July 4, 2013

A Day at the Garden Blogger's Fling

Garden Bloggers from across the country and Canada attended this years Garden Blogger's Fling in San Francisco. Who's that on the right? Why it's Robin Horton of Urban Gardens in CT - Snap!!
It looks like many where having a great time! The weather was perfect (hot!) and there
were so many attendees.  It was well organized, and planned.

Last weekend I participated in the Garden Blogger's Fling, which was hosted in San Francisco this year ( next year it will be held in Portland, OR).  Events like this are not only fun, they are a great way to meet fellow garden bloggers and to do fun stuff with them - here are some images from my trip to the Bay area and from the event last week.

I was already in town for Design Week and the HOWlive conference, so  I why not attend this event too, what timing! Garden Blogger's Flings are annual events hosted in various cities each year, targeting garden bloggers, and I felt that I should attend as I was curious about what a 'fling' really was . Of course,  I knew that I would be able to meet some of my fellow garden bloggers who were also attending ( I am pretty out-of-touch with most other garden bloggers, focusing more on my garden and projects in my little spare time!). In the end, I only attended one day as I had to fly out so I missed many of the gardens on the tours, but all things considered, the event was inspiring, and the gardens I did see only made me want to grow more plants, which is never a bad thing, right? You Northern California folks are really spoiled, since most of the plants I saw in gardens live in my greenhouse in the winter! I left with a loooong wish list.

Our first stop on Friday was the garden of Sean Stout and James Pettigrew, the force behind Organic Mechanics, a garden design firm in San Francisco. We were impressed with the many rare plants and creatures, and their parrot.

Although the Fling wasn't exactly what expected it to be (with lectures about plants, culture and ideas/tips for bloggers), it was fun and a great way to meet my peers. Overall the event was superbly organized and balanced out garden tours to some of the amazing Bay area gardens and some of the finest nurseries in the country. I only attended the first day, so maybe the other days were even better, but I could see from the agenda that all three days were jam-packed with all sorts of activities.

Here are a few photos.

At one point, our busses could not navigate the narrow streets of Richmond, so we all disembarked, and found ourselves in a neighborhood - all of us with camera in hand, so what does a garden blogger do? Freak out the neighbors.

A new must have - Leucadendron linifolium. Oh you San Fransicoan's - you have it made!

The second garden tour on Friday brought us to the beautiful garden and home of artist Matt Gill, which was designed by Dan Carlson of Wigglestern Gardens.

The fantastic sculpture in artist Matt Gil's garden.

The Matt Gill Garden presented lots of texture and interesting plants, making me sort-of wish that I had a garden in San Francisco ( New England has rain, so that keeps me here!).

At Annie's Annuals, we were presented with a product demo from one of the sponsors, DRAMM.

Designer Kellee Adams discusses her project THE WAVE GARDEN, a private garden in Richmond Point, overlooking the Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge.

Fling attendee's surprised Kellee with bubbles, celebrating our unity and get-together. It was hot, nearly 100º, but we still took time to admire the Wave garden.

On Friday evening, we were treated to a fabulous cocktail party and dinner at the CONSERVATORY OF FLOWERS located in Golden Gate Park. If you ever find yourself in the SF area, this restored Victorian gem is worth a visit.

The reception on Friday night was incredible, and this was indeed the perfect location. Well done SF Fling!

Even though it was hot outside, it seemed cooler under the white washed glass of the conservatory. OK, sure, the wine helped us stay cool!

As the sun set, Fling attendees made their way into the tent for a gourmet dinner and swag bags generously supplied by the Fling sponsors. Although I missed the other two days, I think I was able to get a good taste of what these Flings are all about. I would have liked to see a few of the other gardens and nurseries, but sadly, time was not in my favor. I'm not really interested in swag bags or especially product presentations, as I tend to create my own content, but the other bloggers seem to enjoy them.


  1. It was so great to see you there Matt! I enjoyed the gardens so much, and I too am jealous of Californians. I wonder if they know how good they've got it! Most of the plants in the gardens I saw are either houseplants or annuals here in Minnesota. :-(

    Hope to see you at another event sometime soon!


  2. I'm glad you were able to attend, even if only for one day, Matt. The SF Fling really was well organized, and the gardens were stunning, even by California standards. My favorite gardens were on the last day -- too bad you had to miss those. Hope to see you again at a future Fling.


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