Australian Plants Society Tasmania Inc.

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Plant Sales

Hobart Group

What a fantastic Plants Sale the Hobart Group had on 17 October. The weather was overcast with little or no wind and it only started to lightly drizzle as they were packing up.
The day started at about 8:00am when many willing helpers arrived and, following a layout drawing that had been prepared (due to the COVID-19 pandemic) flagged rope barriers were set up to channel customers one way through the sales area.
Stools were set up either side of the Entry and Exit pathways and pump action hand sanitiser dispenser were placed on top. The plant group and purchase pricing tables were set up, mainly under the verandah in front of the Kingston Primary School Library. Tables for ‘Sunny well drained’ and ‘Coastal or sunny and dry’ species were put well out in the Library forecourt. All tables had a laminated identifying label fastened on their front edge as had the benches in the Nursery. Plant group labels had been made and laminated in quantity and placed in the front trays of plants in each group on the Nursery benches. So, when the plant transport Members had their barrows or the blue trolley loaded they took the labelled trays out to the sales area. Here they quickly identified or were directed to the appropriate table and off loaded their trays of plants. This arrangement worked very well and there was 100% accurate placement of trays of plants. All the street and school area signs and the banner were positioned and some ‘freebie’ books, give-away magazines and pamphlets were put out on a table near the cash table. The New Membership application forms were available on the cash table. Nine new Memberships were enrolled during the Sale.

There was a cash table and Square card reader equipped credit card table. To streamline the costing of each customer’s purchases, purchase pricing chits were used by the purchase pricing Members to write the number of each size of plant pot against the matching price then they helped the customers pack their plants for carrying away. The customers then presented their chit to the cash or card table Members and payed for their purchases. This also worked very well. By 9:50am the whole area was set up and ready for customers and then they came in droves.

The dedicated ‘meet and greet’ Members directed customers to the hand sanitiser packs and asked them to observe social distancing. The customers rapidly clean out all the popular species, especially anything in flower. By about 11:00am the numbers dropped to a trickle and by 1:00pm (the usual closing time), the sale could have closed. It had been thought that people would spread their attendance over the opening period, so it was a mistake to put closing as 3:00pm.

Packing up commenced when the drizzle started about 1:45pm. The few remaining trays of plants, mainly trees and grasses and clumps, were returned to the nursery. The signs were put away and empty plant trays sorted and stacked away in the shed. As the last helpers left, one beaut Member return with the roadside signs and posts. He had helped put these out two weeks previously. Finally, the wonderful treasurer and his wife tallied the takings and were delighted to announce that a record amount was received thanks to the larger number and larger sized plants that were sold.

Sincere thanks go to all those that propagated and maintained all the plants, especially during the CV-19 lockdown, and to all the Members who helped during the Plants Sale day, well done wonderful people!

Northern Group

The Northern Group’s Spring Sale on 3 October was very successful and very quick. They started selling at 10.00 am and by 10.45 am the bulk of plants had gone - described by some as a buying frenzy! They remained open until 2.00 pm as advertised but they had little to offer after 11.30 am. At the peak of the sale they had 4 sale-points operating with queues at them all. In excess of 1200 plants were sold on the day with a further 700 sold pre-sale.
They had grown a wide range of species and this was obviously what customers were seeking. Members felt rewarded especially after the cancellation of the Autumn Sale in April and the ensuing difficulty of tending and maintaining a large mature plant stock over winter. A small group of members worked consistently over many months to ensure this.

North West Group

North West Group propagation team have continued to work at their nursery in the Tasmanian arboretum since their last Plants Sale at the Port Sorell Spring Fair in mid-October last year, maintaining the plants they had propagated for their April Plants Sale which was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They sold plants at a discount to friends and neighbours to reduce stock.

Port Sorell Spring Fair usually held in mid-October did not go ahead this year. So, the Group had a spring sale at the Arboretum instead on Sunday 18 October. They arrived at the Arboretum at 8am to set up. Saturday had rained all day. What a relief on Sunday to wake up to a bright, sunny day! Many of the customers commented on our luck for not having the rain of the day before. They opened for business at 10 and had sold out by 12 o clock! They did not have as many plants as they normally have for the autumn sale, but still a good selection. There appears to be increased interest in native plants. They were apologetic to the latecomers, who missed out, but they seemed quite happy to have a walk in the Arboretum with their dogs. In fact they mainly said it was good for the Group to have sold everything. Some people offered donations. They enrolled 2 half price memberships. As usual, they had flower posies from their gardens to sell as per the photos and all were sold.