Denver was a Garden Bloggers fling I was certain to attend. Having visited once before, this Midwestern city was definitely etched in my mind. A friend of mine, Winston Walker piqued my interest in Denver about 5 years ago. On that visit, Winston took me hiking, rock skipping and taught me to drink from the palm of my hand at a roadside stream. The water was so clear..and I did not get sick. That adventure-filled visit made it clear, I had to return. From the mountainous views to the varied plant material, I knew that the Denver Garden Bloggers Fling was the perfect opportunity.
WHAT IS A GARDEN BLOGGERS FLING?
The Garden Bloggers Fling is a reunion of sorts. Like most garden-related events, like-minded people gather to collaborate and discover. The Fling brings like-minded bloggers together to see how landscapes vary from State to State and have fun. To attend a Garden Bloggers Fling, one must have an active. blog. There must have been activity on the blog for six months prior to the current Fling. I always like to share – if you have a blog, it is all YOURS and reflects your authentic voice. It is refreshing to know that you have a platform that you control even if other social media is challenged. This year’s event was no different. Botanical Interests showed off Denver in a most spectacular way!!! Where do I begin?
Our accommodations were at the Hyatt Regency near the Convention Center in downtown colorful Colorado! The view from the room was amazing – a little skyline and a little blue bear butt. The Denver Fling Committee provided loaded swag bags and badges. We met in the hotel lobby to register and greet Garden Blogger Flingers from all over the US and Canada.
DENVER FLINGING AND THE GROWHAUS
The GrowHaus serves the surrounding Elyria – Swansea community. Economic opportunities via food production, education, and distribution are integral to its mission. As a non-profit indoor farm, it was the perfect setting for a tour and dinner with my fellow Flingers. The GrowHaus is in a neighborhood that holds the title of the most polluted zip code in Denver. A neighborhood anchored by the Interstate, with contaminated soil and considered a food desert, the GrowHaus has found its purpose in this community. One would think that this is a dismal situation – until you see the GrowHaus and understand it’s the mission.
This 20,000 square foot facility raises fish, uses the fish poop as fertilizer and sells produce to local restaurants. The food grown at the GrowHaus is consumed by residents in walking distance. What a great way to share the authentic environmental footprint of a community. We were able to take a brief tour of the facility after dinner and door prizes.
DENVER NEWBIES AND NETWORKING
The lull between eating our dinner and returning to the hotel, I met first-time Flinger, Luan Akin of Tagawa Gardens. Luan is a fellow Master Gardener and curates programming for Tagawa Gardens. The Garden Bloggers Fling is such a terrific opportunity to meet new people, explore, exchange ideas, and cultivate friendships. Luan did not know what to expect, so I had to show her the ropes.
I even met a new Flinger from the DC area who is nuts for natives…literally! Shari Wilson blogs about being Nuts for Natives. Formerly Maryland’s Secretary of Environment, Shari had the opportunity to connect with like-minded Marylanders. We love our Chesapeake Bay Watershed. It is important to help maintain the health of this important watershed. Planting natives and embracing their beauty helps us achieve this goal. Minimal fertilizer and low maintenance are the gifts of a native landscape.
After meeting these two newbies, I knew this was going to be a great Fling! I could only imagine that this Fling would be one to remember, after a night like this. New friends, tacos, The GrowHaus and a swag bag that piqued my interest. Heading back to our hotel, made me wonder what Day 2 would bring. The Denver Garden Bloggers Fling 2019 was definitely melting my heart…and it was just day 1.
The convenience of staying in downtown Denver near so many modes of transportation, shopping and coffee were amazing. The Hyatt Regency Convention Center was not just beautiful but convenient, check out all they have to offer here.
Denver, The Garden Bloggers Fling, fine dining, and Blue Bears on my mind. I can’t wait to share more about the gardens and Denver garden style.
Teri, Cottage In The Courtby