In 2014 we racked up 39 days at shows; in 2015 we upped the event count to 42. And then sanity kicked in. In 2016 we stood around on someone’s lawn or in someone’s field on 32 occasions, and this year (2017) we limited this kind of behaviour to 22 days. Which (apart from a far too frantic month of June) seemed to work quite well for us, allowing us to get the balance right between our increasing online sales and those made at events or at the nursery.
So we are intending to repeat that winning formula in 2018, with a few tweaks (which include a much less strenuous diary in June). To achieve this, however, we have made quite a few changes to our calendar, in particular trying to favour single day events over those that occupy two or three days. So out goes the Garden Show at Stansted, for example, and in comes the Hampshire Garden Festival on the same weekend. We will miss the buzz of a busy Stansted, and we may return at some point in the future, but we were over stretching ourselves (a 3 day event in fact takes up some 5 days of our time, allowing for preparation and post-event unloading). The same applies to the West Woodhay Gardeners’ Fair, which has been replaced by that wonderful thing, a blank weekend on the calendar.
New events include the Charity Specialist Plant Fairs series, held at various venues in Dorset between March and September, the brand new Plant Finders’ Fair in early July at Abbotsbury Gardens, and our first visit to Grittleton House for the Plant and Spring Fair held there on the late May Bank Holiday Monday. We are quietly looking forward to our reshuffled events calendar: much as Rob loves packing plants into cardboard boxes as he sips black coffee and listens to Radio 2, there is something about setting up your stall in the grounds of a beautiful manor house and interacting with fellow plant enthusiasts that is hard to beat. Hoping therefore to meet you somewhere up the road in 2018. You can see the full list of events we will be attending here.
Rob and Joanna – December 2017.