avoid that heartbreak this time around. She was all I had been told to expect and more.June 2, 2009 SF 181 (2)The final shot on the memory card shows Layanee and Gail at a chocolate shop inside the shopping mecca containing Nordstom’s on Michigan Avenue. Also known as the Magnificent Mile, Gail was not going to leave Chicago without a pilgrimage to this store. We all bought chocolate gifts, a variety pack for The Financier was well received upon my return. A bonus was a free truffle, our choice if we opted to not use the store shopping bag. What do you think we all did?
These are all the people shots that were taken. More garden pictures and building photos from the Architectural Cruise will be revealed later.

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35 Responses to People Of Spring Fling Chicago

  1. Diana says:

    Great people pics, Frances. It was so good to see everyone and I love reliving it through the blogs!

    Hi Diana, thanks. I didn’t take many, but thought some readers might enjoy seeing it from a more personal perspective.

  2. lynn says:

    Hi Frances, welcome home! I enjoyed reading all the posts on the SF..what a great turn out, too! It’s always fun to put faces to people I’ve “met” blogging, thank you! Congrats on the painting! I’m definitely saving my pennies for Buffalo!

    Hi Lynn, thanks so much. As much fun as we had, it is always good to come home. The painting will always be treasured, a perfect memento of the fling. Looking forward to meeting you in Buffalo. Maybe save some $$$ too! πŸ™‚

  3. Hey, you never said you were going to a chocolate shop! I’d have joined you. I’ve never been to Vosges, although there is an Ethel’s Chocolatier near my house. I love how the girl managed to join our party. Thanks for the kind words about my garden.

    Hi MMD, my pleasure, it was a last minute decision, but I do believe Gail had planned it all along! Your daughter was delightful, a miniature version of you. πŸ™‚

  4. ourfriendben says:

    Love this post, Frances! It’s so much fun to actually SEE one’s fellow bloggers and connect faces with gardens (and writing styles). Thanks so much!!!

    Hi OFB, thanks. Seeing and getting to know the bloggers face to face is what the fling is really all about, the garden visiting is just a bonus. Hope to see you next year in Buffalo, save your pennies, nickels, dimes, dollars, etc. πŸ™‚

  5. Rose says:

    Frances, the picture of Gail with outstretched arms is perfect–it fits her warm personality exactly. My only regret when I got home was realizing I didn’t take many “people” shots and those I did didn’t turn out all that well. (And some also show less than flattering positions–I’m a little hesitant to use those without asking permission.) I guess we were too busy oohing over the sights and chatting to capture everything. Now, how did I miss out on that chocolate shopping trip?:)

    Hi Rose, isn’t it? Thanks for not showing unflattering shots too, I think most people really appreciate that. The chocolate trip was later in the afternoon Sunday. We missed seeing Trudi’s garden but I had wanted to take the Architectural cruise that morning. The only thing left to do was shop. πŸ™‚

  6. Gail says:

    Frances, My dear friend…we had fun from start to finish! Like Rose, I haven’t many photos of the bloggers and am very appreciative of the ones everyone else has taken. Isn’t the photo of Layanee just perfect~~getting the artistic shot through the grill! I can’t wait to visit fairegarden this summer and once again be immersed in plant talk…what is wrong with all these local friends? Don’t they know how important plants and gardens are to one’s mental health! See you soon! Gail

    Hi Gail, it was fun, I agree. Your companionship was perfect, how lucky I am to have met you in Austin last year. Looking forward to your visit, for the daylilies have begun and I want to take you to Sunshine Hollow, for it is quite unique.

  7. skeeter says:

    I have been hitting your blogger links and checking out the different views of Spring Fling! My over all summery, a good time was had by all πŸ™‚ You say for me to save my pennies for Buffalo. As in Buffalo, NY? Is that next years Spring Fling destination?

    Hi Skeeter, your summary is correct. And yes, Buffalo, New York is next year’s destination. It will be later in the spring/summer I believe. Details will be released by Elizabeth Licata, the chief organizer when the dates are set. Start saving now, is my recommendation to all who are thinking of going.

    • skeeter says:

      Nickels and pennies are going into the jar… πŸ™‚

      Glad to hear it. See you in Buffalo! πŸ™‚

  8. Pingback: Digging » The people behind the blogs

  9. joey says:

    Love the photo shoot, Frances … thanks for sharing!

