Going To Meet In Malvern

Meeting other garden bloggers is the most fun thing imaginable. You have so much to talk about, what with the common interests, make that passions of gardening and writing a blog, with all that entails. We had only been blogging for one month when the first opportunity arose to meet with other like minded folks at the first ever Garden Blogger Spring Fling in Austin, Texas in April of 2008. What began as a local get together of Austin garden bloggers mushroomed when it was thrown open to all garden bloggers who might be interested in attending. The plane was boarded with a few clothes packed and plenty of extra memory cards and batteries for the camera neatly stashed. It was most enjoyable, with gardens visited, but more important was meeting the people behind the blogs that we liked to visit. We already knew these people, even though we had never met in the physical world.
What came from the Austin trip was the fast, separated at birth! friendship with a fellow Tennessee blogger. On the first night in Austin, the initial group activity was a dinner at a TexMex restaurant for the bloggers and their guests if they had any. My husband accompanied me on this trip, and we found ourselves standing next to another couple. Name tags had been picked up at the table by the doorway and it was then I read the name Gail of Clay and Limestone. Her husband had also come, the only two spouses from out of town to attend. We began chatting and discovered that her husband and I attended the same high school in Oklahoma. We were seated at the long dining tables and met many other bloggers. Spouses were given blank name tags to fill in. Mine wrote The Financier of Fairegarden on his label, it was later shortened to The Financier. Gail’s mate became I Don’t Blog or Garden, shortened to Mr. I. The men spent some quality time together while Gail and I did the planned garden visiting, lunch, more garden visiting then dinner things over two days. If we learned one thing from that trip, it was….don’t bring the husbands! (Opening photo of me breaking out of the cage. Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center, Austin, Texas 2008)
June 2, 2009 SF 008 (2)Next year the blogger meet up was held in Chicago.
Gail and I traveled together, since we did not have our usual husband travel companions with us. We met many more bloggers, and got reacquainted with several that had been in Austin. Gardens were visited, lots of good food was eaten, and again it was nonstop talking every waking minute. The garden bloggers love words and know how to use them. Tired but happy, with lots of photos in the can, Gail and I relaxed on the plane back to Tennessee. There was a downside on my trip, though, I had to drive three and one half hours home from Nashville after landing. It was a difficult drive. As fun as it had been to travel with a good friend, next time I would fly out of Knoxville, so much closer to home. (Photo of Layanee of Ledge And Gardens at Rick Bayless’ garden. Chicago, Illinois 2009)

And this brings us to the next time, the almost now. A much farther distance will be traveled to attend a blogger meet up at the Malvern Spring Gardening Show in May with hostesses VP of Veg Plotting and Helen the Patient Gardener. This show promises to be a window into heaven for garden lovers. Although we will not be able to bring plants home with us, sob!, we surely can find something to take back as a memento of the good times, in addition to scads of photos. Gail and I, the intrepid two innocents abroad are going to meet and greet with a gaggle of garden bloggers from the United Kingdom and beyond, including one Blissful Netherlander and one from Poland, a real international group of mystery. In addition the vivacious Victoria will be showing us her backyard.

We have learned something from these meetups, and that is the garden bloggers are not strangers, they are friends. We already know and love them. We have read about and seen photos of their gardens, heard stories about their families and spouses, ridden the ups and downs of life with them. We will see gardens, displays, hear speakers and watch Three Men Mowing, we will go to pubs and chat and chat some more. Throat lozenges will be a necessity for the dryness that accompanies non stop talking. We learned that in Austin. Reports on the travels will be issued after our return. Onward. Yeeeeeehaaaaaw!


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37 Responses to Going To Meet In Malvern

  1. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Bon Voyage Frances. I can’t wait to hear all the details. Take copious notes and photos. I want to hear and see EVERYTHING.

