Sunday, April 6, 2008

It's a Spring Fling Thing

Copyright © 2007-2008. Suburban Wildlife Garden. All Rights Reserved.

I had a pleasant time meeting Garden Bloggers from around the country at the 2008 Spring Fling here in Austin. I didn't get a chance to talk with everyone, but the Bloggers I did speak with were very kind. Thank you to Pam, Diana, MSS and Bonnie for doing all the heaving lifting (and a special thanks again to Pam & MSS for inviting us into your homes and gardens)... and thanks to the out-of-towners for coming all the way to Austin to make this happen.

The Fling started for me on Saturday when I joined with the group's tour -- already in progress -- at the Lady Bird Wildflower Center. Here are some photos I took of the plants and hardscapes we looked at...

I was very happy to meet Susan Wittig Albert and purchase two of her autographed books. [Mysteriously, I saw a beautiful garden nymph climb out of a cage just as we were leaving the center, but perhaps it was my imagination...?]

The Flingers had a delicious lunch at Nuevo León and enjoyed an eloquent talk by KLRU's Tom Spencer.

After lunch we drove to my favorite nursery, The Natural Gardener, where several people found botanical goodies. It was all I could do to not purchase something, but I will likely go back and buy one of these beaded animals soon. They are too cool!

Next stop was a tour of James David & Gary Peese's magnificent gardens. To see a map of the property click here. My photos do not do them justice, but here is a brief tour...

My son would love this collection of fossils.

When we stepped into the garden I said "Now I know how the kids felt when they were let loose in Wonkaland." I half-expected Gene Wilder to start singing "Pure Imagination".

Visions of my therapy pool are dancing in my head...

Looking back up towards the house you can see the Flingers are enjoying the garden.

In my next life I'd like to come back as a bird in this garden.

This table is ready for a Feast.

They do have a pitch of lawn with a vista.

There are beautiful pots throughout the property.

I love this grouping of succulents...

No idea what these cool 'tongue-looking' succulents were among the poppies...

More poppies...

Bill & I went to visit the chickens.

Yes, I loved the chickens.

You may also want to watch this cool KLRU video with James David...

Check out some of the other blogs to see more of the social photos. Unfortunately my camera's battery lost power after the David/Peese Garden, but there was a lovely tour of MSS's garden, a Happy Hour at Pam's house and then a dinner at the County Line.

Thanks again to everyone for all your hard work and kindness. Happy Gardening!

"You don't have to garden just for yourself. You have to share it."...Augusta Carter

Copyright © 2007-2008. Suburban Wildlife Garden. All Rights Reserved.


Anonymous said...

The "tongue-looking succulents" are some type of kalanchoe, I think.

Thanks for your summary of the day, Dawn. I agree, James David's garden is like something out of a dream. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Your post is full of wonders. Just beautiful. I don't know how you can hardly stand to see all this beauty all in one weekend. I like the chickens too. I have always wanted some. This looks like the perfect setup.

Annie in Austin said...

Hi Dawn,

Your photos remind me of all these great places [although, very sadly, I missed the chickens]. Maybe I'll get to the Cottage Tales but for now am still happy with China Bayles.

Instead of fruitlessly wishing my camera had worked, I can now visit this post and pretend it's my Spring Fling album ;-]

I hopped from car to car and was glad one of those 'hops' was with you. The conversations while in transit from one location to the next weren't on the schedule, but they sure were great fun!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Dawn said...

Dear Pam,
Thank you for the name of that unique succulent. I think the day was enjoyable because it was planned so well. Kudos to you, Pam! :-)

Hi Lisa!
You're exactly right. It may sound overly dramatic, but the garden is so beautiful it almost broke my heart. Simply breath-taking.

Of course, the chickens were great fun as well and living in relative luxury. I turn into a little kid when animals show up.

Hello Annie!
So sorry about your camera. Bad luck. Please use my photos anytime. I may have taken some of you AAMOF. If so I'll e-mail them to you ASAP.

I'm very glad you could ride with me. You're always good fun to be with my friend. And if it wasn't for you I'd still be looking for the James David Garden. ;-)


herself said...

Those are wonderful pictures!

It was great meeting you at the fling and I'm looking forward to reading your blog and learning more about wildlife gardening.

Anonymous said...

"kids let loose in Wonkaland"

That's the perfect image of our garden-mad group.

Thanks for all your help both with serving drinks to the bedraggled group at my house and in passing out cake at the farewell dinner.

PS. Great photos!

Robin (Bumblebee) said...

What a fabulous bunch of photos. You were busy!

I wish we had more of a chance to talk. So little time...

Let's catch up in Chicago, okay?

Robin at Bumblebee

Dawn said...

Thanks Herself!
I am definitely a work in progress when it comes to wildlife gardening. But I do have my dreams. :-)

At least I didn't start nibbling at the hardscape. Okay, now I'm just being silly. Heh heh!

Hello Robin,
Thanks! Yes, I wish we'd been able to visit a bit more. Chicago sounds like good fun though. There's so much to see & do there. We'd definitely get a chance to talk in the Windy City.


Anonymous said...

Hi Dawn! It's been so fun making the rounds of the blogs of all who attended and reading about your experiences. It sounds like you had an amazing time. How sad that your camera's batteries wore out, but it looks like you caught some great shots while they were still cooperating. Thanks for sharing them.

By the way, congratulations on completing your first full year of blogging. May there be many more.

