I have never attended a Garden Bloggers Fling before but have heard great things. Each summer, garden bloggers gather and tour private and public gardens in a chosen city. It sounds like a great way to meet fellow gardeners, see new plants, be exposed to different design ideas, and learn about garden-related companies. Hosted by volunteer garden bloggers in that particular city, the Garden Bloggers Fling is a 3 ½-day event that must take a tremendous amount of work for the volunteers to not only scope out great gardens but work with sponsors to help defray the cost as well as hammer out the logistics of transportation, food, and lodging.
Next summer, the Garden Bloggers Fling will be here in my very own backyard and I am so excited, I can’t wait to attend. Tammy Schmitt has volunteered to host the event; she lives about 40 minutes away from me in Virginia. I met Tammy a few years ago at a nursery trade show. She is a very organized, detail-oriented person with an incredible amount of enthusiasm, energy, and creativity. Just reading her blog, Casa Mariposa, is exciting and creative. I have been fortunate enough to visit her organic, pollinator-friendly garden, a testament to her plant knowledge.
Tammy has attended a few flings herself plus she has lived in this area for a long time. Her vision for the 2017 Capital Region Garden Bloggers Fling is to showcase the Nation’s capital as well as suburbs and country in Maryland and Northern Virginia. To others, it may seem like these states are far apart but in terms of driving distance, they are so close together we natives think nothing of driving over the lines every day. I myself live in Northern Virginia, work in Maryland, and often visit the Smithsonian gardens in DC on the weekends. Tammy’s vision will give garden bloggers a taste of city, suburban, and country; small versus large garden; plus private gardens versus public botanical gardens. Tammy has recently written a post on her site about the fling with an interactive story map to illustrate the type of gardens and locations. To learn more about what a fling is like, visit the official Garden Bloggers Fling website and Facebook page. Currently, there is a lot of information about the most recent fling in Minneapolis.
The 2017 Capital Region Gardener Bloggers Fling will take place on Thursday, June 22, through Sunday, June 25, 2017. Bloggers will visit several gardens in the Smithsonian area of Washington DC as well as the U.S. Botanic Garden. They will visit the Franciscan Monastery gardens and Dumbarton Oaks in DC as well as Meadowlark Botanical Gardens (public) in Virginia and Brookside Gardens (public) in Maryland. There are several private gardens in Maryland and Virginia and a winery in Virginia.
Registration to attend the fling opens online at noon EST on Saturday, October 15, 2016. In order to register you must be a garden blogger who has a blog at least 6 months old by registration date and have a minimum of one post written on or after April 2016. Registration is done online through Eventbrite. The registration fee is $300 and Eventbrite charges $17.09 processing fee. You will see an optional $15 for participating in the wine tasting. Everyone will visit Stone Tower Winery in Virginia but this optional fee is to sample their wares. The registration fee will pay for the Reston Limousine buses that will take people to the gardens; the food at the Thursday night welcome party; lunches on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday; dinner on Sunday; and admission fees to gardens. Out of town guests will stay at the Hyatt Hotel in the Reston Town Center (Reston, VA) which has quite a lot of good restaurants, shops, and movie theaters. Tammy has worked with the Hyatt Hotel to obtain a discounted price on the rooms. Bloggers pay for the hotel and transportation to the hotel on their own; everyone pays the $300 to attend the event. Locals like me would just drive to the Hyatt and park in the garage every morning of the event to get on the coach bus. Many garden-related companies are very aware of the fling and are happy to send materials, gifts, and information to Tammy to distribute to the attendees (so think “swag”). You won’t go home empty-handed and you certainly will go home with hundreds of photos, new friendships, and great memories. For more information, contact Tammy at her website or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Look forward to seeing you there!