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Need your input on a Fling in Buffalo in ’10


There’s a couple options when it comes to the date we settle on for Garden Bloggers Buf-fling ’10 / Buffa10 / Buffalo Fling ’10 / Flinging Buffalo ’10 / Buffalo Shuf-Fling 2010 / BuffaFling ’10 / BufFling ’10 / A Fling in the Buff ’10, or whatever it’s called.

To Walk, or not to Walk
Basically the options come down to two–have everyone gather during Garden Walk Buffalo, or not (probably a few weeks in advance of the Walk).

Chicago Spring Fling planners took on this spectacularly good looking group in ’09. Photo by Flatbush Gardener.

The benefit of having a Fling before Garden Walk Buffalo is more time spent as a group with focused activities, like a few garden visits, most likely speakers. Maybe some side trips that are garden-related, like a hike, botanical garden tour or visit to Niagara-on-the-Lake or the Canadian Botanical Gardens in Canada (Does everyone have passports?). This would be more along the lines of the Chicago Fling, but with maybe more learning/speaker opportunities.

Garden Walk Buffalo attracts between 40,000 and 50,000 visitors from around the U.S. and Canada.

A benefit of having a fling during Garden Walk Buffalo (July 24 & 25, 2010) is there would be more than 340 creative urban gardens for you to visit (all free, with free shuttle buses). It’s overwhelming, but the Buffalo crew could point you in the direction of the must-see gardens. You could tour 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at your own pace and do it in groups, or on your own. We’d meet up Saturday and Sunday evenings for dinners & a party to talk gardens. It’s the largest garden tour in the U.S., and if the majority of potential Flingers were interested in attending, we want you to have that opportunity. We’d still have (part of) Thursday and all day Friday for group focused activities, speakers, botanical garden visit and/or a select garden tour.

During Chicago’s Fling, I heard both sides from a few different people. Some suggested each Fling city find what’s unique to them and make it their own–no two Flings being alike.

Unique to Chicago–urban gardens and great public spaces like the Lurie Garden.

Others liked very much the chance to see some gardens, but commented they wished there’d been more sharing of information on writing, blogging softwares, copyright concerns, how to get published, photography and more.

Please vote in the upper right hand corner survey if you’re considering attending. Please leave a comment either below here, over at Gardening While Intoxicated, or if you’d like some privacy, email BuffaloFling (at) yahoo.com.

We’d like to settle this as quickly as possible to get you a date to plan around, and hotel arrangements started. And you can arrange to have the spouse, children or squirrels to take care of your garden while you’re away.

I’ve always wanted a Fling in the Buff. But that’s just me.

I have a long-time garden blog, a popular garden on America's largest garden tour, and have co-written a book on garden design titled, "Buffalo-Style Gardens: Create a Quirky, One-of-a-Kind Private Garden with Eye-Catching Designs" When I'm not doing all that, I am an advertising designer always out looking to design things to promote your business. Look me up at #jcharlier.

0 comments on “Need your input on a Fling in Buffalo in ’10

  1. Jim, with your black background, I can barely see the choices for voting… they are showing as gray on black for me.

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  2. Jim, I really appreciate the opportunity to give input. The problem with having all those possible garden sites to visit…is having all those possible garden sites to visit! Please, let's not get over scheduled. What i love about SF is the community time..talking, catching up, meeting new folks, talking about blogging issues, learning new techniques etc. I wonder if SF would be better served to visit at a time when there aren't thousands of folks competing for hotel rooms and restaurant space. Just my thoughts. gail clay and limestone

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  3. I have a home advantage, so I voted to have it *not* during Garden Walk for the reasons mentioned so far. As someone new to garden blogging, I think I would like to be able to spend more time with the folks visiting and talk shop, be more leisure about things. I agree that there is enough in Buffalo to look at outside Garden Walk that people would enjoy, that no one would be bored or disappointed! 🙂

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  4. Hi Jim, I'll come either way, but the thought of having the hotel rooms booked up with the walk visitors seems a minus. On the other hand, I would love to see those gardens. I too would like some scheduled blogging talks with everyone included.Frances

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  5. I'd love to come to Garden Walk one day, but I think it would be a less chaotic Spring Fling to come to Buffalo at another time. Thanks for asking, and thanks too for volunteering to host next year!

