The Education Center of the Berkshire Botanical Garden, 5 West Stockbridge Road, at the intersection of Routes 102 and 183 in Stockbridge, MA. For a map of and directions to the Garden, click http://www.berkshirebotanical.org and scroll under "Visit."
Morning: Rick Sawyer and Denise Miner of Fernwood Nursery and Gardens, Montville, Maine, Plants for Shade and Woodland Rick and Denise will discuss plants, both native and non-native, that they grow and offer for sale at their nursery. They will cover cultural information and tips for success. The audience is welcome to ask questions; they feel this often leads to the sharing of information that might otherwise be missed. They will also bring plants from the nursery which will be for sale after the talk. Afternoon: The Big Plant Sale Get ready for The Big Plant Sale! This is our biggest fundraiser each year and supports programming the following year each month from March to November. Elaine Chittenden, Plant Sale Chair, put together the following guidelines for sales based on the process used by the Great Lakes Chapter. She was a member there for 10 years before returning to New England. Please give feedback to Elaine in person at meetings or by email. Keep in mind that the process is flexible and may be changed to further suit our chapter. We appreciate the time Elaine put into this effort. PLANT SALE PREPARATIONS Our plant sales are one of the best things about being a chapter member, and offer the opportunity to get wonderful and unusual plants at very reasonable prices. Also, the sales are very important to the chapter, as they raise the funds for our excellent speaker program. The September sale is the biggest of the year. Because of the size of the sale, we do need to have people try to follow certain rules to make the sale run smoothly and quickly. The first thing is to start now thinking about what you will propagate and get ready for the sale. Then: At home: 1) Please try to pot or repot plants at least ten days before the sale. Otherwise, the plants may look ragged. These may be placed on a separate table and offered for $1. 2) Please select appropriate plants for the sale. Interesting and unusual alpines, woodland plants, and small woody plants are ideal. If you have excess of something you want to share, we can create a "free" table. 3) Before you bring the plants, label each pot, with the name of the plant [scientific name, if known, and cultivar or variety, if known]. On the back of the label put your name and the year. This allows people both at the sale or later to ask you about the plant. It also helps us when setting up the sale to talk to you if, for example, you have missed putting a price on the plant. 4) Please think about how you will price your plants from $3.00 to 5.00, remembering that those worth more may be used in the auction. At the sale: 1) If possible, please bring your plants to the sale by 10:00 am to get them set up and priced. The Plant Sale Chair will keep track of the various plants that members brought. Recognition of large numbers of plants and/or auction plants will be published in a later newsletter. Any member who wishes his or her donations to remain anonymous should let the Plant Sale Chair know at the sale. 2) We ask people to price their own plants (AS SOON AS POSSIBLE AFTER ARRIVING AT THE MEETING) with our color coded tags, for $3.00 or $5.00. We set plants out alphabetically according to genus. Set the plants as close together as possible on the selling tables. The officers will be glad to advise on appropriate pricing. 3) Please tell the people running the auction how many plants you brought and if you have brought a plant or plants that you think might be of "Auction Quality." $1 plants will not count toward pick tags. For every 10 plants you bring, you earn one First Pick Tag. Each First Pick Tag entitles you to one "First Pick". If you bring auction plant(s) you get a First Pick Tag for each auction plant. If you bring 5 plants, you will earn a Second Pick tag. This will entitle you to a "Second Round Pick". People who earned First Pick tags will also be entitled to a second round pick for each first pick tag. This means that those who did not bring plants must stand back and wait for those with First and Second Pick Tags to make their Picks. The time in each round of picks to chose is limited to 3-5 minutes, depending upon the number of Pick Tags given out. After the second round picks, the sale will be opened to members and then to visitors. Ideally those with multiple First Pick Tags will consider sharing with new members. Keep in mind that you still have to pay for the plants and the First and Second Pick Tags need to be returned for future use. 3) AUCTION PLANTS are normally a) exceptionally rare and desirable plants not readily available commercially, b) plants available only at high cost, or c) large, well-grown specimens of highly desirable plants. We try our best to keep the auctions highly selective. Remember, if you have plants selected for auction, you will get an additional First Pick Tag for each plant.