Monday, April 6, 2009

Are You Tired of Hearing About Spring Fling Yet?

Last Friday Mr.Brown Thumb, Gina from My Skinny Garden, and I met for a private tour of Macy's State Street store's Garden Show taking place now through April 19th.

Mr.Brown Thumb and I were able to spend the rest of the afternoon downtown. We thought Spring Fling participants might enjoy coming along with us on our walk to see what we saw after Gina headed back to work for the afternoon.

Steps away from Club Quarters Hotel, this might be a popular stop.

How convenient! This is kiddycorner from the hotel.

Right around the corner, a nice pottery display, and a sale.

You may have recognized the name on the hotel sign in yesterday's post - that's where some of you will be staying during SF. Here's the lounge. You can see the lobby in yesterday's post. If the hotel hadn't been fully occupied, the staff would have been happy to show us one of the rooms.

The people we talked to were exceptionally nice, and we liked the serene vibe and white-glove cleanliness of the public areas.

We also checked out several potential SF Friday night reception sites. Gina had suggested this one, and we really liked it alot. More information about the reception will be available soon.

After taking care of business, we walked to Millennium Park. You can't go there without seeing Cloud Gate, affectionately known as 'The Bean.'

And then of course, the Lurie Garden is not to be missed. I expected the Lurie to be bigger than it actually as. Believe it or not, this was the first time I'd ever been there.

This is only a small part of the garden - don't worry, it's larger than this! Plants are sprouting everywhere, and the Lurie will look much different in late May.

Only crocus,

and scilla were blooming when we were there.

I'm glad I finally made it down to the Lurie. There's really no excuse not to, since it's a very, very short walk from my train station. I'm looking forward to going back again soon. If I make it back before Spring Fling, I'll share the progress of the garden with you here.

I hope you've enjoyed your sneak peak of a few of the sights you'll see here as I report on Spring Fling, and in person if you're one of the lucky ones who gets to come to Chicago in less than two months for the second annual Garden Bloggers' Spring Fling.


  1. Sounds like everyone will have a great time. Someday I'll have to attend one of these.

  2. Kim & Victoria, I feel lucky it's here in Chicago this year.

    I hope you get a chance to attend one someday!

  3. Anonymous1:38 PM

    Considering I won't be able to attend this year, nope! Hope you all have a great time & I look forward to seeing the posts afterwards. ;)

  4. Now, don't laugh. It's finally clear to me from your photos today and yesterday why the Cloud gate is named the Cloud Gate. I've only ever done "arty"shots of it closeup at what if ind to be interesting angles. Your shot from farther away makes it plain as day--the sculpture reflects the clouds!!! DUH! :) We had 6 inches of wet/icy/snow overnight and just now got power back.

  5. Glad I'm not boring you Racquel!

    Monica, I won't laugh at you if you don't laugh at me, since I hadn't been there before Friday!

    Wow 6"! We had a few inches here too - really heavy snow, knocked down a lot of tree limbs in the neighborhood, but no power outage.

  6. Oh, good, a Starbucks nearby! I loved their iced green tea. Thanks for the preview pics!

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  7. If you pay, I'll come. I'd like to, but I've been on one too many trips the last year (make that 9 too many). Looks like fun, and I've been to Chicago so often, within steps of the park, and have never seen it. Sigh.

  8. Carol, I had a feeling there might be a few folks happy to see that! You're welcome!

    Benjamin, I know what you mean! Travel can take a toll on the budget!

    Hope you get to see the park sometime! I LIVE in the Chicago area, and that was the first time I'd been to Millennium Park! Most of the time I'm in the city for a purpose though, and haven't allowed enough time in my schedule to see it. That will change going forward!

  9. Anonymous11:59 PM

    That looks like a ton of fun. And what an awesome bunch of you that will forever change the Chicago area ;)

  10. No, I'm not tired of it at all, tell me more! ;-)

    And how wonderful that SF has given you the final push you needed to visit the Lurie garden. ;-)

    I'm doing abit of catching up with my blogging friends. The weather has been so good here lately that I didn't have enough time to blog as there was so much to do in the garden.