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  6. Carol,I'm trying to figure out how to fix that gray type, but have not had much luck yet. Thanks for letting me know it's not just my monitor!Gail,Hotels arranged a year ahead of time should not be a problem. Our Convention & Visitors Bureau has already expressed interest finding a hotel for us. We just have to give them dates.Amy,Thanks for your input–as well as offering to help host!Francis,Don't worry about hotel rooms, let us worry about that. The Walk is only from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, so there would still be time to do plenty of group discussions, dinners, happy hours, lunches, parties, breakfasts and so on whether done Walk weekend, or not.Pam,Thanks for the input–and getting us started off on the right foot.

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  7. I'm ready to help. I'm new at this blogging, only since February, so have some patience with me. I'll do whatever you and Liz would like. Another body in town won't hurt. Lead on.

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  8. Boy, that's a really tough question. I would love to partake in the Walk if we could somehow be guaranteed our own bus. I'm thinking that if we do it earlier than the Garden Walk we may miss the height of Buffalo's gardening season. Hmm…

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  9. Hi Jim, I can't see the choices, so I'll vote here. Even though I'd love to see Garden Walk, I vote for a separate time before. I go to a lot of garden groupings & they are always busier than I think they will be. Less busy, more time to be together is a good thing for me. Thanks to you and Eliz for hosting.~~Dee

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  10. Jim — it looks like the second thing to click is NOT during GW so that's my choice. I like the idea of seeing a few of those gardens (you and EL can pick a few: most colorful, most subdued, biggest, smallest etc). But I agree about wanting time to talk, lectures etc. And thanks for the passport reminder. I still forget you can't just bop over to Canada the way we did growing up in Buffalo.

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  11. Claudia,You're drafted!Jean,I don't think we'd miss any of our gardening season by meeting up a few weeks or more before the event. Many think Garden Walk should be weeks before it is. Gardeners really never think their gardens look good enough at any given time anyway.Dee,Thanks for your input! No matter what, I'm sure it'll be a busy weekend.Ms. Wis./EachLittleWorld,Canada's is literally a walk away from my house–and even I can't go right now as my passport's being renewed. Looks like NOT garden Walk is teh popular choice so far.

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  12. I would love to see Garden Walk but I do think it would be a bit chaotic to have the 'Fling' during this event. I cannot see the choices above either so here I vote for a separate date. Hope that won't be too much added work for you.

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  13. I didn't see this post & poll before commenting on the post above.But I'll give you my two cents as part of the organizing committee in Chicago. We did several things because people kept mentioning that they wanted time to be together and have discussions and all that.For the reception we booked the room we were in instead of a restaurant, which would have been less expensive, because so many people said they wanted time to have discussions and talk about blogging. As soon as people were done eating and the swag was passed out the room cleared out like there had been a bomb threat called in. We got the private dinning room for the group so people could talk but that didn't happen.Same thing with the bus which was chartered because, again, people said they want to be able to talk and have camaraderie. I sat in the back so I don't know what was going on in the middle and in the front of the bus–but I didn't hear any blogging discussion. There was even a group that left on public transit before the bus headed back to the hotel. We wanted to give people the option for dinner on Saturday night to do what they wanted, but again people said they wanted to meet up and talk. So we booked another location with a private room to facilitate all this discussion that people wanted and as soon as people were done eating the room cleared out. We booked the private dining room so people could hang out and talk but everyone left. On our way back to the hotel to drop off a couple of bloggers who stayed behind to chat we discovered that people had left in a hurry to have a discussion about garden blogging back at the hotel. For Sunday morning we again had to book the private dinning room at the restaurant attached to the hotel because Elizabeth said that people would want to gather one last time for breakfast. Not many people showed up for the Sunday breakfast probably because of the price– which couldn't be avoided since we had to basically plan a second reception to use the place. What we wanted to do was have an early event and possibly a lunch and let people go off and do what they wanted.After CSF AnnieInAustin joked on Twitter that organizing garden bloggers is like herding cats. I think it is a perfect analogy. I suggest you do what makes things easier for you, first. Otherwise you'll spend hours of your life organizing and planning things that people say they want and then when the day comes they decide they don't want to do what you planned because they wanted it and then go off and do what they want to do with their friends. Peace.-MrBrownThumb-

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  14. Layanee,Looks like a separate date wins. Unless in the next week the votes come in unexpectedly. We're already looking at what the hotel situations are sometime before the Walk. It's not the Walk that gets hotels booked up, it's the conventions, weddings and other festivals & events that happen all summer.Chicago Gardener,We'll take all this into account. Good input going forward. I think there was probably much more interaction than you think there was. You did provide plenty of opportunities for casual & pointed conversations and most were taken advantage of. I realize that not every one will be happy with everything planned–both Elizabeth and I have organized enough events & activities to be realistic about that. I think we'd be freaked out if everyone agreed on something! I'd be freaked out if just Elizabeth & I agreed on everything!

