Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Garden Design Magazine: Supporting sponsor of Austin Fling

We're thrilled to be partnering with Garden Design magazine for the 2018 Austin Fling! Garden Design is about plants, gardens, and the people who make gardens. Re-imagined in 2014, the magazine has two to three times as much content as the previous rendition because there are no ads and more pages (148). Each quarterly issue is more like a book-a-zine than a magazine and worthy of saving on your gardening bookshelf.

Going ad-free and beefing up the content allows the editorial staff to do a number of things that readers said they wanted, says publisher Jim Peterson. "For one, since there are no ads, every article is uninterrupted," he says. "The magazine has a cleaner look that lets the photography and stories speak for themselves. We also have broader coverage of topics around the country because there is now space to cover a more geographically diverse set of gardens, plants, and design stories."

Photo courtesy of Garden Design

I'm a longtime subscriber to Garden Design, and the magazine is better than ever under editor-in-chief Thad Orr's direction. There's a lot to love about it, including the ad-free content, in-depth articles, gorgeous photography, and (especially important to me) coverage of all regions of the country, not just the lush and temperate coastal zones. And that's just the magazine itself. Garden Design's website is chock-full of added content, including virtual garden tours organized by regionarticles about plantsdesign inspiration, and more. 

If you love gardens and you don't already subscribe, you really should! And it makes a great gift for the garden geeks, plant lovers, and design enthusiasts on your holiday shopping list. Here's where to subscribe, and here's how to order a gift subscription. Also, all available back issues are offered online too, if you need to complete your collection.

Garden Design publisher Jim Peterson (center) at the Portland Fling in 2014
As publisher, Jim has been a longtime supporter of Garden Bloggers Fling and is a regular attendee himself. So if you'd like to meet the publisher of the one and only Garden Design, that's one more reason to attend! He regularly talks with bloggers around the country to get their perspectives and adds, "We love to do contests and giveaways in coordination with bloggers, so give us a call, and let's work together."

Garden Design Magazine

Find us online:

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Stop and shop at Fling bloom sponsor Leaf Landscape Supply

We're proud to have Leaf Landscape Supply, one of our hometown favorites, joining us for the 2018 Fling in Austin as a bloom-level sponsor.  Local Austin garden bloggers, landscape designers and garden writers already turn to Leaf for their gardening needs.  Partners like Leaf make the Fling possible all around the country and Canada.  We couldn't do it without them.

Leaf Landscape Supply works to turn their clients’ landscaping vision into reality through superior quality, excellent selection and individual customer service. 

Serving both retail and wholesale customers, Leaf is known for its unique selection of plants.  

Knowledgeable staff provide assistance by answering questions and making sure you have everything you need to create your dream garden.

At leaf you'll find an excellent selection of succulents, agaves and yuccas, annuals, perennials, trees, and shrubs.  No matter what kind of project you're working on, you'll find what you need at Leaf.

The nursery has long been known as south Austin’s premier provider of beautiful water features and the perfect aquatic plants for our environment.

In addition to plants and water features, the nursery also sells pumps, filters, liners, and landscape rocks.

An extensive collection of agaves and yuccas and other water-wise native and adapted plants give gardeners an array of xeric options.  

For the gardener looking for that special something, a large greenhouse contains a beautiful assortment of tender and shade-loving succulents and houseplants.

Healthy specimens of shrubs, topiaries, and trees round out the selection of plants ready to load up and take to your garden.

Make sure you check out Leaf Landscape and Supply while you're flinging in Austin -- you'll be glad you did.

Leaf Landscape Supply
5700 Highway 290 West

Monday – Friday
7:30 – 4:30
7:30 to 1:00


Friday, October 13, 2017

Getting to Austin and around town at the 2018 Fling

Figuring out how to navigate a new city is an adventure for some and stressful for others. Let us ease your mind with an early preview of transportation options for when you come to Austin Fling next May!


Austin has one airport, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA), located in southeast Austin, and it has a lot of local flavor. As you arrive, you may see a band playing live music -- yes, at the airport! And no worries about killing time at the airport while you wait for your flight home. You'll find iconic local restaurants like the Salt Lick, Hoover's, and Hill's Cafe selling BBQ, Tex-Mex, breakfast tacos, and more. Austin City Limits and independent bookstore Book People have shops here too, if you need a last-minute souvenir or reading material.

Getting to the Hotel

Driving: If you'll be driving to Austin, hotel parking is available on-site for $30 USD daily; valet parking $37 USD daily. The hotel does not park vehicles with more/less than 4 wheels, are handicapped controlled or with trailers. Max height 6'8". 

