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Minneapolis Fling Registration Is Now Open!

IT'S HERE!!!! The moment you've all been anxiously waiting for... Registration for the 2016 Garden Bloggers Fling in Minneapolis...

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Minneapolis Fling Intinerary Preview

Minnesota in summer
The Garden Bloggers Fling in Minneapolis is shaping up to be a fun event, where you'll see the wide range of Minnesota gardens, from historic city yards to unique rural gardens. We're still working out details (and we have a couple more gardens we hope to squeeze in), but here's a sneak peek at what you'll be enjoying in Minneapolis come July.

Boardwalk at Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden
(Yes, you can still sign up -- and we hope you do!)

Thursday, July 14
Welcome to Minnesota! If you are flying in, there is light rail service from both Twin Cities terminals (Lindbergh and Humphrey) to downtown. A cab ride will cost about $35. Check in at the Loew’s Hotel and join us for our Welcome Event (details to come).


DAY 1: Friday, July 15

Today we'll stay on the Minneapolis side of the Twin Cities. We start the day touring two beautiful public gardens near one of Minneapolis' famous lakes. First, we'll got to the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden, the oldest native-plant garden in the United States, established and designed by pioneering horticulturist Eloise Butler in 1907. The garden features woodland, wetland and prairie habitats and is home to more than 130 species of birds.

Bachman's Idea House arrangement
Noerenberg Gardens
Then, we ride around the lake to visit Lyndale Park Gardens, located just a short ride from Eloise Butler on the shores of Lake Harriet. The gardens include a rose collection, northern perennial garden and the Peace Garden, a small Japanese style garden that is a favorite among city residents seeking a moment of quiet or a beautiful place to take a picture.

While we are in south Minneapolis, we'll stop at two fabulous private gardens. Then, on to lunch hosted by Bachman’s, one of the oldest garden centers in the Twin Cities, known for its three-times a year makeovers of the old Bachman’s homestead into an “idea house.” We’ll enjoy a salad lunch, talk with Karen Bachman Thull about trends in gardening and have a chance to shop.

Refreshed, we'll board the buses for Noerenberg Memorial Gardens, on the shores of Lake Minnetonka. Built on the estate of Frederick Noerenberg, founder of Grain Belt Beer, the garden sits on Maxwell Bay and features formal and informal beds. Noerenberg will arrange to have gardeners in the garden to answer questions about the garden and its history.

We'll spend an hour at Noerenberg before taking a short ride to the private garden of Steve Kelley and Arla Carmichiel. Talk about a gardening power couple – Arla Charmichiel is the horticulturist at Noerenberg Gardens and her husband, Steve Kelly, owns Kelley and Kelley Nursery, an exceptional nursery only a short drive from the Noerenberg Gardens. We’ll have time to explore Arla and Steve’s beautiful private garden, and if you wish, you can walk across the street and see some of the unusual plants Kelley and Kelley offers.

We'll get you back to the hotel with plenty of time  to rest and freshen up before the Happy Hour sponsored by Garden Design magazine. Dinner is on your own and we'll have a list of nearby restaurants to check out. Or, if you are sports-minded, wander over to Target Field, where the Twins will be playing the Cleveland Indians!


DAY 2: Saturday, July 15

We go into the suburbs and the outskirts of Minneapolis to see the wide array of gardening styles.
Springwood Gardens
On our way, we'll stop at Vera's Garden, one of the many community gardens in the Twin Cities. This exceptional community garden backs up to the Midtown Greenway, a 5-mile bike route that runs through the heart of Minneapolis and is a favorite of both recreational and commuter bikers. The steep slopes on the side of the greenway have been shaped into ornamental and vegetable beds, largely by a crew of volunteers.

Next, we head to Hopkins and the lakes west of town to visit six private gardens in the western suburbs of the Twin Cities. These range from smaller yards in neighborhoods from the 1940s to large, park-like spaces. What the gardeners all have in common is that they are Master Gardeners. Along the way, we'll stop for a box lunch.

In the mid-afternoon, we'll visit to Springwood Gardens, the home of Karol Emmerich’s daylily breeding operation and display garden. The colors will amaze you as we visit this large daylily garden, filled with daylilies Karol has created as well as those she just loves. Home, Karol will greet, give a brief talk about her daylilies and then give time for photographing and enjoying the grounds, which are located on a wind swept hill above the prairie.

