- December 31, 2015
by Rosalie Russell
The Inside Austin Gardens Tour was wildly successful! Thanks to the 115 members and interns who contributed their time and talents over the past year. You made it happen! The tour achieved our organization’s mission of providing horticulture education to the public…big time. TCMGA is proud to have you as a member. Thank you!
Please join us in expressing our gratitude to the garden owners: Gregory Thomas, Kirk Walden, Lois Pesz, Martha King, Pam Penick, and Sue Nazar. We reaped the benefit of their years of toiling in their gardens. This year they endured months with overly abundant rainfall until it switched to no rain at all. They made improvements which might have been on the drawing board for five years into the future! Plants died. Insects sucked and/or chewed the life right out of some plants. It was a stressful time. But on tour day, every garden was exquisite!
Credit goes to Lori Daul and Liath Appleton for creating the fabulous tour web site. Lori also crafted the T-shirt design.
Over a thousand people came and viewed one or more gardens! Here a few quotes taken from the exit survey.
“This is my second Inside Austin Garden Tour and they are phenomenal.”
“Favorite tour in Austin. It is done by gardeners. More interesting than others.”
“The owners and volunteers were very knowledgeable and willing to share.”
“Very impressive variety, very workable solutions…maybe there’s hope for me.”
“My favorite part was how well marked the plants were.”
Don’t think there was a single negative comment on any survey! Basically they loved the gardens, loved your enthusiasm, loved learning, and loved the plant markers!
There were two huge surprises when we tallied up the numbers. The first surprise was the number of $5 ticket sales soared! Was this the result of cross-over traffic by people who also attended the Nature Conservancy Open Day tour? Or was it the result of several gardens being in areas where we could tap into neighborhood list serves and newsletters? Or something else?
The second big surprise was the financial success of the tour! When you add the donations from sponsors, ticket sales, and deducted our expenses, the net was a little over $16,000!
We appreciated your creativity and humor as you modified the tour T-shirts to fit. You expect to have a glitch or two, but who would have expected it to be skin tight T-shirts!!
2015 IAGT Committee
Wendy Buck, chairwoman
Photos by Wendy Buck