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I can explain.

Two Portland garden bloggers talked me into attending the gbfling2019. That’s what those in the know call it. I’m looking at you Danger and Just a Girl. I will be the first to admit, I’m not a terrific traveler. I like home. But this duo urged me on numerous occasions, plying me with wine and sweet talk: it will be fun; all those new gardens; all those other bloggers. They even enlisted my husband to join the encouragement game. Bill loves to travel–though usually for motorsport related events. I’ve learned to stay out of that whole business. When Bill says he’s going to the track for a couple of hours, he means sun up, to sun down.

The Flingers were kind of like that.

The culprits in question, Loree and Heather.


Fine. I had a great time, from what I can recall. There was so much to see. We got to go to Panayoti’s garden, and he’s been generously sharing his photographs with plant lust for years.

Panayoti’s garden–a wild and woolly place.


A little back story. Megan, Loree, and I met Panayoti at Burl Mostul’s Rare Plant Research (RPR) in Oregon City, OR. We were just getting started with plant lust, in process of enlisting nurseries and sourcing photographs. Anyway, at RPR, we found ourselves in this sea of other crazy gardening enthusiasts, and girl were we excited. It was the first time I met Nancy Buley. Nancy owns a boutique nursery, Treephoria, in Boring OR–which is not at all. Boring is a regular hot spot. There’s Boring Bark, and Burns Feed Store–technically in Damascas nextdoor, and Red Pig Tools. I hear Iseli Nursery is nearby too, but I haven’t managed to finagle a visit there yet.

I rest my case about Boring, Oregon. It’s not boring.

So, back to that night at Rare Plant Research, Nancy was wearing a big hat–suitable for the Denver sun–adorned with all manner of plant material. Wish I had a photograph. I bet someone does. The only things I remember distinctly are the Begonias–and that’s because Nancy said she could probably still root them when she got home. Root leaves she’d used as hat decoration! Oh lord, I’d found my people.

But I digress. Denver Garden Bloggers’ Fling 2019. Fair warning, I tend to be a big ADD, and I haven’t sorted it out. Every time I look at my million photos, I tilt. What a whirlwind. One minute I was watching Dragon Boat Races on the Willamette River in Oregon.


Portland Rose Festival Dragon Boat Race 2019


Another shot, just for fun. My kid is last rower on the far side of the back boat. I hear it’s hard work. The woman atop this post if Rachelle, at ready to capture the flag at race end.

Capturing the flag. Elliot in the last seat on the back boat.


And then the races were done, and the next thing I know, the cats are in my suitcases–claiming they’ll be good if I let them come along.

Mister and Posy try to come along.


Of course, attending the Fling meant leaving my own garden, and right when it was bursting into lusciousness.

Callistemon viridiflorus aka Green Bottlebrush


Magnolia macrophylla var. ashei aka Ashe Magnolia


Grevillea, Artcostaphylos, Hebe, Origanum, Stipa, and apparently a whole lot more.

As for the Fling, I’m trying to understand the schedule to see where I was when–still looking at the wrong day, and/or the wrong bus. Oy.

On the bus.

On the bus.


I so wish I’d had time to visit with more of my fellow bloggers. It’s hard to talk with everyone over 3 days, especially when the group is split in two buses on alternating schedules. We did all meet at one garden Sunday morning–wherein someone managed to break a mimosa glass. But come on, can you blame her, with 80 peeps milling about swilling mimosas and ogling the garden?

Mimosa table at the Hamling Garden, before any broken glasses.


Lining up for mimosas. What a cooperative group. And such lovely hosts. Thanks you, Hamlings.


Mimosa House with its fabulous wraparound porch.


One other note, a little more to eat would have been nice. I have fairly severe wheat (gluten) and dairy allergies. I’m not alone in this, though I think some suspect it’s a fad. It’s curious how many people, including caterers, confuse vegan and gluten free. One sweet fellow bloggers asked: is it vegan? And the caterer said yes, gluten free. When I asked is it gluten free, he said yes, vegan. Ruh Roh. We knew we were in trouble. But we survived.

I sincerely appreciate the efforts of our organizers to accommodate food issues. Next time, though–and see how I’m saying next time–I might try asking for vegetables and protein, naked, no breading, no butter, no nothing. Well, a little olive would be lovely. Oh, and a nice glass of wine too. Did y’all know you can’t buy a bottle of wine in Denver grocery stores?

Another little side note, it’s not as sad to eat gluten and dairy free as some imagine.

Tepary beans on olive-oil dressed kale and topped with cashew cream. This meal is vegan, gluten free, and delicious. So much flavor.


Shrimp sautéed in olive oil, garlic, and lemon, served with salad is good too.


And gluten-free lentil pasta from Trader Joes. I was so happy to find this product. It holds up when cooked. No mushy pasta with these little gems.

Red lentil pasta, roasted veggies, and chicken sausage. We leave sausage out when the vegans are here.


To recap: we eat delicious food–just sans wheat and milk products. It’s easier than you might imagine, and you wouldn’t know the difference. I swear.

Anyway, as you can see, I am considerably offtrack on the garden visiting part, and it’s been almost a month since the Denver Fling. I’m still sorting and labeling pictures. Now I understand why peeps do multiple posts. So much territory to cover. Plus, now I’m hungry.

GrowHaus was the host for opening night dinner. Mexican buffet. It was good. And they got my heart.


Opening Night at GrowHaus


My little dinner cadre didn’t sit out there in the middle. No, we squeezed over here on the side. Cozy, if a little crowded. But I assure you, a good time had by all.

Cozy side nook at GrowHaus opening night dinner.

I’ll get back to you.