    Hi Joey, thank you, my friend. I do hope you will be able to attend next year in Buffalo, I want to meet you. πŸ™‚

  10. Pam/Digging says:

    Frances, you and I are on the same wavelength. I just posted my people pics this morning too. I didn’t take nearly enough, and like Rose’s, some of them weren’t good ones. But I’m happy to see the pics you got. Everyone looks like they’re having such a great time!

    Hi Pam, yes, it does. I am finding the people photos being posted draw me in and portray the fun we had the best. I only wish I had taken more, and better ones. Lesson learned.

  11. Frances, Thanks for the who’s who. Putting faces to the names, and names to the blogs, makes this community more like a community.

    Thanks, Helen. I agree completely. Just wish I had taken more shots of the people. Next time, in Buffalo, we’ll do better with that.

  12. Darla says:

    I think is a must to include the gardeners from time to time on these blogs. It makes the whole experience more real and personal. I for one enjoyed this post very much..

    Hi Darla, thanks. You are so right. We are not blogging from behind a curtain on some far away planet, after all. It is a shared experience with the whole garden blogging community.

  13. Kathleen says:

    What a fun post Frances and so nice to put faces with names. It looks like you all had the best time. Someday I hope I can meet my fave bloggers in person too. The echiums are AMAZING. I wonder if they’d grow in Colorado? and what a perfect way to finish up the trip ~ at the chocolate shop!

    Hi Kathleen, thanks, we really did have a great time. If those Echiums can grow in the climate of Chicago, I would think they would grow for you too. Someone posted the name, but I can’t remember who. And yes to chocolate, the freebie was twice as sweet knowing it was to save the shopping bag. πŸ™‚

  14. Randy says:

    It’s obvious from reading the blogs that you all has such a wonderful time! I’m really happy for all of you and admire your willingness to travel to a common spot to meet. Wouldn’t the world be a better place if more strangers could come together like that! I would be worn out. LOL

    Randy, we ARE worn out!!! But it is a happy tired. After the fun in Austin, and now this time in Chicago, I will try to attend every single fling for the garden bloggers from now on. I cannot convey how wonderful it is to be in a room full of people with the same passions, no matter how diverse they are. We all know gardening makes this world a better place, too. πŸ™‚

  15. Robin says:

    I love seeing each person’s perspective on the trip. Glad you all had such a good time.

    Thanks Robin. I hope you are able to attend next year in Buffalo, it is worth it to meet these fine people.

  16. Janet says:

    Thanks a bunch for including those of us who didn’t go, so we could ‘meet’ some of the fellow bloggers.

    What a sweet sentiment, Janet, it was my pleasure. I wish each and every one of you could have attended. Next year will be in Buffalo, later in the spring/summer I believe. Elizabeth Licata of Gardening While Intoxicated is in charge of it, should be well organized with her at the helm.

  17. Catherine says:

    It is nice to see the people behind the blogs. It sure sounds like it was a lot of fun. I’ve been enjoying seeing all of the pictures everyone has been sharing.

    Hi Catherine, thanks for living vicariously through the various stories about Chicago. Next year, do try and come to Buffalo. Save your pennies starting now. πŸ™‚

  18. Looks like a great time with great people! The Echium towers are really something! Never seen such a collection! πŸ™‚

    My blogging is tapering off — I’m spending more time in the garden and doing stuff with my husband and I’m really not keeping up with either writing or reading.

    Hi Cameron, thanks, it was a fabulous get together. I certainly understand about the blogging, it is very time consuming. Glad you stopped by.

  19. Good times had by all! Thanks for the pics and links.

    My pleasure, Carol, and thanks for the plant. It is enduring tough love out by the orchids. It did endure the trip home on the plane without injury.

  20. layanee says:

    Frances, that is sooo Gail with the outstretched arms and ready smile! I love that picture of you all in the bean and the one against the rail…no part of you looks wide! My note to self after all these shots ‘Stay out of chocolate shops’! What great memories.

    Hi Layanee, that Gail is the best, isn’t she? Our little detour to the chocolate shop seems to have stirred up some shopping envy among the others. HA I would have to add that no part of you looked wide either. πŸ™‚

  21. Great shots Frances. I wonder what that sweet little Kathleen thought of us. She was such a helpful little angel getting us to the station on time. It was a fun time. Like you I wish I could have gotten to know some of the others better. It is just difficult to do in such a large group.

    Life after the Fling hasn’t slowed for me enough to get a decent post up. This weekend I hope to be able to post more. Cheers.

    Hi Lisa, thanks for adding her name, she was a sweetie to put up with us. It seems one has to make a concentrated effort to sit next to a new friend on the bus or dinner to have a more personal conversation. We’ll try and do that next fling. Hope you are going, do bring Tena, too. πŸ™‚

  22. Beckie says:

    Love the people photos! I didn’t take nearly enough either. There was one taken of all of us after we got off the bus and some of us went to the butterfly house. Wonder who has that one??

