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Fete in the walled garden

What started out as a discussion about potentially running a workshop about sustainable funeral flowers blossomed (no pun intended) somehow into a lovely family fete held at Distington walled garden.

Distington walled garden is an absolutely beautiful historic hidden gem and the fete was all about publicising it and hopefully get more volunteers to help with the mammoth task of its upkeep.

A handful of us along with Copeland Borough Council staff got together back in July and had only three meetings and I am proud to day we managed to arrange one of the most loveliest local days I have ever had.

Between us we invited likeminded individuals to hold a stall at the fete. We wanted to have a good mixture of stalls to try and appeal to different tastes.

The stalls included antiques, plants, fresh fruit and veg, a local gallery who had a selection from their exhibitors, pottery, candles, macramé, jams, crochet, knitted items, cakes, fizz, chutneys, gin, vodka liqueurs, artisan breads, handsewn items, walking sticks, vintage, flowers and much more.

We had a lady telling stories, she even burst into song at one point and a stall encouraging people to compost. We even had a lovely lady bring along her pony for people to pet.

Myself and my friend Julie from @jul-lous (another one of the organisers) decided we would share a stall. Neither of us had ever done anything like it before and we thought it would be good mutual support. And thank goodness we did, hilarious, talk about a learning curve but we were buzzing.

On the day the gates were opened for the stall holders at 8am. You could tell who had had a stall before and you could tell we hadn’t. You would think setting up a stall would be easy but oh my word I was a bit overwhelmed to say the least.

But Hey Ho, we got there and we finished just as the first members of the public began to arrive. And they just kept on coming. And they did so right up to closing time, amazing. The car park was full by 11am and luckily there was an overspill car park.

What a lovely day, we were so lucky with the weather.

Everyone was enjoying themselves, sitting in the garden and soaking up its magical atmosphere. I made some ivy crowns to giveaway. I thought maybe the kids would think they weren’t cool enough to wear but soon enough they were trying them on for size, the kids had them on, the adults had them on, the story teller had one on, even the pony had one on. I was chuffed to bits.

The fruit and veg stall ran out and had to restock, before finally selling out. The plant stand had to restock several times; the bread stall sold out. Some of the other vendors said they sold more than they had ever done before. Our stall looked trashed as it had gotten so busy 😊

By the end of the day, I could hardly talk as I had been laughing and cracking all day. Lots of my lovely customers came along and some people who follow me on social media came along and introduced themselves, it was great to be able to put a name to the accounts. I also met lots of new lovely people who looked to be having a grand old time.

What did I learn from this experience?

  • Its hard work running a stall, it takes longer to prepare, set up take down than I ever thought. Hats off to people who do it all the time.

  • That I need to learn how to use my newly purchased card reader.

  • That people still enjoy these types of old-fashioned events.

  • That it’s the little things that can make a big difference to people.

Yes, it wasn’t perfect, we all learned a lot. So, if we run another one, I am sure we could improve on a few things but maybe because it wasn’t so perfect made it more fun 😉

Here is some of the comments from my lovely customers x

"It looks fabulous, I couldn't attend today so hopefully there will be another one".

"Brilliant day, I cannot wait for the next one".

"It was so lovely, such an great atmosphere, I didn't want to leave".

"Lovely to meet you yesterday, it was really good".

"Came home with so many lovely things, a lot of people spent a lot of time and effort making today such a lovely, friendly success. Well done everyone 👏🙌"

"It was so lovely, today. I wish there was more things like that more regular, they're always fab xx".

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