Our next stop is the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.  We'll have our group photo taken and have time to tour the arboretum, which is one of the largest in the Midwest.  The folks at the arboretum are planning some special presentations for us, but since this is such a large space, there will also be lots of time for you to explore the specialty gardens on your own to take photos. All the plants here look gorgeous and they all have identification tags! It’s a great opportunity to get those plant glamour shots for your blog.
Japanese Garden at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretym

Como Conservatory
We'll stay at the arboretum for our Fling Banquet, which will be a Minnesota-themed buffet dinner with drinks and lots of prizes and giveaways.


DAY 3: Sunday, July 17

Today, we go east to St. Paul and then into the wilds of Wisconsin

We start the day at Como Park Japanese Garden and Conservatory. This 100-year-old conservatory is the go-to refuge from winter cold in the Twin Cities. It features palms, banana trees and other tropical plants under an historic dome. Outside, we will have a chance to tour the park’s Japanese Garden with horticulturist Tina Dombrowski available to answer questions.

Then, we'll visit some of the beautiful private gardens of St. Paul, including Marge Hols' home garden. Marge is the dean of garden writers in St. Paul, and her home garden compliments beautifully the old-fashioned charm of her Summit Avenue home. If you have a few minutes after touring Marge’s garden, walk up and down Summit to see the old mansions (Minnesota’s Governor’s Mansion is about two blocks away.) We'll also see Lee and Jerry Shannon's garden. Named one of the five best gardens in the Twin Cities, this one is deceptive. From the front, the Shannons’ house looks like a typical bungalow on a city lot. But, behind it is a two-third acre plant haven, featuring a rock garden, a formal garden, a gazebo and an impressive conifer collection. Lee and Jerry are a delight and love sharing their garden with others.

Bailey's Display Garden is full of creative ideas.
Our next stop is for lunch at Bailey’s Display Garden. Meet the folks behind Easy Elegance roses, First Editions shrubs and perennials and Endless Summer hydrangeas. The Bailey family has been growing and selling plants in Minnesota (and far beyond!) for three generations. We’ll enjoy lunch in their lovely display garden in Cottage Grove.





After lunch, we'll visit Afton, a quaint river town that is home to Squire House Gardens, one of Minnesota's many independently owned garden shops. This one in tiny Afton is located in an old house with formal and casual gardens around it. Owner Martin Stern will share some of his favorite design tips. We may also have a few minutes to wander around Afton. Depart 2:20 for drive to Beldenville, Wis.

Lots of surprises at Woutrina De Raad's Garden
After this stop, we'll drive through western Wisconsin to Woutrina DeRaad's Mosaic Sculpture Park and Garden. We may have saved the best for last. This private garden and sculpture park is difficult to describe – it’s like stepping into another world. Riana, the owner and creator, is an artist in tile and in plants. We’ll have an hour to explore this amazing space.





We hope you'll join us for the Minneapolis Fling! Register today and stay tuned for more details to come.





Friday, April 1, 2016

Five Things to Know About Minnesota Gardeners

When your winters are long, you make your gardens big.

Those of us on the Minneapolis Garden Bloggers Fling planning committee are so excited to introduce bloggers around the country to our beautiful part of the world, but there are a few things you need to know before you come.

1) Gardeners here are ENTHUSIASTIC! Spending six months or more surrounded by snow does not quell the desire of Minnesotans to grow things. The gardens you will see are lush and layered. Community gardening is huge in the Twin Cities and we will be visiting one of the most unusual of these neighborhood gardens. It's on what is essentially a "bike freeway" through Minneapolis. Did you know Minneapolis, despite its climate, is rated the No. 3 best biking city by Bicycling Magazine?

2) All those things Garrison Keillor says about Minnesotans -- kind of true. "All the women are strong, the men are good-looking, and the children above average." At least, we think so. While Lake Woebegone is not a real place, it is based on one that is -- and I can tell you a very Keillor-esque story about the real place. Or, you can visit it, if you decide you want to extend your stay to explore Minnesota. And, that accent the Coen brothers made famous in Fargo? Yep, we got it.

Snow on May 2? Yep, it happens. Not it July.
3) Our winters are cold, but our summers are not. In fact, they are gorgeous. Be sure to bring a light jacket or sweater for the Fling, just in case we get a breeze. But also pack warm-weather clothing, a good hat and plenty of sunscreen. July can be warm.

