Monday, August 29, 2011

Seattle Garden Bloggers' Fling - Dragonfly Farms & farewell reception

The grand finale to the Seattle Garden Bloggers' Fling was a cocktail party sponsored by Proven Winners® and hosted by Dragonfly Farms and Nursery on Kitsap Peninsula. We arrived a bit early, so we were encouraged to tour the grounds while the caterers were setting up.

Dragonfly Farms' motto is “Where Abnormality is the Normality.” I see what they mean!
A playful garden display at Dragonfly Farms & Nursery

I neglected to write down the artist responsible for these giant orange orbs.
Dragonfly Farms & Nursery

Look at this arbor made from a giant chain.
Dragonfly Farms & Nursery

The display gardens at Dragonfly Farms are extensive and gorgeous.
Dragonfly Farms & Nursery

Dragonfly Farms & Nursery


Several beds featured glass art by local artist Barbara Sanderson of Glass Gardens NW. Her work was also featured in Denise Lane's garden.
Dragonfly Farms & Nursery

It took all my resolve not to buy any plants from the retail nursery to take home to dry, hot Austin.
The retail nursery at Dragonfly Farms

At the appointed hour, we walked up to a charming house on the nursery grounds,
House and gardens at Dragonfly Farms

and onto the lawn where the garden party awaited us.
A garden party at Dragonfly Farms

Danielle Ernest, PR & Brand Development Coordinator for Proven Winners®, sponsored and coordinated the event in celebration of Superbells® Blackberry Punch, a Calibrachoa hybrid with a dark center and a purple edge the exact color of Danielle's sweater.
Danielle Ernest of Proven Winners®

We all received a Superbells® Blackberry Punch plant to take home, a swag bag filled with goodies from Timber Press, a mini terrarium from Artemisia: Collage with Nature, and a succulent from Dragonfly Farms (I think--correct me if I'm wrong!)

In keeping with the "blackberry" theme, we enjoyed Blackberry Punch cocktails,
Blackberry Punch cocktails

and a delicious assortment of appetizers and blackberry-laden desserts.
Appetizers and blackberry-themed desserts

My favorite were these chocolate cupcakes with blackberry frosting. Yum!
Chocolate blackberry cupcakes

A handful of us sported Fling-inspired fascinators. Helen of Toronto Gardens (left), inspired by the Royal Wedding, announced her intent to create a fascinator for Fling three weeks before the event. Yours truly (center) did not have enough skill to create a fascinator from scratch, but found a darling one at Marshalls the week before leaving for Fling; in hindsight, I wish I'd adorned it with a few bumblebees or Monarch butterflies. Vicki of Playin' Outside (right) created a Seattle-themed fascinator complete with ferns, moss, raindrops and even a banana slug!
A fascinating display of fascinators at Fling

What a wonderful ending to four glorious days. Thanks again to coordinators Lorene Edwards Forkner, Debra Prinzing, Marty Wingate and Mary Ann Newcomer for putting on a splendid Fling!
"Punch Drunk in Love with the PNW" reception

When I was considering attending the Seattle Fling, Pam Penick of Digging told me, "You should go! You won't regret it." And Pam was right. I so enjoyed meeting dozens of garden bloggers from all over the US, Canada and the UK, many whose blogs I've been reading for years, and really got to experience Seattle in a way the casual tourist would not. I am still in the process of updating my blogroll with dozens of new garden blogging sites. I'm sorry I missed the first three Flings in Austin (I wasn't blogging yet), Chicago and Buffalo. Next year's Fling destination is Asheville, NC, and I hope to be there!

Words and photos © 2009-2011 Caroline Homer for "The Shovel-Ready Garden". Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.


  1. I'm so glad you decided attend, it was wonderful to meet you!

  2. I'm really glad you went, Caroline! And I'm also happy to see that you captured the yummy spread and drinks that Danielle put out for us at Dragonfly Farms.

  3. I does look like everybody had a wonderful time.
    Thanks for sharing your trip.
    Stay cool...

  4. Your great photos bring back such good memories. And you have so many pictures that I don't have at all! So, it was like seeing it anew!

  5. The pictures are great, and Danielle, the picture of you is stunning.

  6. It was great to meet you, Caroline. Although, I don't want to give the world the wrong impression: after jokingly mentioning the fascinator on Facebook, then discovering to my alarm that people took the idea seriously, I threw a couple of things into my suitcase at the last minute... just in case. Anyway, you looked smashing in yours and Vicki really rocked it in the banana slug and dew-spangled ferns.