Wednesday, August 5, 2020

The Fling expands beyond bloggers, welcomes other platforms

In the 13-year history of Garden Bloggers Fling, we’ve never had to cancel -- until this year, due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Madison Fling planning team had already put a lot of work into the event, and we appreciate their willingness to delay and try again next year. Fingers crossed, we'll be Flinging in Madison next June!

During this forced downtime, the Fling advisory committee has been reflecting on the future of our annual event and our community. We want to ensure that our group better reflects all gardening voices in all their diversity.

From the start we’ve defined ourselves by our shared identity as garden bloggers, people who not only love gardens but love writing about them and being part of an online community. Thirteen years later, while many blogs continue to thrive, for some of us other social media outlets are now our preferred medium for self-publishing about gardening. Our identity as bloggers has become limiting, even a bit antiquated. And we wonder if we’ve unintentionally edged out the participation of those who might not see themselves represented and therefore don’t feel welcome: people of color, younger people, people from all sorts of backgrounds.

We want to change that perception, especially if it’s keeping anyone from thinking the Fling is not for them. And we believe the way to be more inclusive is to be more inclusive.

With that in mind, we’ve decided to open the Fling to gardening Instagrammers, podcasters, and vloggers/YouTubers. Our goal is to make Garden Bloggers Fling more inclusive of diverse voices and more forward-looking in terms of other social media. We have no plans at this time to change our name.

The Fling is still a group for online self-publishers of gardening information, and our guidelines for attending the annual meet-up still apply: your outlet must be public, strongly gardening-focused, and regularly updated. We hope long-time Flingers will join us in welcoming these new voices. And we hope that anyone who is eagerly sharing about gardening via Instagram, vlogging, or podcasting will join our online community. And when in-person meet-ups resume, as they surely will, we look forward to meeting you IRL as well!

Thursday, April 2, 2020

New Dates for the Madison Fling: June 24-27, 2021

Wisconsin State Capitol
Justjeffaz (Jeff Brunton) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (]

The Madison Fling is officially postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Seattle/Puget Sound committee has graciously offered to reschedule their Fling to 2022.

So, our new dates are Thursday, June 24, through Sunday, June 27, 2021Many aspects of our itinerary will change, but many will be similar. We'll take a break from planning for the time being. Stay tuned for more updates—here and on our Fling Facebook page.

We have two logo options that you can download to share on your blogs. One started out as an April Fools' joke, but we think it's fun. The other is more traditional. Feel free to use one or the other or switch them out as you please. (You can click on them, and then download the images.)

We hope to see you all in Madison during the summer of 2021. Thank you all for your support, and we wish you all good health!

Thursday, March 12, 2020

FAQs Regarding How the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Will Affect the Madison Fling

Thank you all for your support and patience during these unprecedented times. As we’ve communicated through Facebook and directly with planned attendees, at this point, we’re still planning to continue with the Madison Fling. We’d like to share our thoughts through a set of questions and answers, regarding what we expect in the weeks to come.

First, we’d direct all questions about the disease, itself, to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Coronavirus Disease web page.

This Fling FAQ page is dedicated to questions Madison Fling attendees may have about our specific event. For Fling-specific questions beyond those listed here, please contact us at

Q. When will you make the decision on whether or not to cancel the Madison Fling?

A. We are working with our hotel and other venues to make the best decision, considering all the variables. We will know more by late March. Even beyond that, circumstances may change through April and May. While it is our hope that the virus will begin to fade across the country by late spring, we just don’t know at this point. We feel it’s too early to call it off today.

Q. What if the virus expands dramatically in the U.S. in the weeks ahead?

A. Most indications are that this will happen. As we present this, the virus is expanding, and there likely will be many more cases in Madison and other communities across the country. We’re hoping the virus will begin to subside long before mid-June, but we just don’t know at this point.

Q. Why does it make sense to continue the Fling while so many other events are cancelling?

A. Again, we may still be forced to discontinue the Fling, for various reasons. But if the outlook is much better by the end of April, we feel there’s no reason we can’t go ahead with our event. Our group is relatively small (50-60), we’re meeting during the summer (when, hopefully, the virus won’t be active), and most of our events will be outdoors.

Q. Has your cancellation/registration refund policy changed in light of our current pandemic situation?

A. No, with the exception that we are prepared to offer 95% ticket refunds ($295 minus transaction processing fees, or $280.25) if we are forced to cancel the Madison Fling. If you choose to stick with us during the weeks ahead, we will follow through with 95% refunds for you, should we end up having to cancel eventually.

