Information for garden owners and event managers

What is My Open Garden?

My Open Garden is an online platform for exploring open gardens and gardening related events across Australia. It allows you to discover open gardens to visit, find out about local events and suppliers, or to open your own garden to the public. Our goal is to connect garden owners and visitors all across Australia and help them share their passion for gardening.

How does My Open Garden work?

Garden owners and event organisers pay a small fixed fee to list their event on My Open Garden. Access to our website for visitors is free. We actively promote the events and open gardens through a broad range of media and direct mail to garden lovers across Australia.

How much does it cost and what do I get?

There are a number of listing options to help make the promotion of your event as economical as possible. If you are running a primarily commercial event please contact us to discuss your needs. In other cases and in recognition of the fact that many open garden events are run by, or for the benefit of local charities and community groups we have two discounted rates:

  • Event, Regularly Open Garden or Garden group. An event, a regularly open garden or a group of gardens opening in support of charity: $253
  • Sole Open Garden. An individual private garden (not associated with a commercial enterprise) opening once or twice a year: $126.50

Prices include GST and are for a full years promotion on our website.

A good idea is to get a local group of gardens together for a single event as your total cost to promote that is capped at $253 - no matter how big the event or how many times you open.

The benefits of listing your garden on My Open Garden include:

  • Detailed garden/event profile page and photos
  • Publicises your event to thousands of site visitors
  • Email alerts & reminders to nearby My Open Garden subscribers
  • Advance promotion to local garden clubs and media writers
  • Guest book for visitor comments and reviews
  • Information Pack with tips for a successful open garden
  • Ongoing presence for free in our listings after your Open Days.

Why should I open my garden?

There are many reasons that people open their gardens. To show off their hard work, to inspire or educate others, to share their passion for gardening and often for fundraising. People enjoy the experience so much that they continue to open their garden each year.

Is my garden suitable?

Visit other open gardens to get an idea of what the general standard of open gardens is, and also to talk to the owners to find out what is involved in opening a garden and how they went about it. There are various things that visitors hope to see and learn from in an open garden:

  • Diversity of plants and/or unusual plants - to learn about new plants
  • Healthy, flourishing plants chosen to suit the conditions and climate - to learn what to grow to suit the local climate and microclimates
  • Pleasing and creative plant combinations and/or design ideas - to learn how to put plants together and how to improve the layout of one's garden
  • A relaxing garden atmosphere that provides an enjoyable outing
  • A garden that reflects the individuality of the owner.

One rule of thumb that is often suggested is that an open garden should be able to hold a visitor's attention for about 45 minutes!

How do I plan for the event?

You can download our helpful 23 page guide with information on preparing your garden, organising plant stalls and refreshments and promoting your event, click here -
"Prepare for your Open Garden"

Do I need insurance?

Yes. Before opening your garden to visitors it is advisable to have public liability insurance.

If you are opening under the authority of a school, garden club or charity they may be able to provide insurance cover for you. Coverage is normally also part of your general household insurance policy and may cover you for one time events where the nett proceeds from your ticket sales are for charitable purposes and not a commercial operation. However you must make your own enquiries on this matter as My Open Garden cannot provide formal advice to you and does not provide any insurance cover on your behalf.

For residential gardens in other situations there is a specially tailored "Open Garden" policy available from insurance brokers, Poole Group, which can provide comprehensive insurance coverage for your events and costs only about $225 per year. Contact Jennine Sellers by email:jsellers@poolegroup.com.au or phone: (07) 5437 9900. For details click "here".

What happens to the ticket money?

As the garden owner/event organiser, you set your own entry ticket price and it is up to you what you do with the money from ticket sales. You can donate it to a charity or community organisation of your choice, or keep the profits. My Open Garden does not charge commission on gate ticket sales.

If you are raising money for a specific cause you can talk about your plan in your garden guide.

How do I list my Garden/Event?

It is an easy process you do yourself online. The first step is to register yourself with My Open Garden. You will then be able to come back to this page and follow a link that will appear below to start the listing process for a paid listing.

To use our free Club Noticeboard you need to go to the Noticeboard page which you will find under then "Find" main menu when you are logged in.

For normal paid listings, you will be guided through stages to enter your address and contact details, then fill out the information about your garden, upload photos and provide opening times and other details. You should however prepare a few things in advance - such as, to get a good photograph that shows your garden in its best light and write a suitable brief introduction. Later you can add a more detailed Garden Guide, and up to five photos and descriptions of special Points of Interest. Lots more information is given during the listing process.

What is the free Club Noticeboard?

You need to be logged in to see the Noticeboard and you will then find a link to it under the "Find" main menu. Our Noticeboard is the place to promote your local flower show, special interest meeting, speaking event or fundraiser. Notices are displayed on the Noticeboard page, the homepage of nearby users and on lists of nearby events up until the event date. You can add an item at any time up to a month out from your event.

Please note that items on the Noticeboard are not displayed in our event listings nor are they promoted through our email alerts.

What if I run an event with multiple open gardens?

You can list your Event/Open Garden and add details of up to an additional five items with photos. These additional "Points of Interest" could be brief garden summaries or related activities that are part of your event - all under the one listing so you don't have to pay for several seperate garden listings. All you will pay is the one standard listing fee.

I have a nursery and open my garden - how is that handled?

For a small commercial operation that holds open garden events, or has a display garden open in association with it we would charge the standard listing fee of $253. Typical businesses we would include in this category would be Hotels, B&Bs, Wedding Venues & Nurseries.

When should I list on My Open Garden?

You will need to be planning your event several months out and listing as early as possible on My Open Garden will give you maximum exposure to visitors planning their trips. In addition, other nearby people may wish to open their gardens on the same week-end to maximise the visitor numbers to both. A number of magazines and newspapers will be interested in your event and you need to be aware that they often have lead times of up to 3 months. So as a minimum we would suggest 4 months but you can list up to 12 months out.

How is my event advertised?

As soon as your garden/event profile is completed and put online it will be visible to thousands of subscribers to My Open Garden plus affiliated websites, garden clubs, nurseries and garden designers. The earlier this is done the better. Starting from about three months out from your event we send advance notice to local garden clubs and media writers. Then, as the time of your open garden draws near, we send out email alerts and reminders to subscribers living nearby.

We try also to feature all listings on the Home page, and the State search page of our website at various times plus we also post events regularly to our Facebook page. Your event is also published through partner websites like Nabo and Around You to give you even more local exposure.

You may be contacted by various media outlets who wish to publicise your event. You should have a couple of good quality digital photographs ready for them, just in case.

Importantly, you should of course also promote your event through your own contacts - local clubs, radio stations, and newspapers as well as noticeboards and even mail-box drops. Just before the Open Day you should also put up direction signs and notices on local posts to guide people to your garden, and also to alert other casual passers-by. You've put in the hard work preparing your garden/event so it makes sense to use every opportunity to let people know about it.

Can you send an email alert for just my own event?

Yes. We can send out special customised event alerts for you to registered subscribers and garden clubs based on distance from your event, or to selected states. There is a charge for this additional service which varies depending upon your requirements. (Regular scheduled alerts are included in the listing fee).

When do regular email alerts go out?

Please note: Your event listing must be setup with open dates prior to these deadlines to ensure it is included in the mailings.

Media:
1st of the month 3-4 months in advance.
Clubs:
1st of the month 1-2 months in advance.
Individuals:
Weekly on Mondays - Advance notice 4-5 weeks ahead.
Weekly on Mondays - Reminder for coming week.