    Thanks Lisa. We are hoping for a bon voyage. Bags are packed, lists made and copied, last minute chores today before flying out tomorrow. Stomach is churning, but in a good way. This is very exciting, our first trip beyond North America. There will be a post or two about it, you can rest assured. πŸ™‚

  2. gittan says:

    Have a wonderful trip Frances! I’m also looking forward to your report. Did I get it right, are you going to England? Or is Malvern in the US? Take care / gittan

    Thanks Gittan. Yes, Malvern is in the UK. Wish you were coming! πŸ™‚

  3. Anna says:

    Safe journey Frances – looking forward to seeing you and Gail the other side of the pond. We are all going to have a ball πŸ™‚

    Thanks Anna. We are crossing over to the other side! lol Can’t wait to meet you! πŸ™‚

  4. Happy Travels to you and Gail. Your trip is sure to be quite the adventure!

    Thanks Carol. We are hardly seasoned travelers. I have never been out of the US except to Canada. Adventure is the word. Tally-ho! πŸ™‚

  5. Barbara H. says:

    I didn’t realize you were going abroad for this trip. How exciting! And what fun! I’m sending good thoughts for just the right kind of weather for your visit.

    Hi Barbara, thanks. We need all good thoughts for this exciting journey. Two innocent broads abroad is Gail’s take on it. πŸ™‚

  6. Les says:

    I hope you have the safest and funnest of trips. How could it not be fun? Don’t forget that you will be “representn'” as the kids say.

    Thanks Les. Gail and I have discussed the representn. We must be on our best behaviour and do our country proud, not to mention the state of Tennessee. We hope to dispell some myths about Americans and plant some new seeds about the way we really are. πŸ™‚

  7. You two will have such a fabulous time! πŸ™‚ I look forward to your photos and stories. The UK is a great place and you will definitely love the people, scenery and gardens. There is one downside…you can’t bring back all of those amazing stone garden features very well unless you hire a ship!

    Take care, have fun, play a lot!

    Thanks Cameron. I know we will love everthing we see, including the bloggers we meet! Hire a ship, hmmm. That might be expensive. I know we will desire many things, most of them large and heavy! HA We need to think small, light and cheap. πŸ™‚

  8. Jenny B says:

    Two innocent broads! LOL! Have a wonderful trip. I am looking forward to hearing all about it when you return.

    Thanks Jenny. We do appreciate those good wishes. There will be a full report upon return! πŸ™‚

  9. Rose says:

    Have a wonderful trip, Frances! Looking forward to all your photos and every detail of the visit; this is so exciting! I’m sure you two “innocents” will enjoy every minute; just don’t stray “too far west of west”:)

    Thanks Rose. As before, we will just be passengers as our hostesses ferry us about, maybe ‘cross the Mersey? Just a little British humour. HA We will warn them about being west of west, however! πŸ™‚

  10. Hi Frances, I enjoyed learning how you and Gail met; I had not known before and what a coincidence about you and her hubby having gone to the same high school! And I recognized the Bayliss garden right off, wink! I am SO envious of you and Gail going to Malvern and hope that one of you will get me a postcard (because, you know, it’s not like you’ll be busy or anything, HA!). Are you going to SF in Buffalo, too? I have a freelance project due the Monday after that weekend and will be up to my eyeballs in heavy-truck crash-warning reports and 508 compliance!! Have fun in Malvern and hug Michelle and Yolanda for me! (Seriously.)

    Hi Monica, thanks. It was a blogging meet up that brought Gail into my life, and I am forever grateful. We will get you a postcard. We do hope to attend Buffalo as well. Hugs will be issued all around! πŸ™‚

  11. Gail says:

    Just what I needed to read! The sun is shining, I’ve walked the neighborhood (damage not so bad) and Mr I is on his way home. Now I can concentrate on Malvern. (I am plotting my car route to the airport!) It’s going to be so much fun! Blogging has been a great way to share our love of gardening, it has also given me the best friendships.

    You’ve told the story of our meeting and travels together delightfully~and thanks for linklove! xxgail ps I did wake up this AM thinking that I might have to buy a second suitcase in the UK to get anything home I had to buy!

    Oh I am glad to hear the snap in your voice, dear Gail. The terrible flooding and weather in Nashville have been so worrisome. The sun is a miraculous antidepressant. We will have the best adventure, unforgettable! πŸ™‚

  12. Barbarapc says:

    You two are going to have an absolute blast. Kevin & I are taking our first trip to England in July on a garden tour sponsored by Blooms of Bressingham – looking forward to reading about your coming adventures and seeing the shots of the gardens you’ll be visiting. Will you be going to Dallas with the garden writers this year?

