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!"

Ok.

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.