April 5th, 2008

Zanthan Gardens meadow

Friday dawned with a heavy downpour. So much for the promise of fine Texas weather that we used to lure all the northerners and midwesterners down for Spring Fling. Pam/Digging had arranged for the four of us to visit the beautiful gardens of Jenny Stocker. Go see her photos. They’re amazing. As was the garden. As was Jenny.

The official start of Spring Fling, our dinner party at Matt’s El Rancho, felt like a giant family reunion, even though this was the first time most of us garden bloggers had ever met. And yet we knew each other. For years we’ve shared the daily joys and sometime tribulations of our gardens. Talk immediately turned to weather, soil, seeds started, plants failed, and plans realized. Although we spoke the same gardening language, we often did so with different accents. Some say to-may-to; others to-mah-to. (Lirope? Basil? Crinum? Cercis?) Carol spoke botanical Latin while Annie held firm to the ecclesiastical pronunciation of her youth. And let’s not even mention my inability to pronounce the name of any rose I grow; they’re all French.

Being bloggers as well as gardeners, most of our conversations included references to each other’s posts, all that accumulated detail that made us feel like old friends–old friends who in many cases had never seen the other’s face, or knew the other’s real name, or occupation.

Gardening has always had a tradition of friendship through correspondence. One of the most famous, between Elizabeth Lawrence and Katherine White almost did not survive their meeting in person. Among the garden bloggers, however, I sense an immediate comraderie. This experience is so beyond what any of us envisioned when Pam tossed the idea out at us last December.

I’m running on pure adrenaline right now. Must dash off for the real beginning of Spring Fling.

by M Sinclair Stevens

13 Responses to post “Culmination”

  1. From our friend Ben in Pennsylvania:

    This is so delightful, MSS! (Despite the inevitable rain.) To quote Mr. Yeats’s “Lapis Lazuli,” “I delight to imagine them seated there,” or, in this case, to imagine you all exploring gardens together and getting to know each other.

    Perfect quote. Mr. Yeats knew a thing or two didn’t he? — mss

  2. From linda:

    MSS, It sounds wonderful to be in such excellent company. Your excitement comes through in your words. I’m enjoying Spring Fling vicariously!

    Thanks. It’s been extraordinary. — mss

  3. From Kim:

    I’m glad to hear that you’re all having a good time, MSS! I can’t wait to hear more about your group adventures.

    Reports from everyone should be popping up as soon as people get back to their blogs (and have a little sleep). Pam/Digging is going to compile a summary list of all the Garden Blogger Spring Fling posts; Spring Flingers, remember to send Pam your links. — mss

  4. From meems:

    I came over from Pam’s blog. I’m so enjoying hearing about the Spring Fling through the attenders.Very exciting stuff. It makes sense it would feel just like you’ve both described it…much like a family reunion and yet many members from distances needing names and faces to be recalled/refreshed. I know you are all having a blast right about now… can’t wait to hear the rest.
    meems @Hoe&Shovel

    Garden Bloggers Spring Fling has been an incredible experience that far exceeded any of the expectations of those of us who planned it. We’re happy and amazed and the number of people who were able to join us. — mss

  5. From kerri:

    Thanks for giving us an idea of how the Spring Fling adventure has been so far. Your excitement shines through your words, and it all sounds wonderful. Pam’s photos of that glorious garden are a real treat. Reading about how much fun you’re all having getting to know one another is the next best thing to being there.

    I’m sure today will be even more exciting. Have fun you all!

    Thanks. Now that it is all over, I can report back and said we had a blast! More posts and photos to come. — mss

  6. From Sean:

    Sounds cool, I recently met Trey at Golden Gecko, a fellow blogger, who was at a plant sale with me. It is really exciting to meet these folks that you share ideas, thoughts and points of view with for such a while.

    It is fun. I was trying to explain the feeling of instant comraderie to my son and he said it sounded like a Star Trek convention. If they’re “Trekkies” does that make us “Bloggies”? — mss

  7. From Curtis:

    Sounds great to of been there. Maybe next year there will be some new faces to meet. I plan on going next time.

    Hmmm. Next time? — mss

  8. From Sherry from the Zoo In Indy:

    What a fun time for all of you! I bet it was interesting to put blogs with faces and real names. It’s amazing how close you can grow to those whose blogs you follow.

    It’s true. Many of the garden bloggers know more about my daily life than some members of my family who don’t read my blog regularly. — mss

  9. From Carol, May Dreams Gardens:

    What a great event. I am so glad I went and met you and everyone in person. Gardening, and garden blogging, will not be quite the same now.

    That’s a beautiful picture of your garden, by the way.

    I’m glad we had some quiet time together in it before I became too exhausted to show people around. — mss

  10. From Annie in Austin:

    My brain is still whirling, MSS – it was wonderful.

    Trekkies, huh… maybe that’s why the word CULT is at the center of horticulture. The way I type it could be Pekkies.

    My brain is whirling too! I’m exhausted but I can’t sleep. — mss

  11. From Pam/Digging (Austin):

    I like the way you tie the Spring Fling to the tradition of letters between gardening friends. Meeting in person brought us a big step beyond letters, didn’t it? Like you, I believe it will cement our online friendships.

    I do, too. I felt like I already knew so many Spring Flingers but meeting them face-to-face adds another dimension. I didn’t realize how much difference it would make. I need to go update my sidebar. — mss

  12. From Frances:

    So glad to have bonded with Mr. Peeps, we really hit it off. And so glad to have met you and see your wild and wonderful garden, which is just like you!

    Mr. Peeps was pretty upset that he couldn’t go home with you. He also developed a crush on Mr. McGregor’s Daughter. He is rather fickle in his affections, I’m afraid. — mss

  13. From Dawn:

    It’s true! I desperately searched for the name of the person’s blog rather than their name, then said, “Oh! I know you!” 🙂

    BTW, thanks for letting me hold Mr. Peeps for a while as well. I see he really got around. Heehee!


    He was such a flirt. — mss