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Garden Sale May, 2017

The big sigh of relief that I gave on Saturday afternoon could be heard all over the garden! The plant sale was over and all the plants had gone. Organizing this event was an interesting experience and definitely had some high and low points.

Firstly I should mention again why we had the sale here rather than at St. David’s church. The church proved difficult and in the end the major stumbling block was that we were unable to borrow their tables. The logistics and expense of renting the tables somewhere else would have been nearly impossible especially as they needed to be kept somewhere dry and secure overnight on the Friday. Having the sale at a home reduced our expenses considerably. It was also less exhausting to be able to do most of the set up on the Friday night when we had lots of very hard working volunteers. A big thank you here to Wendie Kottmeier who worked really hard on both Thursday and Friday afternoons to organize the pricing and make sure that all the plant labels were accurate.

The weather also proved very challenging. Not on the day of the sale – it was beautiful but in the couple of months leading up to the sale it was so cool and wet that no one was outside. Also a lot of later developing plants are only just starting to show growth with the increasing temperatures. We had lots of plants to sell but the varieties were less interesting than in previous years with a few notable exceptions. It was also harder to advertise the sale as we were much more dependent on signs and media than at St. David’s where a lot of people just see something going on and drive off the freeway to investigate. Cathy Gibson worked really hard to make sure all our signs were distributed in suitable locations. The NORTH SHORE NEWS gave us good coverage.

There were some nice surprises. A number of neighbours and former garden club members dropped off some very acceptable plants. An advantage there was being able to accept material the whole week before the sale. We had a very generous donation from MAPLE LEAF GARDEN SHOP and their support was really welcome. I pass the store nearly every day and now going in can be justified as showing appreciation for their gift and not an extravagant purchase for a garden that really does not need many more plants! West Van Florist and Gardenworks, North Vancouver also made small contributions.

The best part of the experience for me was getting to know some of the club members better especially some of the newer ones who helped so much to make the sale successful. It was also fun to welcome customers into the garden. The high point for me had to me meeting John who I had in my volunteer cooking group for students from Irwin Park School. I was a pretty young Mum in 1968 and the group of boys I was working with had to be challenging as more of one of them finished up “ known to the police”. John was not one of these; he was newly retired from a career with the railroad.

The big question is of course “ How much did we make”. Treasurer Jan Croxford is doing the calculation and we will let you know at the June meeting. I can say that it was not as much as some years and we will probably have to think again for next time. Some members have made helpful suggestions which have been noted. Any more bright ideas would be welcome.

The sun has come out in my garden in another way and I will close with some photographs of the sale and also one of my yellow paeony “Mollie the Witch” which is blooming for the first time having now recovered from being moved twice!

Lois Woolley