Registration is now open! To register, fill out this APPLICATION, and we’ll send you the link to the registration portal. The 2020 Madison Garden Bloggers Fling aims to showcase diverse gardens and gardening styles found in the Madison area, and leave you with great memories and new inspirations. We’ve included tours of exceptional private gardens and some of the best public gardens in our area. Our preliminary itinerary, also shared on the 2020 Madison tab above, includes many, but not all, of the gardens that we will visit:
Madison Garden Bloggers Fling
June 18 – 21, 2020
Madison Fling Co-Coordinators
Any questions? Feel free to contact us: email@example.com
Get ready to Fling in Madison, Wisconsin! The Madison area is a meeting place: It’s roughly where the Eastern hardwood forests meet the prairies; where the edge of the glaciers morphed the land and melted, leaving a series of five lakes; and where garden bloggers will meet in 2020 for the Garden Bloggers Fling! While the soil in the area varies somewhat, Dane County soil is among the most productive in North America. Many gardeners here are blessed with excellent silt loam soil as a base for their plantings. While Wisconsin is America’s Dairyland, the state also ranks first in the nation for snap peas for processing, cranberries, ginseng, mink pelts, dry whey for humans, milk goats, and corn for silage, among other crops. So, it’s an excellent place to grow things! And an excellent place to gather and visit gardens together!
Plan to join us for three full days of garden touring, plus an opening event Thursday, June 18, afternoon/evening. Please check here for eligibility guidelines. More details on the hotel, registration, gardens, special events, sponsors, and more, will be posted here in the weeks ahead. All announcements will be posted on this blog and on the official Fling Facebook page. Just to tease you with a preliminary itinerary (times and places may change):
Friday, June 19, we’ll start out visiting private gardens and then we’ll enjoy lunch, a short presentation, and tours at the UW-Madison Arboretum, home to distinct garden collections, including horticultural gardens, prairie and woodland restorations, a native plant garden, and more. In the afternoon, we’ll visit more private gardens, and then head to Epic Systems for a tour of the company’s very unique outdoor gardens, led by Jeff Epping, one of the Epic gardens lead landscape designers.
Saturday, June 20, enjoy a leisurely walk around the Wisconsin State Capitol building at the Dane County Farmers Market, America’s largest producers-only farmers’ market. Then we’ll load the buses for a delicious brunch before visiting the award-winning Olbrich Botanical Gardens, voted one of the top 10 most inspiring gardens in North America by Horticulture Magazine. We’ll round out the day with more private garden tours. (Our event banquet and auction likely will occur on Saturday. Stay tuned for updates.)
Sunday, June 21, begins with private garden tours and a trip to The Flower Factory, Wisconsin’s premiere hardy plant nursery, featuring a large selection of perennials, hostas, and ornamental grasses. Next, we’ll take a quick drive to Janesville, Wisconsin, to visit Rotary Botanical Gardens, a 20-acre botanical showcase. Private gardens and our final destination—Allen Centennial Garden, in the heart of Madison—will conclude the 2020 Fling. You’ll want to stick around until the very end, because we have a special surprise planned at Allen Centennial.
When Does Registration Open?
Now! When Should I Arrive? We recommend arriving on Wednesday, June 17, or, at the latest, by mid-afternoon on Thursday, June 18, so you can attend the Fling welcome event, pick up your name tag and swag bag, and settle in. The Fling ends on Sunday, June 21, with a special surprise that you won’t want to miss! We’ll have you back to the hotel by early evening. We recommend departing on Monday, June 22. (To be safe, hold off on making any noncancellable reservations until after you’re registered.) Of course we hope many of you will come early or stay later to see more of Madison’s attractions. Stay tuned: We’ll highlight many of them in the weeks ahead!
When you arrive in Madison—a vibrant cultural hub of art, music, food, and more—you’ll be staying at the Concourse Hotel and Governor’s Club, located at 1 West Dayton Street, Madison, WI, 53703. This is where we’ll board our buses every morning and drop off at the end of the day.
Downtown Madison is known for easy walk-ability, bike paths for miles, delightful festivals, an awe-inspiring farmers’ market, dozens of live music venues, world-class restaurants, and art museums—all nestled on an isthmus between two sapphire lakes and steps from the Concourse Hotel. The hotel is also located just a short walking distance from the pedestrian-only State Street, the State Capitol, and the waterfront summer hangout Memorial Union Terrace. The entire isthmus is a busy, vibrant area full of opportunities to explore and enjoy!
Each room at the Concourse has complimentary wifi access, making it easy to check in on social media and connect with friends and family. An indoor pool and fitness center are also available if you’re so inclined. You’ll find contemporary American dining at the CIRC restaurant, which crafts seasonal dishes featuring ingredients from local farmers and producers. The Bar, located on the first floor near the lobby, offers an extensive wine list, an impressive craft beer selection, and artisan cocktails. In addition, a full-service Starbucks is adjacent to the lobby. The Concourse offers gathering spaces throughout the lobby—perfect for relaxing and catching up with other Flingers.
State Street is just around the corner from the hotel, and you’ll want to explore this seven-block, bustling pedestrian thoroughfare for shopping, dining, or simply people-watching. We’re also planning some time on Saturday morning to explore the Dane County Farmers’ Market, conveniently located on the tree-lined grounds surrounding the Wisconsin State Capitol building, near the hotel. We’ll be blogging about all of this in much more detail as we get closer to the Fling. If you’re planning on an extended stay, we’ll also provide information about additional plant shopping, garden visiting, sightseeing, and entertainment opportunities in Madison and the surrounding area. Consider adding a day or two on the front or the end of the Fling dates. Our reserved (limited number of rooms) room rate is $189/night for single and double; $199 for triple; and $209 for quad. At registration time, you’ll have access to the special rates.
Getting to the Hotel Driving: If you’ll be driving to Madison, hotel parking is available for a special rate for our group of $10 USD daily; valet parking $20 USD daily. Max height 6′. Our official Fling hotel is the Madison Concourse Hotel. Flying: If you’ll be flying to Madison, The Concourse provides complimentary airport shuttle service between the airport and the hotel; simply call the hotel when you’re ready for pick-up. We do not recommend renting a car during the Fling tour days (June 19-21) because we’ll be busing you everywhere. A rental car will be useful, however, if you’ll be staying in the Madison area longer and exploring beyond the downtown area. Other options for getting from the airport to the hotel: >Rideshare options include Carmel, Uber, and Lyft. >Taxis can be hailed outside baggage claim, on the lower level. Estimated fare is $25 USD one way. >More options can be found on the airport’s ground transportation page.