    Hi Beckie, thanks. I now remember that photo after we de-bussed. Who took the shot? Was it Linda? I haven’t seen it on any of the blogs. If you do come across it, will you let me know? I will do the same for you.

  23. Shirl says:

    Wonderful people posting, Frances! Thoroughly enjoyed seeing everyone and I could easily understand how difficult it would have been to chat to everyone. You all looked like you were having a ball and you saw gardens too – what more could you ask for πŸ˜€

    Hi Shirl, thanks. It was way beyond our expectations, the gardens, the bloggers, the food…. and the city of Chicago was the jewel in the crown.. πŸ™‚

  24. Racquel says:

    Looks live everyone had a wonderful time exploring the many beautiful gardens and getting to catch up with each other. Glad you had a good time. πŸ™‚

    Hi Racquel, thanks. I do believe everyone thoroughly enjoyed the gardens and more importantly meeting old and new friends. That is really what these events are about. Save your pennies for next year in Buffalo. πŸ™‚

  25. Semi says:

    Looks like much fun & chocolate & nordstorms. Even a cool train ride. What a great trip! Love semi

    Hello Semi, our kind of fun, right? Chocolate and Nordstoms. I believe you will grow to the chocolate habit later in life. That is what happened to me. πŸ™‚
    Love, Frances

  26. Jean says:

    I really enjoyed seeing your people shots. And I’m jealous of your chocolate run!

    Thanks Jean, that was very good chocolate too! πŸ™‚

  27. greenwalks says:

    It is so fun to see the faces behind the words and pictures I read so often. You, Gail, Carol, Pam, right there that’s a golden triangle. What on earth are those giant Echium tower things?! That would make a real statement in a home garden for sure!

    Hi Karen, thanks, too funny with the golden triangle ! HA Those are some kind of Echium, a plant I know little about, except those were gigantic! Of course that was some amazing soil at the CBG too.

  28. greenwalks says:

    Whoops, I shouldn’t write comments after 11pm – how can 4 make a triangle?! Only when a person is tired, apparently!

    HA, it happens to all of us. I cannot write after 9 PM, unless nonsense counts as writing.

  29. How’d I miss this post until today? Ooops…and I had asked you for names with photos on another of your earlier posts! This one is great! Wish there were more peeps…but this one was just wonderful. Makes me wish I really could have been there…there is something about seeing friendly faces that words alone don’t express! Jan

    Hi Jan, thanks. I do wish there had been more people shots. It seems most of the attendees feel the same, so next year there will be more and better photos of the bloggers, not just the gardens. We were all so intent on the flowers you know. Maybe you will be able to come to Buffalo, hope so! πŸ™‚

  30. Jo says:

    Your butterfly photo’s are simply breath-taking! So glad I stumbled upon your blog this afternoon.

    Hi Jo, thanks and welcome. I too am glad you came to visit. πŸ™‚

  31. eliz says:

    Those are great shots, Frances. I love seeing people on these blogs–it makes a nice change. I feel we are part of the context necessary for understanding the gardens.
    Need I say it was delightful chatting with you and that I look forward to the next meeting, either at GWA or (definitely) Buffalo?

    Hi Elizabeth, thanks. It was good to get to know you a little better too. I do plan to attend the symposium at Raliegh, and most assuredly will be in Buffalo next year!

  32. chuck b. says:

    That’s Echium pininana, which crosses readily with Echium wildpretii, to produce offspring with varying qualities. Thomson Morgan sells seed of both. I grew the E. wildpretii last year, and this year I have E. pininana. Great pictures! good times.

    Thanks, Chuck. I was wondering if it was your wildpretii or not. I remember how tall it got last year. Wish you were with us to give the ID on the spot! Maybe next year? πŸ™‚

  33. mothernaturesgarden says:

    I always love to see what garden bloggers look like. Thanks for introducing a few more to me.

    Thanks Donna, it was a pleasure to meet and get to know these fine folks. Maybe next year in Buffalo you can do the same. πŸ™‚

  34. Frances my dear, you’ve been reading my mind as this is just the thing I was hoping for. Beautiful gardens can be seen anytime but beautiful garden bloggers? Not so much! So thanks!

    Hi YE, we took so many photos of flowers and gardens, and so few of the people. Next year we will do better. Hope to see you there in Buffalo, too. πŸ™‚

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