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Rare Plant Auctions

From: "Ian E. & Shirley Efford" <avocet.intl@sympatico.ca>

I have not been following all the comments under "rare plants" but I did
read Kathy's note and thought that I should mention the advantages of
rare plant as income for societies.  The Ottawa Valley Rock Garden
Society obtains about one quarter of its annual income from plant sales
and auctions, a significiant proportion from the auction although we do
not keep records of the two.  These auctions take place in two forms.

1.  We have two plant sales a year and the rarer plants are auctioned
before hand.  It is important that you have a very good auctioneer who
is really knowledgeable and can raise the enthusiams.  We have Trevor
Cole and Doug Green, both excellent auctioneers and different
personalities.  They make us a fortune.  Doug builds up enthusiasm by a
lot too the audience and Trevor can raise bid by bidding for his wife,
Brenda, who is often in the audience and unaware of her need for the

2. During regular meetings, we will auction one or two items if they are
available.  One rare tree seed pot was to be auctioned by Doug but he
had it broken and the seeds auctioned in threes.  The result was $175
for the content and now people are bringing back the spare seedling to

We also auction plants related to the speaker.  Recently, we had
Panayoti Kelaidis speak and auctioned seedlings of five of the plants
that he described from South Africa, raised from seed that he had give
one of our members.  Other speakers has arrived with plants and they are

It is also good to have one or two wealthy enthusiasts in the society. 
We have a couple who will buy anything at any price!  With a good
auctioneer and a flat of dandelions, one should be able to raise $80-100
(Canadian of course).

Ian, in Ottawa where about a dozen aphylla have decided to flower and
Windwood Springs has begun flowering for the first time.  It apparently
does not remember that it is a siberian.

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