Monday, June 1, 2009

The fling has flung...

We've had a wonderful five days at the 2nd Annual Garden Bloggers Spring Fling, held this year in Chicago.

It was such a treat to see friends and make new friends and step into a whirlwind of garden-mania.

The Chicago bloggers put on a great show for us and treated us to the best their gardens and their city has to offer and I want to extend my thanks to them for a fabulous fling.

Our first outing was a visit to the world-renown Chicago Botanic Garden.

We strolled through so many different gardens.

We ooohed and aaaahed over the design, the plants, and the color combinations.

And we speculated about whether or not we could grow that plant, that combination, in our gardens.

After she'd heard enough of my speculating, Pam, of Digging, finally said:

"Diana -- don't think for even a minute that you can grow any of this in your garden!"


I knew that!

But I needed an intervention. After seeing all the beautiful gardens, I just wanted to rush home and try to replicate some of that creativity and color in my garden.

There were a handful of things that we can grown in Austin in my zone 9 garden. We were shocked to find Texas Bluebonnets among the plants in this bright spring planter.
And there were several Agaves growing throughout the garden, which surprised me as well.

Cindy, My Corner of Katy, Layanee, Ledge and Gardens, and Pam, Digging, and I spent a really long time in front of this poppy field - taken by the interesting mix of colors and the papery-softness of the poppies.
Alliums have held a mysterious allure for me for some time. I even tried to plant them in my garden, but the one that actually came up OUT of the ground fried to a crisp at about 2-3 inches tall. So much for Alliums in Austin!

I certainly got my fill of them in Chicago -- they were everywhere. and I couldn't stop taking pictures of them -- big ones, little ones, purple ones, lavender ones, white ones -- they were all there, just waiting for me to join the party.
One of my favorites at the Botanic Garden was the Japanese Garden. It was so peaceful to stroll through the meticulously cared-for garden with its Zen style and simplicity.
And there were Irises everywhere, too. I never tire of looking at them. These were stunning in the Japanese garden. And even though my camera is showing them as more blue than they actually were, they are still pretty.
The species Tulips were so cheery.
As were the Ranunculas (above) and the Toadworts (below).

Enough posting for now, my bed is calling after a long travel day back home.

(Where the first place I went was a walk around the gardens to see what I could see and where I found everything happy and healthy thanks to my DH who lovingly took care of my plants while I flitted off to the Fling!)

I'll post more tomorrow...check back for gardens galore, ala Chicago.


Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

I'm declaring those Alliums the official flower of the 2d Annual Spring Fling. You did not exaggerate when you said they were everywhere. I think they were in every garden we visited. I also noticed the Bluebonnets in the trough. They made me smile.

Carol said...

I didn't "see" the alliums as much as you did, probably because I am more used to them. But I did see a lot I could grow in my garden, which is very exciting for me!

I enjoyed catching up with you and being one of the two who thought we should turn on "the game" to see who won.

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Janet said...

Have been enjoying all the accounts of the Spring Fling. Sounds like everyone had a great time. Gorgeous gardens!

getgrounded said...

Oh, Diana, those pictures are incredible, and I'm sure it's just a tease of what's to come. Can't wait to hear more - get some rest.

Robin's Nesting Place said...

Sounds like you all had a great time! I'm enjoying hearing the details and seeing the pictures.

Gail said...

Diana, I totally agree the alliums were everywhere and looking gorgeous, too. The planters at the CBG kept calling me back to look at them...gorgeous and fun color combinations that might be replicated if only we could get the troughs! Your photos of the CBG are lovely...we needed a whole day there to see all there was to see! The poppies were spectacular... gail

Layanee said...

Happy to hear you made it home safely and the garden is well tended as well as the refrigerator! Loved meeting you and will so enjoy seeing more of your pictures!

Jean said...

I'm afraid I've got lots of allium photos too! I think it's from flower envy - I kept wondering if I could grow them. Maybe I should heed your experience with them as a warning?? It was great meeting you and I hope to see you at the next fling!

Annie in Austin said...

Hi Diana - sounds (and looks) as if you had a terrific time, even though suffering from a little reverse zone envy. Although it's true that there are many, many plants we can grow outside in Austin that won't live in Illinois, do they balance out the numbers that hate our weather? Been thinking about that question for nearly 10 years and still don't know who gets the short end of the deal.

Welcome back!


Linda/Patchwork said...

Sounds like everybody had a great time. Love all the beautiful pictures.

Ms. Wis./Each Little World said...

Still find it hard to adjust to the differences in what we can grow in all the different places where we garden. I, of course, never noticed the bluebonnets but could not get enough of the alliums. Lovely to meet you and I'll be reading your blog with a new appreciation!

rambleonrose said...

Hi Diana,
It was great to meet you this past weekend! I'm with MMG that alliums should be the official flower of the Fling. It's fitting, though. The name "Chicago" is derived from a Native American name for a particular allium, A. triccocum (aka wild leek).

Bonnie said...

welcome back! Looks awesome and I love hearing all about it. any talk on location for next year?

Pam/Digging said...

Diana, you were a marvelous traveling partner. Thanks for your company! I'm enjoying your SF pics and look forward to seeing more.

Diana said...

MMD - You're right - those alliums should be the star of the show. Just wish I could grow them. Make sure you post me some pictures when yours are in bloom!

Carol -- the alliums were a rare treat for me. I'm so glad you saw so many things you could grow in your garden -- I can't wait to see what all you plant now that you're home!

Janet -- glad to bring you along with us!

GetGrounded -- There's more up now...and scattered all over, too. I can barely keep up with my posting, much less reading them all, but I don't want to miss anything! How are your daylilies?

Robin -- We missed you and talked about you! I told Carol and Lisa that I am coming to IN in August and I'm going to show up at y'all's doorsteps! (Just kidding -- but I would love to see your gardens)

Gail -- those planters were some of my favorites, too. I love vibrant colors and bright combinations with contrasts. I guess you'd say I have a pretty "hot" garden - in more ways than one! So much fun to hang out with you again, Gail.

Layanee - Yes, I am eating well and giving away food, even. It was so fun to spend time with you at the Fling. I can't wait for the next one!

Jean -- it was great to meet you, too. Oh, plant the #$*@% alliums! That's my motto - try anyway. Which means I fail a lot, but that's ok~

Annie - Reverse Zone Envy, huh? That's what I have alright! I so love Austin, I guess I will just have to visit the north periodically to get my fill of those "other" plants!

Linda -- We had a great time and it's fun to blog about it and get to relive some of those great memories and stories and photos all over again. It's like a two-fer!

Diana said...

Linda -- it was so much fun -- glad you are having fun on the "photo tour!"

Lisa at Greenbow said...

It was such fun meeting you. I noticed the alliums too. I can't seem to grow them in my garden either. Too much shade I guess.

Diana said...

Ms. Wis/Ea Little Word: In spite of the differences, there are still a lot of things we have in common, too. I loved learning all about new plants and techniques, didn't you?

RambleonRose -- It was great to meet you and spend the weekend hanging out with you. Thanks so much for the tidbit about the origins of the name Chicago. NOW it makes sense why there are alliums all over!

Bonnie - we had a ball. Missed ya -- you'll have to start planning now for next year's -- I'll email you more later.

Pam -- so many pictures, so little time, right?!!

Lisa -- Well, I would have thought you could grow alliums ... guess that's just another thing we have in common!