With the arrival of spring, gardeners’ thoughts and dreams turn to the promise of another growing season. It’s time to plan the lush landscapes of vibrant, colorful flowers and the rows of veggies and herbs, whether grown at home from seed or purchased as a young, healthy plant. Your organization can be part of the action by hosting a lawn and garden show and sale that brings together those who love plants and local growers.
While the great outdoors would be the ideal location for your event, a social hall, school cafeteria or other venue with ample floor space that’s easy to clean would make a suitable second choice (be sure to secure a team to help clean up afterward!). If your event is held outdoors, it’s a good idea to have a rain date and alternate location.
Look to local conditions as a guide to when to hold your event. If the last danger of frost usually passes in late April, then that is a great time; if the last frost date tends to be early May, try to schedule it for then. (Numerous websites provide average last frost date information based on ZIP code, city, etc., to help you plan.) Generally speaking, late spring to very early summer is the height of garden prep season and interest will be high.
Local greenhouses can bring seeds, seedlings, live and cut herbs and flowers, soil amendments and garden equipment; hardware stores and lawn and garden maintenance companies in your community may also be interested in setting up tables and promoting their services. Extend an invitation to a representative of your local cooperative extension to give 15-minute presentations on topics of interest to gardeners, such as soil testing, pest management and more.
A lawn and garden show is a natural for raffles. You can customize and print out your own tickets, using open-source images to complement the green-thumb spirit of your home and garden show. There are so many possibilities for prizes – here are some ideas for drawings you can offer in conjunction with area businesses to keep excitement high:
- A tool kit that includes a gardening tote bag with plenty of pockets, hand tools such as a trowel, a cultivator and a weeder, knee pads, gloves, hand lotion and a straw hat
- A package of seed packets
- A bug zapper or organic/environmentally friendly insect repellent
- A pair of Adirondack chairs
- A patio set: table, chairs and umbrella with base
- Gas or charcoal grill
- Gift certificates to local nurseries, greenhouses and hardware stores
- Free delivery of 2 cubic yards of organic compost
- Books on flower or vegetable gardening
Have fun and good luck!