Garden bloggers, come Fling in D.C.

On October 15 (that’s today), registration opens for the 2017 Garden Bloggers Fling in Washington, D.C. and the Capital Region. My sister Sarah and I are both gonna be there, and we hope to see you there, too.

We’ve written before about why we Fling. So much of it is the people we’ve met, some are now friends for life. We’ve also told you that the Fling is an exceptional deal, all volunteer organized and run, and supported by sponsors.

Now, I’m going to stress the amazing gardens we get to visit in each Fling city. This post shows a few from past Flings – beginning, above, with Minnesota’s Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden from the 2016 Minneapolis Fling. Here are a few other Minneapolis gardens we saw. The gardens in the Capital Region promise to be just as wonderful!

2010 Buffalo Fling

Buffalo was our first Fling, and Sarah and I were firmly hooked (and became huge Buffalo boosters). So many wonderful gardens! Too many to include, but you’ll get a hint from the two below and the slide show here.

Cursor over any image (or touch it via mobile) to see the captions, or click any image for a slide show of this post.

2011 Seattle Fling

Most Flings have a huge diversity of gardens, and the Seattle Fling was no exception. When you Fling, there really is something for every taste. Search our blog for “Seattle” to get a bigger picture.

The lovely Japanese garden at the Bloedel Reserve
2012 Asheville Fling

In Asheville, NC, we experienced everything from the imaginative quirkiness of Christopher Mello’s garden, below, to the grandeur of the Biltmore Estate. Find some posts here. All Flings nicely balance private and public, small and major gardens – I know Tammy and her team have cool stuff planned for us in and around D.C.

2013 San Francisco Fling

We’ve written about many of the spectacular gardens we saw in San Francisco. But one of the side benefits of going to new places with the Fling is the chance to stay longer and visit sites that couldn’t be squeezed into an already full itinerary. That’s how four of us, including UK’s The Patient Gardener Helen Johnstone, got to ferry over to Alcatraz to see the gardens restored by The Garden Conservancy. Can you make out the Golden Gate Bridge in the shot at left?

2014 Portland Fling

Each Fling not only showcases the uniqueness of each city, it seems to raise the bar higher. The Portland Fling was both unforgettable and a little terrifying for the organizers (such as us) of the next Fling in Toronto.

But, no matter where we Fling, a fun perk is getting to meet bloggers we’ve come to know online, and often to see their gardens. like we did in Portland with Loree of The Danger Garden. (Tammy’s garden is on the program for D.C.)

2015 Toronto Fling

Even Fling organizers get to be surprised by the places on our itinerary. For the Toronto Fling, our optional extra day in Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake gave us all peeks into brand new gardens.

It was hard to choose which gardens to showcase. I’ve left so many out, and still have Fling gardens to write about. My photo library overflows with ideas and inspiration from all over North America, thanks to the Fling. And my address book and Facebook friends list is like a roll call of excellent gardeners and fun people I wouldn’t otherwise have met.

Can you tell I like Flinging? Have a look at the Garden Bloggers Fling website. Maybe we’ll see you next June in D.C.?


  1. Ha, I have so many Fling gardens left on my ‘To do’ list, including plenty from Toronto! I love Flinging too, and I’ve always wanted to go to DC… just need the £ to rally against the $.. and I’ll sign up in a heartbeat!

    1. Yes, the Canadian dollar is weak at the moment, too, but I’m biting the bullet. Hope you can manage it, VP.

  2. This will be my third Fling and I can hardly wait! I have learned so much, made so many new friends, and had so much fun – a true all inclusive package! And it really is an incredible value, even for those of us that have to deal with less then stellar exchange rates.

    My only regret is that I didn’t start blogging sooner so that I could have joined in the fun earlier 🙂 Wonderful post, Helen – you hit pretty much every nail on the head.

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