Sunset on Lake Minnetonka
4) Land of 10,000 Lakes? Minnesota really has more lakes than that, and we will be visiting some gardens that are located on or near lakes. Having water in your backyard makes everything more beautiful, don't you think?

Rose trial garden at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, where roses are tested for hardiness.
5) Plant breeding is big here. Honeycrisp apples? Bred in Minnesota. Hosta breeder Hans Hansen? Got his start in Minnesota. Oso Happy® Smoothie™roses? Bred in Minnesota. Plant breeders in Minnesota have worked hard to develop grapes for the North, grasses for the North, chrysanthemums for cold climates, and fruits and berries of all kinds -- all suitable for cold-climates. Are you catching a theme here?

There are still spots open for the Minneapolis Fling, click here to register today! We hope you will join us!



Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Minneapolis Fling Preview: Cactus in Minnesota?

Prickly pear in bloom in the Shannon garden.
Believe it or not, Minnesota has a native cactus. The plains prickly pear, which sprouts a pretty, bright yellow flower in mid-summer, is native to our northern climate. Garden bloggers may get a chance to see this northern cactus in bloom at the garden of Lee and Jerry Shannon in St. Paul, which we will visit on Sunday, July 17.

The Shannons' L-shaped lot includes formal spaces, a conifer collection and a rock garden.
The Shannons' garden is tucked behind their house in the Highland Park neighborhood in St. Paul. From the front, the yard seems to be a standard city lot. But when you walk behind the house, a two-thirds of an acre oasis emerges. The Shannons' lot is shaped like an L with secret passages to walk along, a large raised rock garden and impeccably cared for perennials, annuals and shrubs.

The Shannon garden covers two-thirds of an acre, lushly planted.
The garden was named one of the five best gardens in Minnesota by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune in 2011, and we think you will agree this is a hidden gem, even with its prickly elements.

There are still spots open for the Minneapolis Fling, click here to register today! We hope you will join us!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Minneapolis Fling Preview: Riana's Sculpture Garden

One of the most spectacular gardens that we will visit during the Minneapolis Garden Bloggers Fling is the garden and sculpture park created and nurtured by Wouterina (Riana) de Raad in Beldenville, Wis., about 30 miles from the Twin Cities. This unique garden is so worth the drive that we had to take you to see it. It's like no other garden you have ever seen -- a large rural landscape filled with unusual sculptures, mysterious paths and lush plantings. Riana created it all.

A mosaic artist, Riana has planted large sculptures throughout her gardens: fish benches, huge birds, mermaids, larger than life human figures -- all done in brightly colored mosaics. Much of the furniture is also mosaic.

Riana's art is influenced by her childhood spent in Java, where she grew up the daughter of Dutch parents. She was a fiber artist until she moved to the farm, which had been previously occupied by potters. When they were unhappy with a piece, they would throw it against a tree. Riana picked up the pieces of their broken art and used them to create her garden. The garden is open two days a week during the summer. (She's opening it exclusively to our group on Sunday, the final day of the Fling.)

There are still spots available for the Minneapolis fling. Please register soon to reserve yours. 


Hiding behind the fleece flower, a pink flamingo

Monday, March 14, 2016

Minneapolis Fling: Who's Coming?




Wondering who's going to be coming to Minneapolis/St. Paul for the Fling this year? Here's the list of bloggers who have registered so far.

It's not too late to register and join your favorite garden bloggers... Register Here

Canada:


Helen Battersby                  Toronto Gardens
Margaret Mishra                 Homegrown-Adventures
Joanne Shaw                       Down 2 Earth
Holly Rupert                        There Blooms a Garden 

United States:


California:
Jim Peterson                        Garden Design
Kelly Kilpatrick                      Floradora Gardens

Colorado:
Brandon Coppin                   Botanical Interests

Connecticut:
Barbara Wise                        Bwise Gardening

Delaware:
Peggy Anne Montgomery    American Beauty Native Plants

Florida:
Keri Byrum                          Miss Smarty Plants

Georgia:
Karin Hicks                          Southern Meadows

Idaho:
Mary Ann Newcomer           Gardens of the Wild West

Illinois:
Jason B Kay                          Garden in a City
Judy Hertz                             Garden in a City
Mark Osgerby                       Greenhouse Glass

