Events: The Fairy Garden Experience

Slideshow: The Fairy Garden Experience

We had such a great time planning and hosting our Fairy Garden Festival last spring. It lasted nine days in May – two weekends and the week in between.

We sent a postcard mailing to about 10,000 of our closest friends, advertised in local papers and on several gardening blogs and handed out flyers to customers making a purchase during the month of May. We also put up large banners out by the street.

The Inspiration

The Fairy Festival featured several fairy gardens. We created three large ones in landscape settings (in different styles and with different kinds of fairies) and several small container fairy gardens.

We held a contest among our staff to design and enter a container fairy garden. Customers voted on their favorite during the festival. The winning staff member won gift certificates and a customer won his or her choice of the contest entries. Hundreds of customers voted! (Of course, we asked for their e-mails and signed them up for our e-newsletter.)

We had a fairy garden set up in a large, but low urn with fairies and fairy garden furniture for kids to play with. They could rearrange the furniture and move the fairies around.

Hands-On Activities

We held several classes during the festival for children and adults. Almost 50 people attended “Decorating a Fairy Garden.” Sandi Schmidt, our gift shop merchandiser, showed them how to decorate fairy gardens according to themes and in different styles. She is so gifted and creative – we are lucky to have her.

We offered two dates for people to come and make hypertufa troughs, perfect for housing fairy gardens. We have done lots of these workshops over the last few years and they are always well attended. We typically charge between $35 and $40 for the workshops.

We also held a Fairy Garden Furniture Making Workshop where natural materials were used to create a fairy-sized bed, table and lamp. This workshop was attended by such a wide range of people. A grandpa brought his granddaughter; we had mother/daughter teams; and several groups of women attended for a fun day out together (and the women ranged in age from their 30s to 70s).

Even More Activities

We also held two Mother-Daughter Fairy Garden tea parties. We started doing these last year and they remain very popular. Mothers and daughters (or aunts or grandmas, etc.) come and enjoy fairy-sized treats while listening to fairy lore from our resident Fairy Gardenmother. Then, they make a container fairy garden together that they get to take home.

Plans for Next Year

We pulled this together in less than two months and can’t wait to try out all the new ideas we have for next year! We are planning a customer fairy garden contest (Our customers love to bring in their photos to share with us), a “fairy parade” with prizes for kids, and lots more – I can’t give away all the surprises, now can I?

We are also going to put some emphasis on miniature gardening for those people who don’t believe in fairies, and for boys who like the idea of miniatures, but not fairies.

It’s hard to track sales figures, since some of the components are part of other categories (containers, moss, mushrooms, etc.), but my best guess would be $42,000 so far in 2010, which is four times what we did last year.

It doesn’t hurt that many of our staff (myself included) have been bitten by the fairy bug, so we are also having a lot of fun.

Leave a Reply

One comment on “Events: The Fairy Garden Experience

  1. please add me to the list of advertisements on fairy gardens. i am very interested in a hobby i can do with my grandchildren. thank you.

More From ...

May 22, 2015

AccuWeather Summer Forecast: Expect A Range Of Extremes

A continued drought in the West, higher moisture in the Southeast and above-normal temperatures in the North could have an effect on what your customers are buying.

Read More
EMV Card J Lombardi

May 22, 2015

Retailers Taking Steps To Deal With EMV As Deadline Looms

The Oct. 1 deadline looms for retailers to be ready to accept chip-enabled Europay MasterCard Visa credit cards. According to the National Retail Federation, the costs of the new technology, coupled with banks’ plans to stick with signatures instead of switching to more secure PINs, have many merchants hesitant to make the move.

Read More

May 21, 2015

How To Hold A Successful In-Store Promotional Event

A successful event attracts customers and motivates employees. While boosting your business, it builds your reputation and sets you apart from other garden centers.

Read More
Latest Stories

May 22, 2015

AccuWeather Summer Forecast: Expect A Range Of Extremes

A continued drought in the West, higher moisture in the Southeast and above-normal temperatures in the North could have an effect on what your customers are buying.

Read More
EMV Card J Lombardi

May 22, 2015

Retailers Taking Steps To Deal With EMV As Deadline Loo…

The Oct. 1 deadline looms for retailers to be ready to accept chip-enabled Europay MasterCard Visa credit cards. According to the National Retail Federation, the costs of the new technology, coupled with banks’ plans to stick with signatures instead of switching to more secure PINs, have many merchants hesitant to make the move.