Flying: If you'll be flying to Austin, the airport is located 10.5 miles from our official Fling hotel, the Marriott Courtyard Austin Downtown/Convention Center at 300 East 4th Street. We do not recommend you rent a car during the Fling tour days (May 4-6) because we'll be busing you everywhere, and parking at the hotel isn't cheap. You will, however, find a rental car useful if you're making a longer vacation of it and venturing beyond downtown. In that case, rent a car just for the extra days.

Here are your best options for getting from the airport to the hotel: 

  • CapMetro Airport Flyer, fee $2.50 USD (day pass). Hop on a CapMetro Airport Flyer bus for a 30-minute straight shot between ABIA and downtown Austin. You'll get off at the Trinity/4th stop (ID 5589), which is a 3-minute/.10-mile walk to the hotel. Buses depart every 30 minutes and offer free wifi. The CapMetro App is free to download in the Apple, Android and Windows app stores.
  • Super Shuttle, $12 USD (one way), reservation required
  • Rideshare options include locally owned Ride Austin, a community-driven and nonprofit ride-hailing service (yay!); Fasten; Wingz; and Uber and Lyft.
  • Taxis can be hailed outside baggage claim, on the lower level. Estimated fare is $30 USD  one way.

Getting Around Downtown

Pedicab: Need a lift to a restaurant or bar that's a little farther than you want to walk? Try hailing a pedicab, an open-air cab seat for 2 to 3 people that's pulled by a bicyclist. Austin is home to several pedicab companies, and they're popular with locals and visitors. Look for a pedicab on the street and hail it like a taxi. Rates vary, so ask your driver about the price per rider or per trip before hopping in. Most drivers work for tips only. 

Bike Rental: Several bike rental companies operate downtown, like Austin B-cycle, where you can rent a bike at a kiosk, ride it, and return it when you're done. Austin B-cycle operates two stations near our hotel: Convention Center at 4th Street and Convention Center at 3rd/Trinity

Rideshare: Options include locally owned Ride Austin, FastenWingz, and Uber and Lyft.

So When Does Registration Open?

Austin Fling registration opens in just a few weeks, in early November, and space is limited, so be watching for the announcement here and on our Facebook page!

And When Should I Arrive?

We recommend arriving on Wednesday the 2nd if you can swing an extra night or, at the latest, by mid-afternoon on Thursday, May 3rd, so that you can attend the Kickoff Happy Hour from 6 to 7:30 pm, pick up your name tag and swag bag, and settle in. The Fling ends on Sunday, May 6th, with a fun happy hour with food, drinks, and live music that you won't want to miss; we'll have you back to the hotel by 7:30 pm that evening. We recommend departing on Monday the 7th. (To be safe, hold off on making any noncancellable reservations until after you're registered.)

Of course we hope many of you will come early or stay later to see more of Austin's attractions, which we'll be showing you in coming weeks. Come for the wildflowers, the music, the food, the history, the "weirdness" of Austin, and the welcoming hospitality of Texas!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Fabulous hotel location has fun all around for flingers to enjoy

When you arrive in Austin, the Live Music Capital of the World, you’ll be staying at the Marriott Courtyard Austin/Convention Center, located at 300 East 4th Street, Austin, Texas 78701. This is where we'll board our buses every morning and drop off at the end of the day.

The Marriott is located in the heart of the city, just a short walking distance from the famous 6th Street entertainment district, the State Capitol, and beautiful Lady Bird Lake.  You're guaranteed to get a feel of that unique “Keep Austin Weird” vibe that people love about Austin.

We'll send out a link you can use to make your reservations when we open registration.

Early morning starts will be easy with free wifi to check in on social media and a Starbucks®   conveniently located right inside the hotel.

You'll also find inviting gathering spaces throughout the lobby - perfect for relaxing and catching up with other Flingers.

For a late night snack or cocktail, head into the Champions Restaurant and Bar or find the perfect spot on 6th Street.

A gym and indoor pool are available for bloggers who don't get enough exercise during our 3 days of dawn till dusk garden tours.  When sleep finally calls, cozy beds and hotel rooms will make you feel right at home.

For the evening/dinner on your own Friday night, you'll find an array of places to eat great food, listen to hoppin' live music and just plain people watch.

Strolling down 6th street is an experience all on its own.  On the 6th Street website you'll find so many options it may be hard to choose.  

We'll be blogging about it all in much more detail as we get closer to the Fling.  We'll highlight 6th Street and all the other hip places like SoCo, Rainey Street, the East Side that you can check out while you're here 

If you're planning on an extended stay, we'll be also providing information about additional nursery shopping, garden visiting, sight seeing and entertainment opportunities in Austin and the surrounding Hill Country.

Enticed yet?  If you're not already considering staying a little longer, you might want to rethink it!

Registration will open in early November, so keep reading the blog regularly for more info and details.  It's sure to fill up fast, and you don't want to miss out.