Indiana:
Cheryl Allen                        Woodchuck Acres

Iowa:
Melissa Peterson                  Artsy Garden Girl

Louisiana:
Jean McWeeney                   Dig Grow Compost Blog 

Maryland:
Susan Harris                         Garden Rant

Massachusetts:
Amy Murphy                        Of Garden

Michigan:
Nancy Patterson                   Garden 337
Jill Ongley                           Jellyfish Bay

Minnesota:
Amy Andrychowicz            Get Busy Gardening! and Savvy Gardening
Kathleen Hennessy             29 Minute Gardener
Ryan McEnaney                 Baily Nurseries
Mary Schier                        My Northern Garden
Laurie Gaudino                   Gardening Junky
Beth Billstrom                    More Than Oregano

North Carolina:
Lisa Wagner                        Natural Gardening

Oklahoma:
Dee Nash                             Red Dirt Ramblings

Rhode Island:
Layanee DeMerchant           Ledge and Gardens

South Carolina:
Janet Ledebuhr                      The Queen of Seaford
Julie Thompson-Adolf          Garden Delights

Tennessee:
Gail Eichelberger                  Clay and Limestone

Texas:
Diana C Kirby                      Sharing Natures Garden
Andrea Fox                          Grow Where You're Planted
Pam Penick                          Digging
Laura Wills                          Wills Family Acres
Ally Stresing                        Garden Ally
Cindy Tournier                     From My Corner of Katy
Vicki Blachman                   Playin Outside
Laurin Lindsey                    Ravens Court Gardens
Shawn Michael                    Ravens Court Gardens
Caroline Homer                   Shovel Ready Garden
Chris Giaraffa                      Running Gardener
Susan Tomlinson                 The Bicycle Garden
Rebecca Schroeder              Rebecca's Retreat

Virginia:
Tammy Schmitt                   Casa Mariposa
Gryphon Corpus                  Southern Exposure 

Wisconsin:
Megan Cain                         Creative Vegetable Gardener
Beth Stetenfeld                    Plant Postings


There are still spots available for the 2016 Garden Bloggers Fling in Minneapolis/St. Paul! Come Fling with us.

 Click here to register now!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Minneapolis Fling Preview: Noerenberg Gardens

Minneapolis is a city of lakes, and one of the beautiful public gardens we will visit during the Minneapolis Fling, July 14-17, is Noerenberg Gardens on the shores of Crystal Bay on Lake Minnetonka. This garden, now part of the Three Rivers Park District, was once the estate of Frederick Noerenberg, founder of the Grain Belt Brewery. (Yes, this is the garden beer built!)

The garden was influenced by English Landscape Style, and originally featured tiered rose beds and impeccably manicured lawns. The Noerenbergs were world travelers with an appreciation for natural artifacts, many of which ended up in the garden. The Noerenberg's daughter, Lora Noerenberg Hoppe, was chief horticulturist at the garden for many years. After her death in 1972, the garden was given to the Three Rivers Park District.

In mid-July, the gardens will be alive with color with daylilies, monarda, phlox, astilbe, allium and many other perennials in full bloom. In addition, the annual gardens should be taking off.
There will be gardeners present in the garden during our hour-long visit to fill us in on the history and plantings in the garden. This will be a great opportunity to take in the lake views, admire the blooms, walk the paths and take lots of pictures.

After visiting Noerenberg Gardens, we are in for a special treat! We'll be visiting the nearby home garden of Arla Carmichiel, horticultural supervisor of the garden. Arla and her husband, nurseryman Steve Kelley, have a gorgeous home garden to stroll through. For plant lovers (and isn't that all of us), Kelley and Kelley Nursery is right across the street from Arla and Steve's home. You may have a chance to sneak over to check out Steve's extremely well-curated collection of plants for shade and sun.

There are still spots open in the fling! Please join us for this great weekend of visiting gardens of the North.

Photos courtesy of Derek J. Dickinson/Three Rivers Park District

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Minneapolis Fling Preview: Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

The gardens at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum demonstrate a variety of design styles.

We'll be having our Garden Bloggers Fling dinner at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, one of the Midwest's largest public gardens. The arboretum features more than 1,100 acres of natural lands, plant collections and public gardens. The arboretum was created out of the University of Minnesota Horticultural Research Center and was the place where many northern-hardy plants were developed, including the Honeycrisp apple.


