For the past couple of years we garden bloggers here in the UK have looked on rather enviously at all the Spring Fling fun over there across the pond. Then last May whilst attending the Malvern Spring Show (a rather lovely major gardening event held in early May for the past 25 years) with Patient Gardener, it struck us that here was the perfect place to arrange our own Garden Bloggers get together.
What could be better? A garden show, centrally located and thus within relatively easy reach for most of our garden blogging friends. Not only that, blog posts last year revealed a number of garden bloggers already were in attendance, some of them even playing a central role in the show's entertainment and show garden arenas. Thus the decision was made: we'd announce our intention to meet up in 2010 and around 10 of our fellow bloggers would join us for coffee and possibly for a meal afterwards in a local restaurant. A rather low key affair, but allowing plenty of time for everyone to see everything that the show has to offer.
Never did we imagine how enthusiastic the response would be. 50 bloggers will be joining us at various times from 6th to 8th May. Not only that, the show's organisers have welcomed us with open arms: offering a half price ticket deal plus an exclusive VIP area close to the show gardens, the Design for Living Theatre, a cafe and the local food market. A prime spot right at the heart of the action.
If that was beyond our imagination, then what came next was a complete shock: not only did many of our UK blogging buddies wish to join us, our friends from overseas were also most enthusiastic about the whole affair. A humourous exchange between myself and Gail (Clay and Limestone) about arranging an international cultural exchange has led to both her and Frances (Faire Garden) embarking on a Transatlantic adventure along with our European friends Yolanda (Bliss) and Ewa (Ewa in the Garden). Thus our first get together will be special indeed.
It promises to be a very different event to the Spring Fling, but at it's heart there'll still be fun, gardening and friendship. It promises to be an absolute blast. I know a number of people who read this blog have expressed sadness that they won't be able to join us. Like the Spring Fling I'm confident that our first get together won't be the last, so there will be other opportunities to meet. And who knows? If Gail and Frances can fly all that way to join us, perhaps some of us may journey across the pond another time.
In the meantime I'd like to suggest a couple of ways you all can join us. The Meet @ Malvern blog (www.malvernmeet.blogspot.com) already has over 50 posts covering all aspects of the show, both past and present. From someone who attended the first event 25 years ago through to exhibitors and designers currently embarked on the exciting stages of the build for their show gardens. We may have just a few weeks to go, but lots more posts are planned in the lead up to the show as well as during the event itself. It would be great if you could join with us via the Comments.
I would also like to extend an invitation for you to meet with us in a virtual way by sending us your greetings to your gardening blogging buddies across the pond. It can take whatever form you wish: a favourite photograph, piece of poetry about gardening or friendship, a simple message or even just your Avatar. I will then collate everything into a 'Greetings Wall' in some way to post on the blog and hopefully to have on display at the show itself. Please send your contributions to email@example.com preferably by the 1st May so I can collate everything in time for the start of the show.
Looking forward to seeing you - either virtually or for real!
Guest post: Michelle Chapman (aka VP) is an enthusiastic gardener and allotmenteer, who since taking early retirement a couple of years ago can't keep quiet about anything gardening, vegetable or Chippenham related on her blog (www.vegplotting.blogspot.com). She was a finalist in the Blog of the Year category at the Garden Media Guild awards (the UK equivalent of the GWA) last year.