The garden club has a plant sale coming up at the beginning of May and now Christmas is over and the weather is mild, ones thoughts start to turn to gardening again. The seed catalogues are on my desk but I have not yet got around to doing any ordering. A task that might be good for one of the rainy days they are forecasting for next week.
It is one thing to pot up a plant for sale but another thing to see it fly off the stall and it is much more fun to do that than see it linger as a “remainder” and be given away for next to nothing. Nothing sells a plant better than being in flower!! I am looking around the garden for a few examples: ones that work well are Brunnera (they have nice leaves as well), Euphorbia, early Geranium, Omphalodes and Borage. The later is pretty weedy but will grow with some shade and flowers for ages. Late flowering Primulas might work well. If a plant has not got a flower then an attractive leaf is a huge selling point. Cathy (Legate) has donated Podophyllum plants (usually known as “Spotty Dotty”) to recent sales and they have been snatched up just as soon as they have been put out. You may not have anything quite so special to work with but lots of plants have attractive leaves and they are a good selling point. The dark leaved Ligularia often needs splitting and looks very good in a pot early in the season. Gingers are nice as well but there are lots of others.
Sad to say lots of lovely things that leaf out late do not sell all that well but that is often to the advantage of the sales people as I have got some fantastic things as “left overs” at the end of sales including a huge pot of Toad Lily which flowers nearly until Christmas and a sad looking hydrangea which only took one season to become very well established. There are some favorites like Bearded Iris which always seem to be popular. One never really knows what will “go” but certainly a good variety is best as it is hard to sell too many similar pots from one garden in a one day sale. I have a couple of “gifts” from so called friends which have been far too rampant in my garden and when I look at them I do not think warm and friendly things about the giver!!! We do not want customers to think about the garden club in that way so it is best not to grow up anything that can become invasive. If you look around your garden and can’t see anything you want to split then a few containers of lettuce or kale seedlings makes a great donation and given the craze for veggie gardening would sell well. Good gardening, splitting, potting up and seeding!!l