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  15. I voted for during the Walk for several reasons:1.) I'm not that interested in learning more about blogging or getting published, but I will gladly spend all day seeing gardens.2.) If I'm feeling antisocial (always a possibility) I won't be stuck in a room with relative strangers.3.) Work responsibilities will make it impossible for me to attend (for the 3rd year in a row) if the Fling isn't held after the 4th of July.4.) I really want to attend Garden Walk Buffalo!In all seriousness, I think one full day of togetherness on Friday would be enough for me. And no one would be holding a gun to anyone's head making them do the Walk, they could always group up and chat. I'd be more than satisfied with gathering for dinner on Saturday night.

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  16. Anonymous

    Could Mr. Brown Thumb sound any MORE bitter on any of his comments anywhere about Spring Fling? He uses every opportunity to criticize the guests who flew or drove hundreds of miles and spent hundreds of dollars on his event. His only thanks are to his co-planners and event sponsors.

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  17. Jim, Thank you so much for giving us the chance for input. I just read Mr. Brown Thumb's comment, and I am sorry that he was disappointed in some of the results of all their hard work in planning this year. Just remember, that you are not going to please everyone and that overall we will have a great time being together even if certain events don't work out as planned! I think I would rather come at a different time from the Garden Walk, just because I assume hotel rooms, etc. will really be booked up that weekend, and I'm not big on crowds. On the other hand, if you decide that weekend is best, it's fine with me. I would love to have the time to visit Niagara Falls, though, but that is something I could do on my own, too. Thanks again for asking for our opinions!

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  18. Heather,Thanks for your input. After the fourth is feasible. We have someone looking into room availability and best prices now. We did want to offer the chance to attend the Walk–being the largest garden tour in the U.S.–it seemed crazy not to offer it up. Kind of like inviting you to visit the Superbowl a week before it happens.Anonymous,I think that's only the difference between expectations and reality. The Chicago organizers REALLY wanted to accommodate us and make sure we had a good time. There was much talk and camaraderie. I don't think that was lacking, given that we didn't do it all exactly as planned.Rose,Hotel rooms in Buffalo during the summer are no easier or harder to get than any other time (well, okay, maybe they're easier to get in January & February). Garden Walk doesn't fill up the hotel rooms–it's conventions, weddings and other events & festivals. Chances are, whatever weekend is chosen, there will be other street festivals, conventions and other distractions. Every weekend in the summer we have free art/cultural festivals, free garden tours, free concerts, art exhibitions and more. It's quite exhausting. But we do have a pro searching for availability and best prices for us now.

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  19. Dear Anonymous, How convenient for you to leave an cowardly anonymous comment accusing me of criticizing attendees of spring fling w/out supporting your accusation.If you knew what you were talking about you'd know that it wasn't “my” event and that I thanked everyone for coming. In particular on my blog I thanked the gardeners who brought gifts from their gardens to hand out. I also thanked bloggers like Flatbush Gardener and GardenFaerie for pushing around MrsFrace who was in a wheelchair. I made sure to thank them even though I was not witness to their kindness and only heard of it second hand because they showed the true spirit of community and togetherness.I'm sorry you didn't feel you weren't thanked or thanked enough-but you probably didn't do anything for the event or anything to make sure your fellow bloggers were safe and or comfortable.Cheers.MrBrownThumb

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  20. Late as always, I'll throw out my two cents anyway. For me, personally, it really doesn't matter as I'm (almost)local. For anyone coming from out of town you do not want to miss Garden Walk. It's easy to say I'll go back for Garden Walk some other time but would you really? It would be great fun bonding as you walk. The walk is only 10-4 so you have time for breakfast together and you don't have to be walking right at 10 if you want to do some other group lecture/meeting/whatever. With activities on Friday, and two evenings to fill you should have lots of group time.

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