'Bridal Pink' rose
The arboretum is the home to many plant collections and specialty gardens. There are more than 5,000 species and varieties of plants at the arb—all beautifully and clearly labeled. It's a great place to photograph favorite plants. Collections around the arboretum include including tree and shrub collections, a grass collection, a hosta glade, a demonstration vegetable garden, a serene Japanese garden among others. Some areas are changed each season. (And, yes, the arboretum is heavily used in winter, too, with many visitors enjoying cross-country ski trails or snow-shoeing, or stopping to see the Timeless Beauty Orchid Show or other special events.)

Since we'll be there toward the end of the day, the light will be soft and there will be plenty of time to take photographs of the spaces and the plants. We should also mention that the arb's catering department is known for producing delicious fare. It should be a great evening of food, fun and gardens.

There are still spots available for the 2016 Garden Bloggers Fling in Minneapolis/St. Paul! Come Fling with us.

 Click here to register now!

This is the shady patio behind the Snyder Center, where our dinner will be held.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Minneapolis Fling Preview: Springwood Gardens


The display gardens go on for acres on the historic farm.
While we will spend much of the fling visiting gardens in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, we'll also get out to the country and visit Springwood Gardens in Jordan, Minn., where for the past 20 years Karol Emmerich has been breeding and growing daylilies—thousands and thousands of daylilies.

Her more than 200-acre farm includes dozens of display gardens and is perched on top of a hill with big views of the valley below. The 1862 farmhouse and sculptures throughout the garden add to the beauty of the scene.
Blood, Sweat and Tears daylily

Karol, who left a successful career in business to follow her heart to the daylily business, will tell us about the long process of selecting, breeding and testing daylilies.

Many of Karol's daylilies are big, bright and textural. Bring an extra memory card because the flowers are gorgeous and the views spectacular.


There are still spots available for the 2016 Garden Bloggers Fling in Minneapolis/St. Paul! Come Fling with us.

 Click here to register now!




Wednesday, February 17, 2016

What will we do during the Minneapolis Fling?

We’ve had a flurry of new subscribers on the blog, in the Facebook group, and on the email list so I thought I’d take this opportunity to welcome all of the new followers, and tell you a bit about what the Garden Bloggers Fling is and what we’ll do during the Minneapolis Fling!

What is the Fling?

The Garden Bloggers Fling is a super fun annual social event where you get to not only see beautiful gardens around the host city, but you also get to meet some wonderful new friends and fellow Garden Bloggers.

The Fling is a great way to…
  • meet others who are passionate about gardening
  • network with fellow garden bloggers
  • go shopping for plants in a different city (yes, shopping!)
  • have an excuse to visit a new city
  • learn a few blogging tips and tricks (the bus is a great place to pick your fellow blogger’s brains, and share inspiration and ideas!)
  • take thousands of photos of amazing gardens
  • learn about cool products from our sponsors (and get some swag to take home too!)
Heck, maybe you’ll even meet your favorite garden blogger in the process!!

The Fling is hosted in a different city each year, and this year we’re hosting it in Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN July 14-17, 2016.

What will we do at the Minneapolis Fling?

The Minneapolis Fling is a 3-day event that will be jam-packed with gardens and lots of fun. We’ll get to visit some popular public gardens, but the meat of the Fling is touring amazing private gardens - gardens that you wouldn’t otherwise get to see.

We’ll charter two buses for each day of the Fling (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) and spend the day touring gardens all around the metro area. Our plan is to show you gardens in both of the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, as well as gardens in suburbia.

The buses will pick everyone up at the hotel each the morning, and then drop you off in the evening (that’s right, we’re out all day touring gardens!). Make sure to allow time to grab yourself some breakfast and your morning tea/coffee before you head to the bus. Lunches will be provided all three days, and we’re also planning a big group dinner on Saturday night for all of the Fling attendees. Plus, you will get some free time in the evenings to explore downtown Minneapolis, and find a nice dinner spot or two. :-)

http://gardenbloggersfling.blogspot.com/2016/02/minneapolis-fling-registration-is-now.html

In addition to the 3 days of garden tours, we’ll host a kickoff get-together on Thursday night. We haven’t solidified the plans for this yet, so I can’t tell you what we’re planning. But it’ll be a nice way to kick off the Fling. The Thursday night kickoff event is a bonus event, so don’t worry if you can’t attend.

