Well , that was hard work ! Jean and I have just finished unloading the van after this weekend’s participation in the Gateshead Summer Flower Show. Whether it is a sign of advancing years or not I don’t know, but I found the whole thing harder than usual ! Worthwhile ? yes, we got a gold medal for our display from the judges.
This was Willowbog Bonsai’s exhibit. Remember this is a flower show rather than a bonsai show so a different approach is called for. Also, whilst we do want to impress the judges [ there is the prize money to consider ], almost more important to us is to give the general public, amongst whom we hope to find some new potential customers, an idea of what can be found at the nursery. Hence quite a lot of trees fitted on to the display area, not just lots of bonsai but also a wide range of species, size and style. Good imported trees but some good UK. produced bonsai as well. The range gives me the opportunity to talk about everything that we do here.
Jean and I began preparing these trees last Wednesday and loaded the van Thursday morning. Set up at the show was Thursday afternoon, at the end of which, though pleased with the result, I began to get a sense that it was harder work the usual !
A close up of some of the bonsai in the display, taking the center in this photo is this Japanese yew. It is a recent addition to our sales stock, I used both sale trees as well as Willowbog Collection trees to give added interest.
Three Willowbog Collection trees in this shot, the Western Hemlock, Japanese maple and Common hawthorn, as well as an Atlantic Cedar, just sold to a Willowbogger.
Although we see our participation in this show as largely promotional, it is nice to make some sales as well !! This year, unsurprisingly, total sales were a bit down on previous shows but still anything helps the cash flow !
It is a three-day show and I found the continuous standing quite tiring this year ! I reckon that sitting down is not such a good idea [ except towards the end of each day when there are fewer folk about ] you need to look as though you are keen to talk to folk as well as sell them a bonsai if that’s what they want .
We are, of course, open here at the nursery on Sundays and Jean needs to be here, so the breakdown of the exhibit and loading of the van falls to muggins here all on his own. It seemed to take a long time last night and was hard going after a long weekend, I got home about nine o’clock, just a little weary, Nevertheless, as I said at the start, the van is empty now and all the stock and display trees back in their rightful places on the nursery , not much else will get done today !!!!