    It looks like SF will be a big hit with everybody who will join it. Wish I could come too, I really do.

  11. I think it will be Anna! Wish you could make it too! Yep, Chicago will never be the same! ;)

    That's good Yolanda, because in another few weeks I think you'll be hearing a lot more! Wish you could come too!

    I'm glad you're having good gardening weather! We had snow on the weekend, and it's still pretty chilly. I did get out in the garden a little - planted onion sets in the snow on Sunday!

  12. Hi Linda, I will never tire of seeing this. I love to study up when I am going on any trip and this is a great help. The hotel looks very clean and welcoming. Those black chairs look comfy too. I will be asking questions about the weather to expect during that time to help with the packing. What kind of clothing would be good? Will it be warm, cold, different for days and nights? How dresssy to we need for dinners? Rain? Snow? Windy?

  13. Good morning Frances! Glad you're finding this helpful!

    We'll probably need a separate page on the SF site with weather and what kind of clothing to bring on the trip. I suspect people will want to travel light and have room in their luggage for things they'll undoubtedly be taking home with them.

    Late May in Chicago is usually pretty settled weather-wise with cool temps in the morning and warmer in the afternoon. Our last average frost date is May 15th, but we've had frost in late May. This early it's hard to predict, but temps can range from low forties at night, sometimes into the upper 80's during the day. Average is probably lows in the 50's and highs in the low-to-mid 70's. Layers will be the way to go!

    I'll look into adding a weather gadget onto the SF site so people can go and look at the forecasts as we get closer to our dates, so they'll know how to pack. Rain is possible, snow is highly unlikely but possible, and they don't call Chicago the Windy City for nothin'! ;)

    I don't think we'll plan dinners where dressing up will be required. We're close to finalizing Friday's reception, and then we'll focus on Saturday, but I think casual will be the way to go to making packing easier, and so people can be as comfortable as possible. We'll have more details on that once we finalize dinner plans.

  14. Thanks for the tour and I can't wait to get there. Chicago is one of my favorite towns. I always especially enjoy the beautiful sidewalk and median plant displays (when it's the right season of course!). I remember being surprised by how small the Lurie was as well. But it is LUSH!

  15. I love Chicago so you can post on it and SF all you want! It's a favorite city to visit for a long weekend and found it fairly easy to get around! I love the availability of taxis!


  16. Jean, Chicago's one of my favorite towns too, but I'm a little biased since I was born here. ;) I'm looking forward to seeing the Lurie later in the season, and looking foward to meeting you in Chicago in a few weeks!

    Hi Gail, you're not kidding about the taxis! They're everywhere downtown!

    Even though I don't get into the city that often these days, I think it's easy to get around too. With the streets arranged in a grid and the addresses being logical, I've never gotten lost (yet!)

  17. Thanks for taking us on this sneak preview tour, Linda! I've been out of town and haven't kept up with all the Spring Fling correspondence yet, but I guess I'd better get on that. Really looking forward to meeting everyone in May!

  18. My pleasure Rose! Hope you had a wonderful trip!

    I'm looking forward to meeting you too!

  19. Haha, I bought a Calathea at that very florist this morning and thought of this post! I'm looking forward to SF -- a little nervous since I don't know any of you yet but gardeners are invariably wonderful people and I know it will be a blast! I haven't been to the Lurie garden in ages and that was in July so it'll be fun to see what it looks like in May. Here's a view if anyone's curious:

  20. Cool Diane! We didn't stop in to see what they were selling, but I thought it was kind of neat this store was right around the corner!

    No need to be nervous, we've got a great group coming, and I'm confident you'll feel right at home.

    Thanks for the Lurie photo - nice to see it all in bloom. I'm curious to see what it will be like in a few weeks!


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