Over the next few months leading up to the Fling, we’ll be sharing more details about the gardens we’ll be touring, the events we’ll be hosting, and also who’s going to be attending the Minneapolis Fling! If you're a garden blogger, we highly encourage you to join us for the Fling, we welcome new Flingers with open arms!

If you have never attended a Fling before, there are a limited number of spots available, and attendance is on a first come, first served basis. Flings have sold out in the past, and we’re already over 1/2 full for Minneapolis (in only 48 hours!)… so if you want to attend the 2016 Garden Bloggers Fling, make sure to register today!

The Garden Bloggers Fling is a great way to meet fellow bloggers, network, and make new friends who are passionate about gardening too! It’s always a fun-filled, garden-packed weekend! Trust me, you won’t want to miss it! So make sure to grab your spot today!

 

See you in Minneapolis!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Minneapolis Fling Registration Is Now Open!

http://gardenbloggersfling.blogspot.com/p/2016.html

IT'S HERE!!!! The moment you've all been anxiously waiting for... Registration for the 2016 Garden Bloggers Fling in Minneapolis, MN is officially OPEN!!

Registration is on a first come, first served basis, and there are a limited number of spots available, so please sign up soon to ensure your spot in what is going to be another amazing Fling! Don't delay, grab your spot now! 

Here’s how…
  1. If you've never attended a Fling before, please read over the qualifications before filling out the registration application form in step 2... Attending The Fling
  2. If you meet the qualifications, then fill out this form... http://goo.gl/forms/VZgF5wXmjb 
  3. We will review all the registration form submissions, and then will send you a PayPal invoice (invoices will be sent manually by us humans, so it may take a few hours before you get it)
  4. You pay the invoice and boom, you're registered!
  5.  Once you're officially registered, we will send you a confirmation email with details on how to reserve your hotel room

Please Note:  Filling out the form does NOT guarantee your spot. The registration fee ($258) must be paid to hold your spot, so please make your payment as soon as you receive the PayPal invoice (registration will be on a first come, first served basis). It may take a couple of days for the PayPal payment to complete processing, and for us to send you the confirmation email. But don't worry, we'll hold your spot as soon as we see your invoice has been paid.
We're SUPER excited to see you in Minneapolis in July, and can't wait to show you our beautiful Twin Cities!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Our hotel for the Minneapolis Garden Bloggers Fling

Loews Hotel Minneapolis

For the Minneapolis Fling, we have negotiated a great group rate of $189 plus tax at the Loews Hotel in downtown Minneapolis. Each room includes the following amenities:
  • Complimentary WiFi
  • HD TV
  • iPod docking station
  • Ample outlets and USB ports
  • Kuerig K-Cup coffee maker

When you register for the Fling (registration opens Monday, Feb. 15), we'll include our Fling discount code for the hotel and reservations number or weblink to our online reservations page. This rate applies on a first-come, first-served basis, so make sure to book as soon as you receive confirmation that you've been registered.

Directions to the hotel are here. The Loews hotel is in a great location and within walking distance of a wide range of restaurants, shopping and nightlife. It's also only 1 block from the Light Rail Transit stop.

Loews Hotel Cosmos Bar and Restaurant

We have two major airports, Terminal 1-Lindbergh and Terminal 2-Humphrey so when you book your flight, you could fly in to either airport (they are right next to each other). Both airports are close to downtown Minneapolis. Our light rail system is easy and convenient, and a train ride from either airport to the transit stop next to our hotel only takes about 25 minutes. There’s also convenient public transportation that could take you to Uptown, St. Paul, the Mall of America, and other popular local attractions if you choose to extend your trip.

Loews Hotel Lobby
If you'll be driving instead of flying, the hotel offers valet parking at the following rates:
  • Overnight: $35 (includes in/out privileges) 
  • Short Term (under 4 hours): $22 
  • Long Term (over 4 hours): $27 
There are a number of self-parking options available near the hotel too – many of which are connected by skyway. We'll get you more details about nearby parking options soon.

Plus, the Loews Hotel is directly connected to our huge (and very unique) skyway system; you will definitely want to explore that! Through our skyway system, you can get to practically every building (including shopping, restaurants, bars, and popular attractions) in the heart of downtown Minneapolis without stepping foot outside!

