by J. W. Waddick
2. Advertising; Finding a Big Fish
Kansas City has over 50 specialty garden clubs from Roses to Ponds, Iris, Native Plants, and Daylilies etc. It also has an 'umbrella organization' that provides a regular newsletter with a schedule of events. Not every city or region might have an umbrella organization like this, but there might be a large general garden club with a regular newsletter such as the local chapters of the Garden Club of America, the Hardy Plant Society, or a city/region general Garden Club. Some cities even have a weekly or monthly garden newspaper.We wrote up a simple invitation for anyone interested in peonies to come to a program by a noted peony hybridizer and attend a BIG peony sale. We were very lucky to have Don Hollingsworth as friend and neighbor willing to show “pretty pictures” and talk peony facts. With our minute budget we talked a couple of commercial nurseries into selling us plants at wholesale prices and payment due after our sale (Whew!). Our biggest helpers here were Hollingsworth Peonies and Caprice Farm Nursery. Almost a dozen national growers were written to and they donated some choice peonies (this has been the base for our rare peony auction).
So we had this mini-story/invitation printed (free of charge) in a parent group newsletter and hocked our treasury big time. All the board (our original group in May) worked to distribute advertising and hand outs, clean and pack purchased plants, dig extra plants from their gardens and much more.
And we crossed our fingers.