Monday, September 29, 2008

Chicago Garden Bloggers Meet ... in the flesh

Let me repeat, I will not go to the Arboretum again unless accompanied by very smart garden bloggers.

Barbara of Mr. McGregor's Daughter got the Chicagland gardeners together at the Arboretum to get the dates down for the 2009 Spring Fling (May 29-31, 2009), but once that was settled then there was much walking and talking about plants -- which is why I said I can't go back to the Arboretum unless I bring the brain trust with me.

4 of us were there -- yours truly, Rachel from On the Shores of Lake Chicago, Linda from GardenGirl, and Barbara.

Me on the left, the one pretending to be Tina Fey pretending to be Sarah Palin
Note to self, don't slouch and wear a real bra next time.

First off, it was such a pleasure meeting you all. I I felt like the young grasshopper learning from the masters and I only wished I had brought a tape recorder. I just hope I wasn't too annoying with my 100 questions, rapid talking, and insipid story telling (a "Can you grow seed" question led me to go on for hours). But seriously, it was such a nice afternoon getting to know fellow garden bloggers and now I can prove to my husband that you are all real people and not crazies who were going to abduct me in the Arboretum parking lot.

So what did I learn (if I don't get this down it might be lost forever):
  • cutting back mums: Don't be a wuss, cut them back by half in May, June, & July. Only then will they not flop over.
  • Anemones: Can be potential take-overers.
  • Native ginger: a good ground cover for shade under trees (better than Pachysandra because it's native).
  • Mophead hydrangeas: Don't cut them back. For our temps, can cover them with straw to try and stop them from freezing.
  • Fothergilla: Great shrub for shade. And don't buy just any kind, research the varieties and --gasp-- order online?!
  • Stone Silo: LC Shores recommended nursery for buying online. Yes, I can buy online. Yes, I don't have to only rely on garden centers here if I want something special. repeat.
  • Strawberry plant: can put into the ground over winter and then it goes back into the planter.
  • Grow eggplant. But watch out for thorns.


Katie said...

How much fun! I am excited about Spring Fling and hope to make it to Chicago.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Ah, Glahsshoppa, you must know that there are no stupid questions, only stupid answers. I fail to see how this proves we aren't crazy. We're totally obsessed with plants. It was fun looking at plants with others who were just as excited about them as I was, and I'm so glad I finally got to meet you. I'm going to have to be careful what I say around you if you're going to accept all my opinions as worthwhile. (Boy am I worried now!)

Annie in Austin said...

It's nice to see everyone, especially you Rosemarie, since I've been reading your blog longer than those of your co-conspirators.

When Spring Fling was held in Austin we got to meet MMD and can imagine what that live wire did for your meeting!

It will be fun hearing the plans unfold!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Shady Gardener said...

I look forward to the Spring Fling, too. I'm assuming I'm going to make it... don't want MMD to have to drive to Iowa to get me! ha! ;-)

The County Clerk said...

Thank you for doing this. I'm in... if I survive the winter without moving to Mexico (a joke... sort of).