Apothecary bar in the hotel

Construction is a way of life in any major city, and downtown Minneapolis is no exception. We are in the process of building an amazing new stadium for our Minnesota Vikings, which will be the host of the 2018 Super Bowl! The new stadium is on the other side of downtown (you'll see it if you take the Light Rail from the airport, you really can't miss it!), so we don't have to worry about that construction... but in preparation for such a BIG event, downtown Minneapolis is undergoing a major (and well overdue) facelift. It's a flurry of excitement!! But... just keep that in mind if you're going to be driving into the city.

Don't worry, this is just a teaser post. We'll have more detailed info for you coming soon! And remember to sign up to attend starting on Monday, Feb. 15!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Minneapolis Fling Preview: Garden of Marge Hols


One of the gardens you'll visit on the Minneapolis Fling this July is located on Summit Avenue, a street F. Scott Fitzgerald once described as the Twin Cities' "avenue of dreams." This is a historic neighborhood of impressive homes, and the garden owner, Marge Hols, lives just down the block from the Minnesota Governor's Residence.

Marge was, for about 10 years, the gardening columnist for the St. Paul Pioneer Press, and she also writes for Northern Gardener. Her garden has a relaxed, charming style, but she incorporates formal elements too.



Beautiful color combinations abound in her summer garden. 

Stay tuned for more sneak peeks in coming weeks, and remember, registration for the Minneapolis Fling opens on Monday, February 15!

Text and photos courtesy of Mary Schier, Minneapolis Fling planning committee member



Friday, February 5, 2016

Registration for Minneapolis Fling opening Feb. 15!

Garden bloggers, it's the announcement you've been waiting for! On February 15th, registration will open for the 2016 Garden Bloggers Fling in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The registration fee will be $258 (U.S. dollars). While we are still hammering out the details, Fling registration will cover bus transportation to and from the gardens, garden admission fees, lunches, and an official Fling dinner. As always, the Fling is a not-for-profit event organized by volunteers.

When is the Minneapolis Fling? The Fling will take place July 14-17, 2016. We'll kick off with a welcome event Thursday evening, July 14th, and end Sunday evening, July 17th.

How to register? Registration will be available on 2/15 through a link posted on this website and on our Facebook page. If you're on our email list, you'll receive an email notification as well (if not, fill out the form below to subscribe to our mailing list!). Payment will be accepted through PayPal only. Don't yet have a PayPal account? Why not open one today? It's free and makes things easier for our organizers.


Subscribe to our mailing list

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Registration is limited. While we wish we could accommodate every garden blogger who'd like to attend, there's only so much room in the gardens and on the buses – literally – and only so many people our volunteer organizers can juggle. We'll have approximately 80 spots, including organizers, and we encourage you to sign up (and make your payment) ASAP in order to hold your spot.

Only active garden bloggers may attend the Fling. Please visit this link outlining how to qualify for this limited-registration event.

Where will we stay? Look for our hotel announcement very soon! We'll have a group rate available for registered attendees, and you'll be responsible for making your own reservations. Feel free to start a roommate thread on our Facebook page if you'd like to share a room in order to reduce expenses.

We look forward to showing you the best gardens in Minneapolis! Come Fling with us!

--Amy Andrychowicz, Get Busy Gardening, Lead planner for the Minneapolis Fling

Update: As announced earlier today, general registration for the Minneapolis Fling will open on Feb. 15. Yesterday, a few people received an invitation for advance registration, and there's been some confusion about that, which I'd like to clear up.

Advance registration is offered to the organizers of past Flings and to current advisory committee members as a thank-you for their service. This is a small group, and it's a small perk for the many volunteer hours they've dedicated to the Fling. We should have made it clear, to those who received the email, why they were offered the opportunity for early registration, and it was not our intention for anyone to feel slighted for not receiving that invitation. Be assured that plenty of spots will be available when general registration opens, and Amy's Minneapolis team looks forward to getting you signed up. Please keep in mind that space is limited, though, and we encourage you to register as soon as you can when it opens. Stay tuned for more reminders as we get closer to the 15th!

--Pam Penick, Advisory Committee

Monday, November 2, 2015

Get the new Fling logo!

We now have an official Garden Blogger's Fling logo...


The annual Fling city logos are a great way to show your support for specific Flings (like the upcoming Minneapolis fling logo over in the right hand sidebar) - but now thanks to the creativity and design talent of Scott Weber we've got a logo for the Fling in general (isn't it fabulous!?). You should be able to save the image above and add it to your blog, just like you have other Fling logos. Thanks Scott!