Host a Garden Tour
In June, 2016 Organic Growers School supported Jim Smith’s effort to execute a Garden Tour in Fairview, North Carolina. We provided online marketing support for Jim in an effort to spread the word in Fairview, and we’re eager find other ways to help gardeners pull off garden tours in their own communities.
Check back for our interview with Jim Smith about his Fairview Garden Tour that may be published in the Asheville Citizen Times in the coming weeks!
Why host a garden tour?
- to raise funds to benefit a community or organization
- to bring the community together
- to offer opportunities for neighbors to learn from each other
- to create a foundation for being a sustainable option to get people growing their own food (our favorite reason!)
This outline for organizing a garden tour comes from Garden Tours New England. Give it a gander!
To give you an idea of the process, the following are the main steps involved in organizing a garden tour. Each of these steps is described in detail in the following sections.
- Put together a committee to work on the garden tour. Each member will be given specific tasks to complete. Ideally, you’ll need around ten people to organize and set up the tour. You’ll also need at least ten volunteers to be at the gardens the day(s) of the tour.
- Plan a date(s) and hours for the tour, keeping in mind when gardens look their best and avoiding conflicts with other events, such as festivals or graduations.
- Determine the number of gardens and select the gardens. Gather suggestions for gardens from people you know. You may want to visit the gardens the summer or fall before.
- Approach homeowners about having their gardens on the tour and maintain contact with them throughout the process.
- Optionally, solicit artists and/or musicians to perform at specific gardens.
- Cover liability issues, such as injuries while visiting the gardens.
- Create tickets and a brochure with a map.
- Price and sell tickets. Sell the tickets through local retailers and organizations and possibly through your organization’s website or a website created specifically to advertise and sell tickets for your garden tour.
- Advertise the tour through local newspapers, magazines, newsletters as well as local television and radio stations. Also, advertise online through your organization’s website as well as other websites, such as Organic Growers School!
- Create and place signs at each garden and possibly along the roads leading to the gardens.
- Organize a schedule of volunteers who will be at each garden on the day(s) of the tour.
- Provide refreshments and other items for each garden.
- Hold regular meetings before the tour and one after.
Do you have plans for starting your own garden tour in WNC? Let us know how we can support you!