Wednesday, July 8, 2015

2015 Toronto Bloggers Fling

Two Girls With A Purpose picked up Our Little Acre and headed north to Canada with passports in hand for the first International Bloggers Fling. For Sue it was her first Fling and first time on foreign soil. The Fling was started by a group of Bloggers in Austin, Texas. Since then they have met in different cities around the country. It has been held in Asheville, Buffalo, Chicago, Portland, San Fransisco, Seattle and now Toronto.

It is a time for gardeners that like to write, convene, and talk about how to use their blogs either to promote their agenda or just explore and share a common interest. It is a time that the host city arranges activities of viewing extraordinary gardens. We get to view macro to massive estate gardens, and usually Botanical Gardens. It is not for the faint of heart. It was said we walked between 8-10 miles each day. I need one of those Fit Bits that tracks your steps.

Sue was our driver and Kylee was the navigator. I was Ms Daisy in the back seat. We made a few pit stops and arrived at the Fairmont York Hotel in downtown Toronto. This is where the Queen stays when she visits Toronto. It was a lovely hotel. Three women can quickly trash a hotel room with all their stuff. At least two of them did.

Fueling Up

Our Last Pit Stop Before Crossing the Border

Royal York Hotel

Beautiful Royal York Hotel Lobby

Place of Residence When Visiting Canada

Our hostess, Helen Battersby met us with her beautiful huge red hat. Soon we began to see some familiar faces. It is always fun to reconnect with friends that we have met at other flings.

Helen Battersby and Victoria Kirk, Lee Valley Tools Consultant

An evening event had been planned at the home of Lee Valley Tools. It was just a few blocks from our hotel, so we walked to the store. Just a small training session for what was about to be the norm. Lee Valley was a beautiful store of all top quality products. They greeted us with beautiful horsdoeuvres and drinks. Oh so good and tasty. It was a relaxed shopping experience. Lee Valley prepared us swag bags filled with wonderful products. We were given a three piece set of garden tools that are almost too nice to get dirty. They also gave us a heavy duty hoodie and a $50 gift certificate. The weather was lovely for a great walk back to our hotel.

Bloggers visit Lee Valley Tools

It was a long day and we were ready to call it a day.The next day starts early. We are all ready for some zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzs.

Sue or I will post about activities on day two.

Pictures posted by Sue. We would like to thank Kylee Baumle and Helen Battersby for a couple pictures that we are sharing with you!

Love Canada, Louise

Monday, June 1, 2015

Coming this Weekend, Peony Festival, June 5-7, 2015

A look back at.......Peony Festival 2014

The Festival first began in 1932, the first week end of June. During World War II they were discontinued, then  after the war they were resumed.

The Wassenbergs', a notable family in the community, had a 50 acre farm that they grew iris, poppies and mostly peonies. The Beckmans' had 20 acres of peonies that they sold commercially and privately. We now have to purchase them from our local nurseries and the internet. The Vera Wassenberg and Bu Te  have Van Wert roots. People probably have them and may not know it. Peonies are scattered over the city. I would love to be able to get starts of each of these. Every home in Van Wert needs at least one peony on their property, being we are "The Peony Capitol Of The World".

The Men's Garden Club have established a display garden of peonies in Smiley Park next to the Children's Garden. They are all labeled as to each variety. This is a good way to see what you might like for your own garden. I have  about 20 different ones in my gardens. I can always find room for one more.

Peony Committee

There is a Festival Committee that brings this altogether the first weekend in June. Many of our peonies are through their bloom by then, but this year there was a nice representation of them at the Jubilee Flower Show. The flower show was held at the new Wassenberg Art Center. The Wassenbergs' would be so proud that this is still on going.

Artistic Design Judge and Horticulture Judges

Best of Show

"Pink Pots"

Queen Jubilee XXXIX and Court
In the early spring, young women from the area are interviewed, and then compete in talent, evening gown, and questions and answer. Queen Jubilee XXXIX was chosen. Scholarships are given to the top three finalist. They are required to make appearances at certain functions. The day of the parade they have a luncheon at The Willow Bend Country Club and make appearances at many other special events held around the area. It is much like the Miss America Pageant, on a smaller scale, At 5 o'clock is the big parade. They get to ride the beautiful Queens float.

Queen's Float

On Friday evening the public was entertained with a free concert in the lovely Fountain Park. This year it was Papa Doo Run Run. Good lively music. There was a huge crowd. One of the largest.

Papa Doo Run Run

Vendors are set up in the park selling their arts and crafts. "ArtRageous" is now combined with the Festival. Good quality merchandise.


There are a lot of food venders. It is a time to load up on junk food. Great sausage sandwiches, barbeque, brauts, cotton candy, and of course icy slush.

Junk Food

On the grounds I ran into my co-blogger and Park Director, Sue. This is an extremely busy time for her. I am amazed how she seems to manage it all, and brings it all together.

Park Director Sue

The weather was picture perfect.. It was well attended.  Thanks to all of you that made this another well planned event. Now next year begins. Back to the drawing board.

It was A great festival.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Spring Flower Show

There is one way to jump start spring, find a Flower Show. Chicago is not far for us so we made a trip to the 2015 Chicago Flower Garden Show at Navy Pier last week. It was a great weekend weather wise, not like now. We have three inches of snow on the ground as I speak. It usually is a good show, but this year I thought it was special. The display gardens were amazing. You could walk into the gardens and feel like you were in someones home garden. The theme focus this year was roses. It was refreshing to see tulips, flowering shrubs and trees in full bloom along with roses. pansies and lilies. Of course these flowers are not blooming in our gardens at the same time. Through trickery and magic they are able to do this transformation.

We did a little of Chicago. We had pizza, Willis (Sears ) Tower and Ed Debevic.We also had our Garden Writers meeting. It is always informative and a time to renew friendships. I attended a couple symposiums. They are always the best.

Chicago Evening Skyline

Water Fall
Something to do with your beer bottles
Rainy Days and Sundays
From Willis (Sears) Tower
Navy Pier
Drainage Tile
Water Feature
Children's Garden
Room Settings
Re-purposed Tires
Water Feature
Touch of Ireland
Long Stem Roses


Mixed Bouquet
I am posting a little of the show for you to get a little garden fix. You should put this on your calendar for next year.

End of The Day