    Hi Barbara, thanks. We hope to have the time of our lives! What a fun trip, the garden tour you are going on. We are being escorted around by knowledgable garden bloggers to some gardens and will love getting that insiders point of view. We will not be in Dallas for the writers convention, sadly, but do hope to be in Buffalo for Buffa10. πŸ™‚

  13. Sunita says:

    Oh lucky, LUCKY you! I’m so eaten up with envy but I’m happy for you too. So go on, enjoy yourself and do come back with loads of photos and news of everyone you met.

    Thanks Sunita. We keep pinching our arm to make sure it isn’t a dream, for going to England has been a dream of mine all my life. It is the only place I have ever wanted to see, the gardens there. It is almost too good to be true that it is really happening. πŸ™‚

  14. RainGardener says:

    I’m soooooooooooooo excited for you. To travel to all of these places and meet fellow gardening bloggers. But now the biggy in the UK. Yeeeeeehaaaaaw! is right!!! Have a safe and wonderful trip.

    Thanks for the support, RG. You sound just like an Oklahoma gal! lol Meeting other garden bloggers is the best! πŸ™‚

  15. VP says:

    Reading your post has made me all excited all over again! It’s not long until you and Gail will be here and dreams become reality. So glad to see Gail’s update on that awful weather down her way.

    Can’t wait to see you – I hope we’ll do you proud when you finally get here πŸ™‚


    Thanks for everything you have done, VP. Your efforts to make this a most fabulous trip are so very appreciated. Excitement reigns here. I decided to clean the entire house in a fury of pent up nervous energy. After the bathroom was finished I kind of got tired. lol Still plenty of excitement overflowing. It will be difficult to sleep tonight. Gail is seeing sunshine and has rebounded from her despairing weekend, thank goodness. She is working on finding roads open to get her to the airport tomorrow. Wish her luck! πŸ™‚

  16. only three more “sleeps” then we get to meet up – yeay πŸ™‚

    Hooray! Only one more sleep for us, we leave tomorrow! How will we be able to sleep at all? lol πŸ™‚

  17. I wanted to go to Malvern but I’m not allowed the time off work – we’re not allowed annual leave during May as its peak season for us. So maybe there will be a next time when I’ll get to meet you and Gail. Have a safe journey and I hope the weather will be kind to you all. πŸ™‚ Rosie

    Thanks Rosie. I do wish you could come. If you ever are able to meet other garden bloggers, whatever the circumstances, do it. It is the most fun ever. πŸ™‚

  18. Catherine says:

    I’m so excited for all of you! I hope you all have a fantastic time and can’t wait to hear all about it. Have a blast!

    Thanks Catherine. We will certainly have a blast, good term! πŸ™‚

  19. patientgardener says:

    Been helping with a showgarden today and you are in for a real treat. The gardens are looking fab and there is more than there will be at Chelsea

    How wonderful, Helen! I know Chelsea is the big deal garden show, but it will have nothing on this year’s Malvern! Hooray! Thanks for all the hard work you have put into this, opening your home and garden, finding time to pick us up at the train station, not to mention Johnstone Tours which will be a highlight! πŸ™‚

  20. Elephant's Eye says:

    Dispelling myths about those terrible Americans? That – is something your US blogs have already done for me. I love that – step into my life for a moment – experience. Ooh I can’t hardly wait for the reportback from Malvern, and lots of garden visits!

    Hi Diana, thanks. Gail and I have discussed already how we must be on our best behaviour since we are the American delegation at this fine event. I do appreciate what you say about the US blogs showing our best side. It works to bring us all together, we not only all love gardens and gardening, but care about the earth and all of its inhabitants. πŸ™‚

  21. I can only imagine what a wonderful time you will have this year. I do love learning more about my blogging friends.

    Thanks Noelle. Meeting the blogging friends has proven to be the most wonderful of experiences. Everyone is always so nice, and we already feel as if we know them, and they us. Because we do. πŸ™‚

  22. I agree, it is such fun to meet other garden bloggers. Even after only blogging a few months myself, I had the opportunity to meet a few other like-minded gardener/bloggers, and it was a hoot! I agree, sometimes it’s probably best to leave the hubby’s home, but at least yours seemed to have a good sense of humor. I expect mine would write either ‘chief engineer’ or simply ‘the muscle’ on his name tag πŸ˜›