Brianna said...

It was great to meet you, Dawn. I enjoyed your photos of James David's garden--I can see that there's a lot that I didn't even see when we there.

cjanov said...

Hi Dawn,

Loved your post and your pictures. It was almost like reliving the day all over again! And what a great day it was. Thanks for sharing all your photos.


A wildlife gardener said...

I love the natural look of the first garden and the soul ans romance in the next one :)

The video told of his philosophy with pictures to illustrate his ideas...very interesting :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Dawn,
It was lovely to meet you at Spring Fling! I really enjoyed chatting with you at Pam's happy hour.

Your pictures are lovely -- I was another unable to take any, so thanks! I also really liked the the bead animals. I think my favorites were the chameleons and the dragonflies.

Mary said...

Dawn, it must have been fabulous to meet everyone and enjoy the beautiful gardens together. Your photos show just how "summerlike" it is in Texas - I noticed people wearing sleeveless tanks and shorts!

Thanks for sharing such a pretty view!

Anonymous said...

What kind of chickens were those again Dawn? I forgot what you told me.

Dawn said...

Thanks Nan!
Yes, I had a lot of fun. It was a bit of a bummer for my camera to wimp out on me after the David/Peese Garden, but other people took such great shots afterwards I need not worried.

Hello Brianna
Meeting you was my pleasure as well. Just visited your blog and saw your cool photos. Loved those voodoo lilies, but sounds like their smell was infamous. ;-)

Hi Carol,
I wish you could have joined us. It was lovely!

Hello Wildlife Gardener
Yes, I was glad to find the YouTube video with James David. Pam at Digging had linked to it previously, but I'd missed it. If you ever come to Austin Texas you'll have to at least see the Wildflower Center. It's a beautiful place.

Dear Anneliese
So glad to have met you as well. You were a joy to talk with at Pam's. And I also enjoyed visiting with your brother at dinner.

As for the beaded critters: I'm hoping they still have some hummingbirds left when I get down there this weekend.

Hello Mary!
The weather was nice and warm last weekend. I was very comfortable. The only thing that would have made the Spring Fling more perfect would have been for you to have been there. :-)

Hi Bill!
I looked up the chickens on and found that I was totally wrong (Hey, it happens! Heh.) I thought they were Polish Chickens, but Frances at Faire Garden named the little walking fluff-balls as "Silkies" and she is definitely right. Oh and the chicken with no feathers on the neck is called a "Turken or Naked Neck" according to the Mcmurray Hatchery folks.


kate said...

I have enjoyed reading the different accounts of Spring Fling. The David-Peese gardens are spectacular. Getting to meet other garden bloggers must have been the best thing of all!

Gail said...

Wow, I was there and didn't see some of the sights you saw! Thanks for taking me back! I loved the video!


Anonymous said...

hi Dawn, it sounds as though you all had a great time. We have a garden forum over here in Germany and some of us in the area meet several times a year which is always lots of fun. Andrea

A wildlife gardener said...

Hi again, Dawn. How're things with you? Fancy a game of Hokey Cokey? You will need a wiggly tail though...

Kathy said...

You took a lot of good photos. Where did you find the map of the garden that you link to?

Dawn said...

Hi Kate,
It really was a joy to meet some of the garden bloggers & put a face to the blog name. To do that in a setting like the David/Peese Garden is a bit dream-like I must admit. :-)

Hello Gail,
I love the shot of the Voodoo Lily that you caught at the David/Peese Garden.

Dear Andrea,
Your garden forum sounds great. How nice to have a group to meet & share with.

Hi Wildlife Gardener,
I'd love to play a game of Hokey Cokey! I just saw your video of the tadpoles. Wow! That's a lot of wiggling. You're going to have an abundance of croaking in your pond very soon. How cool! :-)

Thanks Kathy,
The map is on page two of the Southern Accent article that I linked to just before the map. Here's the article link:

BTW, I hope you had a Happy B-day. :-)


CFN said...

Thanks for the fantastic photos and information, Dawn! I've really enjoyed reading back through the archives and watching the typical suburban garden transform into a beautiful garden. I hope you don't mind, but I've put a link to your blog from my own, TwentySquare Feet. Your posts on the container water garden were very helpful!

Michelle (The Beartwinsmom) said...

LOVED the pics, Dawn. It really makes me miss Austin.

BTW, I tagged you for a meme. :-) You can check it out here:

Libbys Blog said...

What an amazing garden, and such adorable chickens!
A very enjoyable post thank you for sharing it with us!

A wildlife gardener said...

Had another look at your post...and love the pots with the succulents :)

We have some new visitors waiting to make your acquaintance at Barleycorn, Dawn :)

Libbys Blog said...

Hope you are OK as you haven't posted for awhile?

Dawn said...

Welcome Ciara!
Thanks for the add. My garden has a long way to go, but I'm enjoying the journey. :-)

Hello Michelle!
Thanks for the tag, my friend. I've been away from my computer, but should be able to participate soon.

Hi Wildlife Gardener
I'll be sure to drop by Barleycorn as soon as I'm houseguest-free.

Dear Libby,
I'm hanging in there. I've been a bit overwhelmed with doctors & teachers. I now have house-guests, but hope to add a blog entry soon. There are several in my head.


A wildlife gardener said...

Hi Dawn. Hope you and your son are well :) Would you like to chill out in the garden at Barleycorn...and sit by the pond and listen to the blackbird singing to you ?