Read More

May 21, 2015

How To Hold A Successful In-Store Promotional Event

A successful event attracts customers and motivates employees. While boosting your business, it builds your reputation and sets you apart from other garden centers.

Read More

May 19, 2015

Shemin Nursery And Landscape Supply Patriarch And WWI V…

Nearly 100 years after Sgt. William Shemin pulled wounded comrades to safety on a World War I battlefield, his heroism has finally earned him the nation’s highest service medal.

Read More

May 18, 2015

Mother’s Day Was Strong For Many Garden Centers This Ye…

Despite threats (or true blasts) of inclement weather in some areas, Mother’s Day weekend set records in several areas. Check out what retailers across the country are reporting in terms of traffic, weather and how they are seeking to improve efficiency.

Read More
Bob Warhurst

May 18, 2015

Merrifield Garden Center Co-Founder Robert Warhurst Pas…

Warhurst and his good friend Buddy Williams started Merrifield Garden Center in Northern Virginia in 1971, eventually growing it into one of the largest independent garden centers in the country.

Read More

May 18, 2015

Today’s Garden Center’s 2015 State Of The Industry Surv…

Input from garden center retailers about how your garden center is faring will be used to compare previous years’ health to our industry’s current performance.

Read More

May 15, 2015

How Millennials Are Shaping Shopping Trends

The National Retail Federation and others are looking at how millennial homebuyers and homeowners are influencing shopping trends, and how major retailers are adapting to meet this trend.

Read More
Moana nursery end cap

May 12, 2015

How Moana Nursery Thrives In The High Desert [Slideshow…

By focusing on the rewards of gardening in arid Reno, Nevada, Moana Nursery weathered one of the worst-hit areas in the country during the recession.

Read More
GrowIt Senetti Logo

May 11, 2015

Suntory And GrowIt! Garden Socially Partner On A New Se…

Three different contests will run from May through early August. Garden center retailers can upload their own photos or encourage their customers to enter and win.

Read More
Ingenico EMV

May 8, 2015

National Retail Federation Addresses Concerns About EMV…

In a short video, NRF senior vice president Mallory Duncan weighs in on the status of new EMV chips in credit cards, what retailers need to know and whether the new cards are truly as safe as intended.

Read More

May 8, 2015

Martha Stewart Tops List Of Keynote Speakers At This Su…

An interview between Martha Stewart and IGC Show founder Jeff Morey will kick off the IGC East show in Baltimore, with a full slate of engaging speakers to follow at both IGC events.

Read More
Summerfest overview

May 5, 2015

Fun Things You Can Do Before Or After The GCA Tour

There's a lot you can add to your GCA calendar. From Summerfest, a huge music festival (think performances from a wide range of bands, like the Rolling Stones, Jane's Addiction, Zac Brown Band and Phillip Phillips) to a more relaxed Wisconsin Cheesemakers' And Wine Train, there are dozens of festivals and activities happening in Milwaukee in late June.

Read More

May 5, 2015

How You Can Survive “Mobilegeddon”

Late last year, Google announced a change in the way websites will be ranked in search results on mobile phones. If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, it will appear lower in search results.

Read More

May 4, 2015

Scotts-MiracleGro Partners With Meijer To Open New In-S…

As part of a pilot program, retailer Meijer has announced it is partnering with Marysville, Ohio-based Scotts-MiracleGro to open 27 garden centers in existing Meijer stores across the Midwest, including 11 in Michigan.

Read More

May 4, 2015

Six Ways To Boost Sales Over Mother’s Day Weekend

Whether it’s by extending hours, offering giveaways or holding events, there are a number of ways to boost sales over Mother’s Day weekend. Here’s what a few garden centers are doing.

Read More

April 28, 2015

Urban Garden Center Excels At Adapting To Its Community…

Located in New York City's Spanish Harlem, Urban Garden Center's customers need a store that reflects the needs of the neighborhood. This unusual garden retailers finds many ways to do just that.

Read More

April 24, 2015

New Web Site Helps Consumers Find Plants And Retailers …

Plant Select, a Colorado-based plant supplier that provides plants designed to thrive in high plains and intermountain regions, has launched a new website that allows visitors to search for plants and where to buy them.

Read More