Q. What about your early bird discount expiring on April 2?

A. We are extending the $295 rate right up to the Fling. We didn’t foresee the coronavirus, and our early bird rate was an attempt to get things moving earlier. However, we now see that this isn’t effective this time, and we want to make registration as easy as possible for people, when they feel ready.

Q. What are the hotel’s cancellation policies?

A. All reservations cancelled after 4 p.m. CST 24 hours prior to arrival and all “no shows” will be charged one night room/tax.


Finally, thank you for your continued enthusiasm and support. We are doing everything we can to continue with the Madison Fling, June 18-21. And we look forward to seeing you all and visiting gardens together!

Saturday, March 7, 2020

CobraHead: Supporting Sponsor of the Madison Fling

Our thanks goes out to CobraHead, another bloom-level sponsor! Since 2002, the CobraHead Weeder & Cultivator has been the ultimate garden tool for weeding and gardening.

The CobraHead is a multipurpose hand tool for use in gardening, horticulture, and agriculture that's superior to all similar tools on the market.

The CobraHead team has designed a line of gardening products to help all landscapers and gardeners weed more efficiently. CobraHead’s goal is to “offer you the best tools in earth.” The complete line of CobraHead Weeder & Cultivators make weeding easier and put the joy back in gardening!

Find them online:

*** The Garden Bloggers Fling is a non-profit organization; we’d be nowhere without our generous sponsors! Please let them know how much they mean to us—big "thank-yous" to each and every one! ***

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Thank You, Fling Sponsors!

We realize the Fling couldn’t happen without the amazing support of our generous sponsors. Thanks to those who’ve agreed, so far, to sponsor the 2020 Madison Garden Bloggers Fling! We’ll update the list and the sidebar as additional sponsors pledge their support.

Bloom Level:
- Proven Winners®

- CobraHead
- J. Berry Wholesale Nursery
- John & Bob’s Smart Soil

- Bailey Nurseries

Bud Level:

Stem Level:
- Botanical Interests
- Bluestone Perennials
- Midwest Groundcovers/
   Natural Garden Natives

Root Level:
- Potted
- St. Lynn’s Press
- Teak Closeouts

Seed Level:
- Paw Paw Everlast Label

In June, two busloads of garden bloggers will descend on Madison, Wisconsin, for three days of inspirational garden touring and networking. As influential garden communicators, Fling participants will blog, Tweet, Instagram, Pin, Facebook, and otherwise spread the word about the gardens on tour and related Fling sponsors to their readerships around the world. Many are leading the discussion of gardening not only online, but also in their communities.

Sponsorships help defray the costs associated with Fling activities, including (but not limited to) garden admissions, catered meals, facility rentals, liability insurance, and transportation. Our sponsors allow more garden bloggers to attend who might not otherwise afford to go.

In appreciation, all sponsor names, logos, and websites are linked to the official Garden Bloggers Fling blog (see sidebar) and acknowledged throughout the Fling event, as appropriate.

Join us as a sponsor of the 2020 Fling! The benefits include:

Sponsor directory listing - Facebook and website sponsor roll.
Sponsor directory ad - full-page. Contributions of goods or promotional material for attendees’ swag bags and/or door prizes are accepted.
Company on signage at one event.
We profile your business on our website – including information about your business, services and products that you’d like to highlight for Fling attendees.

BUD LEVEL $750 - $999
Sponsor directory listing - Facebook and website sponsor roll.
Sponsor directory ad - half-page. Contributions of goods or promotional material for attendees’ swag bags and/or door prizes are accepted.
Company name listed on shared signage at one event.
We profile your business on our website – including information about your business, services and products that you’d like to highlight for Fling attendees.

STEM LEVEL $500 - $749
Sponsor directory listing - Facebook and website sponsor roll.
Sponsor directory ad - 1/4-page. Contributions of goods or promotional material for attendees’ swag bags and/or door prizes are accepted.

ROOT LEVEL $250 - $499
Sponsor directory business listing and sponsor rolls on Facebook and website sponsor roll.

SEED LEVEL - Up to $249
Sponsor directory business listing.
Swag gift bags are given to, and happily received by, each registered blogger in attendance. Individual items will be required (they don’t all have to be the same, or could be one large item for the dinner raffle). Due to storage and sorting costs, a $50 donation is required to include any promotional material or product in the swag bag.