Ticket Taylor

Gardening stall success

A plant stall at your fair offers something for all ages. Request donations - potted perennials, herbs and edibles do well - with plenty of notice (make sure they're labelled!)

'"Does anyone fancy running a gardening stall at the fete this year?" came the cry. "You like gardening don't you? Can we put you down for it?" Seemed like a good idea for one keen and one keen-to-learn gardener. Firstly we decided what to grow based on the seeds we already had, which plants would look good and what could we have ready in time for fête day?

We started planting seeds for edibles in February, then met up regularly to ensure progress was being made. Neither of us have a greenhouse so our families tiptoed around sprouting tomatoes, courgettes and nasturtiums in the kitchens until it was warm enough to put them outside! We also took plants from anywhere we could - donations from friends, families, other parents, and also from freebie websites. Most of our plants were cost-free (our biggest expenditure was on compost).

The success of our stall was down to its wide selection of cheap perennials, annuals and edibles. We offered plants of varying sizes and shapes including runner beans in pots, fruit trees, hanging baskets and other more quirky planters filled with herbs and succulents. We were keen! The most popular items proved to be edibles (for £2) and flowering perennials (at around £3). We had no typical customer, selling to people who knew exactly what they wanted as well as some who only had a balcony and just wanted something to put in a pot. Our £600 profit was a massive achievement and made all the time and effort worthwhile.'

Sarah Dickinson and Penny Addison, PTA members, Hazelwood School, London (660 pupils)

Make sure you plan ahead with our annual gardening calendar.

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