Opening a fantastic selection of gardens across Scotland to raise money for hundreds of charities
3 birds

District "How-to" Guides

Following you can read about other District Volunteer's experiences with various projects including:

  • Planning for a Garden Trail
  • Preparing Press Releases for your local Papers
  • Holding an SGS Plant Sale
  • Conducting Market Research about your District
  • Running (or going on) Tours

"How to" put together a Garden Trail

Planning a garden trail or circle can really boost your District’s garden income and also is an excellent way to bring more visitors to gardens. Generally, they include a number of gardens which are open for multiple dates and are visited using a pre-paid ticket. Being open over several dates helps mitigate against bad weather and also offer flexibility. The pre-paid ticket helps guarantee income. There are many ways to approach trails and the following article provides some general tips as well as experience from the East Lothian trail.

Lucklaw House
Seabank, Kirkcudbrightshire

"How to" prepare Press Releases for your local paper

A number of Districts are trying to use press releases rather than paid advertising to promote their garden openings.

Gillie Drapper in Stirlingshire and Jeanette Ogilvie in Angus & Dundee have been using free Press Releases for their garden openings with much success for several years now. Gillie managed a 2-page editorial spread recently in her regional newspaper The Stirling Observer and Jeanette boasts of 100% take up in 2015 by the national paper, The Dundee Courier.

"How to" Plan for a SGS Plant Sale in your District

While you are planning for next year’s activity, have you considered starting an SG Plant Sale for your district? Below in this information sheet are tips from other organisers about their experience running plant sales. Successful plant sales take a few years to establish, but can be very worthwhile.

In this paper you can read ideas from six different Districts, including the very Successful Fife sales and detailed advice from Sue Thornley in Dunbartonshire.

Inside, where it is warmer, new plants start emerging at West Leas.
Plant Sale at 42 Pentland Road, Colinton Gardens, Edinburgh
Floors Castle, Roxburghshire
Floors Castle, Roxburghshire ©Pete Seaward

"How to" Conduct Market Research about your Garden Opening Visitors

Conducting "market research" during garden openings can help you to better understand your visitors and who your are (and perhaps importantly, not) reaching.At our last District Organiser’s meeting, Fife, East Lothian and Angus shared their findings from their market research conducted over their 2015 openings.  As an example of how you might approach your market research, in the paper below please find suggestions and templates which will, or have been used by Fife, East Lothian and Angus.

"How to" set up Tours and Visits

Another great idea is to offer garden tours for your garden owners, volunteers, and supporters. below in this information sheet are tips from other organisers about their experience organising (and receiving) garden tours.

Here we have suggestions from several districts who run successful tours, and also from a couple Garden Openers who speak about what it's like to be on the receiving end.

Drummond Castle, Perth and Kinross
Drummond Castle, Perth and Kinross