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)
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!