If you know The Nightingale then you have definitely heard about one of our longest running fundraisers; The Plant Sale. You might not know that Carol, Alison and Pauline, along with countless others who have been holding this Plant Sale for 20 years and have raised over £30,000! From bedding plants to vegetables the plant sale (nearly) has it all and it now has a steady stream of customers returning every year.
But our green-fingered Carol wasn’t always a plant expert. Recalling how she first got started she remembered…
“I was volunteering at a community fair and walking up to the plant stall and thinking, ‘What am I selling? I know nothing about plants’. I stood there selling what I thought were weeds and after that I thought, next year I have to make this stall bigger and better.
From there it’s grown bigger every year and it’s become an all year round endeavour, which was definitely harder to do when we were all working full time. Now that we’ve retired, our full time job is the Plant Sale. Myself and the other volunteers get plant donations all year round which we pot, water, plant and take care of until the weekend of the sale. Our greenhouses, gardens and kitchens are full of plants!
If there are any avid gardeners who would like to join our Plant Sale group by helping with storage, potting, looking after trays for a couple of weeks or offering their greenhouse space, that would be incredibly useful. The sale has grown but our team hasn’t so it means with more people joining The Flower Girls (men and women!) we could achieve so much more next year.”
We asked Carol, ‘What’s your advice for others who want to start fundraising?‘ and it’s quite straightforward:
“Do it, it’s as simple as that!
The sense of achievement and satisfaction at accomplishing something is amazing. Myself and all the other volunteers love the challenge of trying to beat the previous year’s sales. I especially love meeting new plant lovers. Often there are unknown plants at the sale and attendees will gather around and have a conflab about what we think it is and why. I’m still learning new things after 20 years. We used to use books, now we simply use our phones to look plants up!”
We are so grateful to our Plant Sale fundraisers. If you want to join this great team call 020 8366 9674. The Flower Girls are already getting ready for this year’s Plant Sale.
Put the Plant Sale 2024 date in your diary!