Ornamental and edible gardening adventures.

Hanging with my tribe: Why I love to attend the Garden Bloggers Fling

Three years ago, without really knowing what I was getting into, I joined a merry band of garden bloggers.

I had attended my first Garden Bloggers Fling, an annual gathering for garden bloggers from the United States, Canada and England. For each fling, a designated group of garden bloggers (also known as the fling committee) host and welcome between 80-90 garden bloggers and industry professionals to tour the best private and public gardens their area has to offer.

Three years ago the event was held in the Capital region (Virginia, Maryland and Washington D.C.). Last year it was Austin, Texas. This year it was Denver, Colorado. (This was the 11th Garden Bloggers Fling.)

The Denver fling was my third. Picture an action-packed itinerary and lots of cameras. Many of the gardens that are featured on fling tours are drool-worthy. They contain wonderful plant pairings, whimsical touches, and different ways you can use plants in your garden. (For example, I learned that I definitely baby columbine too much after seeing it used repeatedly in blazing sun conditions.)

But here's what else I've learned in the last three years.

A major part of touring great gardens is so much fun because of the people I am with.

In Denver, not only did I meet lots of new garden bloggers, but I saw familiar faces from past flings as well. The people who attend are talented, thoughtful — often times hilarious — and above all else, super friendly.

Authors Pam Penick and Kylee Baumle enjoy the front porch vibes at a garden stop on the third day of the fling.

Garden bloggers take in a meadow planting at one of our private garden stops. 

We have a pretty awesome raffle. This year two of the fling sponsors were Botanical Interests Seeds and Proven Winners. 

Deep down, I consider myself to be an introvert, but when I attend the flings, I feel comfortable to be myself.

I mingle easily and chat about flowers, veggies ... anything really. The fling usually starts on a Thursday evening followed by three action-packed days. They fly by.

We all take photos. We all take notes. We all talk — a lot. When the buses leave in the morning, there's a buzz of excitement for the day to come.

Waiting patiently to enter a private garden. 

We also know how to have fun. We not only give the paparazzi treatment to flora, but we also stalk the fauna we encounter as well, whether it be huge bumblebees or resident cats and dogs.

A bumblebee on 'Rocky Mountain' penstemon in Colorado.

The Garden Bloggers Fling is the perfect excuse to travel with other garden enthusiasts. But in the past three years, it has become more than just a destination gardening event where I find inspiration from talented gardeners featured in the fling.

What I love most about the fling is the automatic connection I share with other garden bloggers thanks to our shared passion for gardening.

Want to read more about this year's fling? Click here to see the list of posts (it's updated regularly).

If you have a garden blog and want more info on how you can attend a future fling, click here to read the attendance guidelines.


  1. Well said, Jen...You've captured Fling wonderfully. I am so glad you decided to become a regular Garden Flinger!

  2. Couldn’t agree with you more, Jen! Rightfully captured. I am so, so glad you have become a regular Fling attendee. Look forward to laughing with you on the next Fling.

    1. :-) Thanks! I'm looking forward to it, too!

  3. Nailed it, Jen! Your photographs and energy--always--are so very inspiring! So glad to have met you!

  4. Excellent summary! I'm suspicious of people who go to Flings and don't have fun! How is that even possible? I'm not sure when I'll be at a Fling again but I'll show up at some point!


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