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NSAGC Plant Sale Guide

So, you want to have a plant sale - Garden club plant sales are something of a time honoured tradition. There are a number of things that should be considered when organizing a plant sale. The following information is a guide only. If your club has had successful sales in the past, then you are probably doing all the right things and don't need any new ideas. "If it isn't broke, don't fix it".

Why sell plants – Many plant sales are held to help sustain a garden club financially. Besides generating funds for the club, a sale may also contribute to making the public aware of the club and possibly help recruit new members to the club.

When to hold your plant sale – The sweet spot for plant sales is probably mid-May to mid-June. Much earlier and most plants haven't had a chance to get well established; much later and most organizations have had their sales and the buying public has picked up their quota of plants. As for the time of day; many sales start at 9:00 am and by eleven tables are looking rather empty. If you have advertised a time frame for your sale, it is a good idea to remain open for the duration, as late arrivals may be disgruntled and will not give you a good revue.

Where to sell – An indoor site is the most preferable if there is enough space to accommodate a large number of plants. An outdoor site provides plenty of space, but you are at the mercy of the weather and stand to lose out on not-so-enthusiastic buyers. A covered market area or at least a carport would be a good sheltered location. Piggyback with other local events such as a flea market or town yard sales.

What to sell – Variety is the spice of life. Therefore encourage club members to bring in a good variety of perennial plants (short, medium, tall and groundcovers). It would also be a good idea to have some annuals and vegetable transplants on hand. Many homeowners are now getting into small veggie patches, so it wouldn't hurt to have something to satisfy that need. Annuals are a quick fix for bare spots around the garden. Low maintenance plants are always popular, as well as long bloomers. Woody plants usually don't sell well, unless they are in prime condition and the buyer knows what they are getting.

Preparations – Pot up your plants at least three weeks in advance. Roots take about two weeks to re-establish and for new growth to begin. Do not dig plants the night before the sale as they will be wilted and will not leave a good impression about the quality of other plants you are selling. Negative publicity is bad for future business. Have cardboard boxes or flats available for buyers to carry out plants.

Advertising – Advertise early; begin at least a month in advance with posters on community bulletin boards. Check back on these posters as they have a tendency to disappear. Free, long-running ads in a newspaper flyer (Out & About) or a community flyer. Advertise in a local paper as the date draws near. Post an ad on internet websites. If you are piggy-backing your sale with another event, it is still a good idea to advertise, as not all gardeners are flea market junkies.

Staging, Pricing & Labeling – There are several ways to stage plants for the sale; by price category, by size of plants or by type of plants. Price to sell is the name of the game. You don't need a lot of leftover plants to take home. The average prices for plants at most sales should run between $1.00 & $5.00. Shrubs or specialty plants that are in very good condition may be priced a bit higher, but don't scare buyers away. Label plants; as a minimum the plant name and colour. Sun/shade, height and spread would be bonus information. If possible, have some pictures of plants in bloom or have a plant guide on hand to reference. Have club members on hand to advise customers about growth habits and placement.

Have a great sale. If you do have leftover plants, you may want to consider donating them to a local school, community garden or a worthy charity event.

Creating Childrens' Workshops

The purpose of this section is to provide guidelines for clubs interested in providing childrens' gardening workshops. The workshops will help kids develop a greater understanding of where food and flowers come from and they will have fun while learning about gardening.

Helpful hints
Suggestions for fun workshops

Hosting a District Meeting

District Meetings are held annually and are either hosted by one club or several clubs in the district. There are no hard rules for hosting a District Meeting. The purpose of this section is to provide general guidelines that might be considered while planning the meeting.


The following are the tasks associated with the District Meeting. Committees can be established to deal with each of these activities. The Club President should be kept informed on progress or issues by each committee chair. The President should keep the District Director informed and invited to planning meetings.


The agenda is entirely up to the club(s) hosting the meeting. The following is a suggestion of what might be included:

NSAGC Outstanding Members Awards

The NSAGC Outstanding Members Award allows clubs to celebrate members who have made outstanding contributions to their club and/or community.

How to determine an Award Winner
Selection Guidelines

The following activities could be considered when making a selection:

Gardening Activities: growing a variety of flowers (annual/perennial), container gardening, bulbs, herbs, roses, tender perennials, veggies, trees and/or shrubs, houseplants, fruit (tree/ground crops), starting seeds (annuals/perennials/vegetable), breeding/propagation, organic gardening, composting, pond or water gardening and any other gardening related accomplishments.

Club Activities: Holds/held office recently, lectures/demonstrates at club meetings, plant sales (committee/provides material/assists on site), flower shows (committee/exhibits/enters/ wins/places), holds tours (members/other clubs/public) and any other specific club activities or club committees.

District/NSAGC Activities: attends District meetings, lectures/demos at meetings, assists on committee, attends convention, lecture/demo at convention, assists on convention committee, NSAGC Board member and NSAGC judge.

Community Relations: speaks in public on gardening topics, conducts workshops on behalf of the club, youth/adult gardening programs, community gardens, floral arrangements for community, holds tours/open gardens and any other community related functions or activities relevant to the club.

Annual Plant Giveaway

Every member of an NSAGC garden club is given a complimentary plant as a perk of membership with the NSAGC. Every year, the Board of Directors votes on the plant selection based on supplier availability and purchases the plants in bulk.

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