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Austin Fling 2018 itinerary, a preview

What will the Austin Garden Bloggers Fling next May 3-6, 2018, look like, and what will attendees see and do? Although registration won’t open until November (update: it’s now open) and details are still being worked out, we can share our working itinerary with you now! Here’s the current plan:

Thursday, May 3 – Welcome Party

We encourage everyone to arrive early enough on Thursday (or even better, on Wednesday) to attend our kickoff Welcome Party, to be held at downtown’s Central Library within walking distance of the official Fling hotel, from 6 to 8 pm. We’ll be serving fajitas, and we’ll be giving an especially warm welcome to all the new Flingers joining us.

Friday, May 4 – Wildflower Center and Garden Tours in Southwest Austin

We’ll start the morning at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, a groundbreaking botanical garden and research center featuring only plants that are native to Texas. An early bus will leave around 7:30 am for those who sign up for a photography workshop led by Austin-owned Precision Camera. This will be a great opportunity to hone your garden photography skills, plus enjoy extra time in the garden. (Be sure to sign up on the registration form if you’d like to attend, as spots may be limited.) Those who want to sleep in will join us in the garden at 9 am.

We’ll take our group photo here, and then you’ll tour the Wildflower Center either on a docent-led tour or on your own.

Next we’ll visit designer Diana Kirby’s garden. Diana, lead planner of the Austin Fling and blogger at Sharing Nature’s Garden, has a large garden with a tropical flair, especially around her beautiful backyard cabana and pool.

Microb Brewery at The Natural Gardener nursery

For lunch we’ll head to The Natural Gardener, a destination nursery with a farmyard vibe thanks to chicken coops and display gardens featuring edibles, herbs, and fruit trees. They have a terrific succulent and cactus selection too. Other fun display gardens include a butterfly-shaped pollinator garden, a tepee and labyrinth, and a garden shaped like Willie Nelson’s famous guitar, Trigger. We’ll eat lunch under their big tent and will have shopping time in the nursery and gift shop.

After lunch, we’ll see the last two gardens of the day: a contemporary garden filled with grasses, agave, and yucca defined by architectural steel retaining walls, and the acclaimed English-meets-Southwest garden of Jenny Stocker, also known by her blog name Rock Rose.

Dinner this evening will be on your own.

Fowler Garden

Saturday, May 5 – Garden Tours in Midtown and North Austin

We’ll have lunch in the art-filled garden of Donna and Mike Fowler in Hutto, just northeast of Austin, and then explore the fun garden that surrounds their 100-year-old home.

After lunch we’ll tour Tanglewild Gardens, a Morocco- and Thailand-influenced garden whose owners are also passionate daylily hybridizers.

Dinner this evening will be a banquet dinner at the hotel. Expect fun socializing, a special celebration of the Fling’s 10th anniversary, and a raffle with giveaways from our generous sponsors, plus a presentation about the 2019 Fling!

Prehistoric Garden at Zilker Botanical Garden

Sunday, May 6 – Garden Tours in Central and West Austin

We’ll tour three private gardens this morning: the beloved purple casita and Mexican-style cottage garden of author/designer Lucinda Hutson; the hilltop-with-a-view native garden of Ruthie Burrus; and the courtyard-style garden of Margie McClurg, designed by Jackson Broussard of Sprout.

Next we’ll head to Zilker Botanical Garden, where we’ll enjoy an indoor lunch in their garden center. After lunch, you’ll tour the gardens on your own or via docent-led tours of two special gardens: the Isamu Taniguchi Japanese Garden and the Hartman Prehistoric Garden.

After lunch we’ll visit two more private gardens: the canyon-side garden of landscape architect and native-plant lover Tait Moring; and the colorful hilltop garden of Kirk Walden, which features a killer view of Lake Austin and surrounding hills.

We’ll wrap up the fun that afternoon with a BBQ Bash with food, drinks, and — yes! — live music at Articulture, a fabulously creative indoor-gardening boutique with a relaxed back-yard event space. This is Austin-style socializing, and here we’ll say goodbye to friends old and new! Afterward, the buses will take everyone back to the hotel, and if you’re still hungry, dinner will be on your own, or maybe you’ll want to go hear some live music or enjoy a cocktail just down the street at the 1886 cattle-baron’s showpiece Driskill Hotel Bar.

Update 11/12/17: Registration is now open. Click here to find out how to attend Austin Fling!


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