SG544: Day Three Highlights from the 2016 Garden Bloggers Fling

Welcome to day three, the final day, of the Garden Bloggers Fling. Today I'm joined by fellow garden bloggers Gail Eichelberger of Clay and Limestone, Julie Thompson-Adolf of Garden Delights, Diana Kirby of Sharing Nature’s Garden, and Helen Battersby of Toronto Gardens. Day Three was full of exciting venues and we review the highlights of the gardens on the itinerary and even offer helpful tips on for new bloggers who wish to attend next year’s fling in the Capital Region around Washington D.C.

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“Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.”
― Robert Louis Stevenson.

Helen Battersby

Day Three Highlights from the 2016 Garden Bloggers Fling

Gail Eichelberger

Day Three Highlights from the 2016 Garden Bloggers Fling
Day Three Highlights from the 2016 Garden Bloggers Fling

Julie Thompson Adolf


Diana Kirby


Interview Questions

Gail Eichelberger, Clay and Limestone (

Time Stamp: 10:40

Gail, out of curiousity, what’s one of your favorite natives to grow?

Time Stamp 12:15

Julie Thompson Adolf, Garden Delights (

Time Stamp: 13:10

Diana Kirby, Sharing Natures Garden (

Time Stamp: 15:55

Helen Battersby, Toronto Gardens (

Time Stamp: 19:15

What advice would the ladies have for new bloggers who wish to attend next year’s Fling?

Time Stamp: 22:25

First up on day three was Como Park. You guys saw the Charlotte Partridge Ordway Japanese Garden and then the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory in Como Park. Thoughts on both, ladies?

Time Stamp: 35:30

The next stop was Marge Hols fabulous garden. Marge is the dean of garden writers in St. Paul and she happens to live on Summit Avenue – one of the grandest, historic streets in Minnesota. It’s like Prairie Avenue in Chicago, Euclid Avenue in Cleveland, and Fifth Avenue in New York City. In fact, the Governor’s mansion is just two blocks from Marge’s home.

Time Stamp: 46:50

The garden of Lee and Jerry Shannon. This was named one of the five best gardens in the Twin Cities.

Time Stamp: 56:35:55

Next up on the itinerary was lunch at Bailey’s Display Garden. You were fortunate enough to meet the folks behind Easy Elegance roses, First Editions shrubs and perennials and Endless Summer hydrangeas. The Bailey family has been growing and selling plants in Minnesota (and far beyond!) for three generations. 

Time Stamp: 1:06:30

After lunch, you headed east to Afton to see Squire House Gardens. This privately owned garden shop in tiny Afton is located in an old house with formal and casual gardens around it. Squire House specializes in unusual plants and accessories for home and garden.

Squire House is owned by garden designer Martin Stern who describes his style as “English, but not formal.” The paths in the garden intersect at right angles and there’s also a vegetable garden that demonstrates ideas on trellising. Martin is a master at placing art and structures in the garden.

Time Stamp: 1:10:25

The final stop of the fling was actually in Wisconsin at the Wouterina de Raad Mosaic Sculpture Park and Garden.  The fling coordinators wrote on the itenary that “They may have saved the best for last!”

This private garden and sculpture park is a unique marvel in midwest gardening. There are over 100 mosaic sculptures that Wouterina has created and displays in her expansive garden in Beldenville, Wis.

Time Stamp: 1:20:35

Why is the fling such an important event for garden bloggers?

Time Stamp: 1:32:35

Garden blogging for most folks starts as a hobby. How did you guys get started blogging?

Time Stamp: 1:35:35

The other skill that most garden bloggers practice is photography. Where are you at in terms of mastery of photography? What camera do you use and what apps do you like?

Time Stamp: 1:42:05

There’s a ton of photos to go through after a fling. How do you handle the post production?

Time Stamp: 1:48:25

How do you decide what to blog about first after an event like the fling?

Time Stamp: 1:52:25

Why don’t we close by having everyone talk about where we can find each of you online and any upcoming events you guys have.

Time Stamp: 1:53:25

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I never write reviews but this is the best gardening podcast out there. Jennifer has interesting topics and guests and is not one bit annoying like some others are. I love that she involves her kids at the end of the podcast - usually with poetry or music. Really good podcast.

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Still Growing is one of the reliably informative gardening podcasts from North America. The format consists of an intro (personal gardening status chat, seasonal remarks), an extended interview with a guest, and an outro with funny outtakes, side remarks, and some chatter (poems, readings) from the host's children. The podcast is focused on reliable knowledge - the guests are typically experts like academics, master gardeners, gardening entrepreneurs or public garden leaders. The intro and especially the outro give it a homey feel. Given I live in the high northern region, just a little below the Polar Circle, I'm always looking for more cold-weather oriented gardening information. Jennifer Ebeling is in Minnesota, so that's helpful to me! Vegetable gardening (my main interest) gets a good share, but is not predominant. Most topics transcend your specific gardening interest and are applicable to many styles: landscaping principles, vermicomposting, greenhouses. The episodes are typically an hour long, which is just fine for me.

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Jennifer Ebeling
Jennifer Ebeling is a proud Minnesotan and U of MN alumni. Gooooooo Gophers! Each week, Jennifer produces and hosts Still Growing - a gardening podcast dedicated to helping you and your garden grow. The show is an in-depth interview format. Guests featured on the show share a passion for gardening and include authors, bloggers, professional gardeners, etc. Listeners and guests of the show can join the Still Growing community on Facebook. It's a place to ask questions, share garden stories, interact with great guests featured on the show, and continue to grow and learn. Jennifer and her husband Philip have four children, a big golden lab named Sonny, and live in lovely Maple Grove, Minnesota. P.S. When she's not teaching her four kids a new card game - or teaching them how to drive a car - Jennifer loves inspiring individuals and groups to maximize and personalize their home & garden.
Jennifer Ebeling
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