Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Register right now - 2 more lower rate Fling hotel rooms available!

Our special-rate rooms were snapped up quickly when registration opened for the 2018 Garden Bloggers Fling May 3-6 in, Austin. The hotel has provided a few more reduced-rate rooms for those who registered at higher rates.  There are 2 reduced-rate rooms left.  If you haven't registered, you have a chance to get one of those rooms if you do it now.

How do I register? 
To register for the fling, please email your name, blog name, and URL, to and once we've verified that you're an active garden blogger (see attendance eligibility) we'll email you a secure registration code and a link to our registration site and the link to reserve a lower-cost room. 

How much will it cost?
The registration fee is $275 USD, plus a $6.50 PayPal fee (USD). Registration includes entry to all the gardens, bus transportation for three days, a banquet dinner on Saturday night, lunches on all three garden-touring days, an opening reception on Thursday evening, a BBQ Bash on Sunday afternoon, and 3-1/2 days of fun and gardens with your fellow bloggers. (We thank our generous sponsors -- listed in the sidebar -- for their support, which helps us keep the registration cost as low as possible.) When you register, the cost appears on the first page of the registration website - it won't appear again on the site.  Please note, you do not need to have a PayPal account or pay by PayPal.  The payment button on the checkout page will read PayPal, click on it and you will be taken to another  page where you will have the choice to login to PayPal, or just scroll down to enter your credit card without using PayPal.  Just pass the login button and go on to fill out the credit card details and submit. 

Do NOT use the hotel link at the end of the registration form for the reduced rate.  You will complete registration and skip that part.  Instead you will exit the registration once you have finished and go to your email to click the link we will provide you.

 For additional Fling Registration info, see our complete post with links here.

Join us for a fun-filled fling.  See you in Austin!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Friendly hippos ahead in the art-filled garden of Donna and Mike Fowler

Thirty miles northeast of Austin, the formerly sleepy hamlet of Hutto is growing as quickly as a hippopotamus in a lake full of duckweed. But the town still has a friendly, everyone-knows-everyone vibe, and its most congenial hosts have to be the former mayor and found-object sculptor Mike Fowler and his plant-loving, garden-creating wife, Donna Fowler. They own a beautiful, 100-year-old home on three large lots that they’ve turned into an art-filled garden, which we'll tour during the Garden Bloggers Fling next May.

Donna, who is a hospital pharmacist by day, says, "I come from a long line of farmers and gardeners on both sides. I'm originally from the Panhandle of Texas. Mike and I moved to Hutto in 1978, when there were only 500 people in town. We live in Mike's family home that was built around 1886. It has been a labor of love to restore it, add on to it, and make the grounds beautiful." 

What will you find in their garden? Well, hippos, naturally! Mike successfully lobbied for the hippo to be adopted as Hutto's official mascot, and you'll see colorfully painted concrete hippos all over town and throughout the Fowlers' garden.

But you'll also discover a huge vegetable garden with a tepee, Mike's playful garden art, and an exuberant mix of flowering perennials and palms, Texas-tough yuccas and hesperaloes, and native wildflowers. It's a welcoming, sit-and-stay-awhile garden with lots of seating plus a shady lawn, where we'll enjoy a tasty box lunch during our garden stop.

You'll visit this beautiful garden and many others next May if you join us for the Austin Garden Bloggers Fling. Don't miss out -- spaces are going fast. Register for the Austin Fling today! And by the way, if you want to see who else is already signed up, click here.