    Thanks CV. The husbands were very funny with their name tags. There were a few others at the dinner that first night in Austin, all from the area though. We thought it ironic that the two ladies from Tennessee both brought theirs. Neither of us had been blogging long at all. The hubbies did hit it off and spent a good deal of time together touring Austin. Seeing the UK blogging community will be wonderful. We will take lots of people shots too. Learned from Chicago that it’s about the people as much as about the gardens. If not more. πŸ™‚

  23. Frances you’ll undoubtably have a great time. Bonne Vacance

    Hi Rob, thanks. Wish you were going to be there as well. Gail and I decided if a volcano erupts, we will detour to France and visit you. πŸ™‚

  24. gwendolyngarden says:

    How FUN! I couldn’t be more envious!

    Thanks Gwen. This is the trip of a lifetime for me. Too exciting for words to describe. πŸ™‚

  25. Don’t know if you have left home yet for England, but you will absolutely LOVE the Malvern show. It has a magic of of its own, and Chelsea is not a patch on what you will enjoy here. Hope to meet you later this week.

    Hi Ann, thanks and welcome. We leave tomorrow for the big trip across the pond. Malvern sounds better with each passing minute. Can’t wait to see it all and meet you all. πŸ™‚

  26. How I wish I could go. Make us proud!

    I wish you could too, MMD. We will do our best to behave appropriately. πŸ™‚

  27. Jean says:

    I’m sure you two will have a fantastic time! Think of us back here as you’re gabbing away. πŸ™‚

    Thanks Jean. I wish you all were coming as well. It would be a real gabfest for sure. πŸ™‚

  28. Beckie says:

    Oh Frances, I am tickled pink you are getting to go and with Gail, you two should have such a grand experience. Would that Rose and I could go as well… maybe another year. But I know with photos and narrative from you, it will be a close 2nd to being there in person. Have a wonderful time!!!

    Thanks Beckie. I wish you and Rose and the rest of the gang were going as well. We will take lots of photos and copious notes. πŸ™‚

  29. Pam/Digging says:

    Thanks for the memories, and have a wonderful time. I’m glad you and Gail are representing us Yanks!

    Thanks Pam. Austin and Chicago were so much fun, we know this will be another layer on the cake of memories. All because of blogging. Who would have guessed it? I already informed VP that southern ladies are not necessarily referred to as Yanks! LOL But I am married to one. HA πŸ™‚

  30. Town Mouse says:

    I’m so happy for you! What a great thing to do. Now let’s all hope that volcano keeps calm.

    Thanks Town Mouse. It is a dream come true, at first thought to be impossible. Hope the volcano keeps his lid on until we touch down anyway. πŸ™‚

  31. Lola says:

    The best of a great journey together. I hope you & Gail have the best time ever.
    Can;t wait to see & hear about all.
    Take care, Have fun.

    Thanks Lola. It will be a trip to remember, for sure. πŸ™‚

  32. Hi Frances

    Hope all is OK with you, I’ve just been watching the news reports following the violent storms/flash flooding over there?

    Hi Rob, thanks for your concern. It is in Gail’s area where the flooding occurred. Her home is safe, however she will have a time getting to the airport. My part of Tennessee only got four inches of rain in the end.

    But on a side note, if the volcano causes us a problem while in the air, we are coming to France to see you! πŸ™‚


  33. MAYBELLINE says:

    This looks interesting. Please update as you progress

  34. noel says:

    aloha and i mean aloha, have a great time in the UK, what an exciting adventure that would be, boy i would love to go, but that would be a very long way to fly!

  35. elizabethm says:

    I am probably too late to say hi before you come! Looking forward to meeting you and so glad you and Gail can make the trip! See you Thursday I hope!

  36. TC Conner says:

    Dave’s Garden used to have (and still might) gardeners gatherings called “Round Ups.” I went to several, they’re very special for the many reasons you mentioned.

    (Why were you “breaking out of the cage?”)

    It is fun to meet others who share your interests, TC. The cage was a sculpture at the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower center. I couldn’t resist getting in there when no one, well one other who snapped the photo, was looking. πŸ™‚

  37. Siria says:

    Hi Frances, By now you should be on your wonderful voyage. I know you will have a wonderful time and I can’t wait to see your posts on your trip! Safe travels to you and Gail!

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