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Snubbed and Insulted in Donating Seedlings

Posted by dicentra z6B (My Page) on
Fri, Mar 2, 07 at 9:09

Hi All...
I'm wondering if this has happened to any of you....you donate seedlings or rooted cuttings to an organization for a plant sale and they sort of insult you that your plants aren't the latest hippest varieties, yet they still ask you to donate every year.
A few years ago I was asked to donate some of my starts and seedlings for a community gardenfest. I donated healthy, labeled, sizable plants (4 inch pots to quart pots) and was snubbed when the person running the table commented that my figs, for example, were sold in the nursery "down the street" and are a dime a dozen...! Well, the common figs are at the nursery but not the varieties that I had donated. Lilacs may be common but my 'Miss Kim' donated lilacs were premium in my book. I got over it and my figs, et al sold out, along with eveything else I had sent.
Last year, I donated seedlings and rooted starts and some not-so-common items, like Honeycomb Yellow Buddleia, Fernleaf Bleeding Heart, and beautiful Lacecap hydrangeas. I got the commment..."everybody has these"...! Once again, my donations sold out to happy customers.
Now this year...word gets out that I have rooted fruit starts (persimmon, fig, pawpaw, etc...) and this event person asked me to donate items to the community table...! What gives? I mean, every year I get a sarcastic comment about the commonness of what I donate, although my stuff is not the average joe marigold and everything sells out.
Of course in the gardening venue, you're going to run into snooty people, but it's getting a little old hearing negative comments about donated items. I've also noticed that other donations were thrown together and poorly labeled. I don't mind donating items for this organization to make some money, as the other people seem fine and happy with whatever they get. This is the last year that I'm donating plants and I'm delivering them to another member of the organization in order to avoid any negative remarks. Thanks for letting me vent about this, so sorry that it's long-winded. I'm curious if you've even run into a situation like this...?
Trish


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Snubbed and Insulted in Donating Seedlings

I donate lots to several groups. I now insist if my plants do not sell I will take them home and grow them on for the next organizations plant sale. I take exception to them cutting the prices and causing some of the public to wait till the day is almost over and the prices cut in half to buy any plants. I have seen them so cheap the cost of the container is not covered. Al


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RE: Snubbed and Insulted in Donating Seedlings

Some people are just jerky. I say, continue to donate if you support the organization; find someone else if they irk you too much.

Once, several years ago, I offered to give some very nice heirloom tomato seedlings to a group that was growing stuff on an abandoned city lot to donate to a soup kitchen. I was rebuffed because it was an organic garden and I admitted to having allowed my seedlings to imbibe small amounts of chemical fertilizer in their infancy. I don't think the homeless would have cared about a few drops of Miracle Gro, but it didn't fit with the growers' agenda. As the kids say: Whatever.


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RE: Snubbed and Insulted in Donating Seedlings

  • Posted by morz8 Z8 Wa coast (My Page) on
    Fri, Mar 2, 07 at 14:07

Trish, did I understand you right that this is the same one person doing the insulting? Sometimes people need to put someone else 'down' in order to feel 'up' ...if it's one individual I'd just ignore them as being critical and unhappy. Take the high road and don't allow yourself to be robbed of your pleasure in sharing.

Your donations don't sound boring or common to me. If it's the organization as a whole that asks, then doesn't receive graciously and you still want to support them (can't imagine why)...you could always have your own small plant sale one weekend morning and donate money, not dealing directly with them over your plants.


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RE: Snubbed and Insulted in Donating Seedlings

Trish,
I agree with morz8 100%. If it is the same person making the insulting comments you may want to mention how you feel to another member of the group. If they make you feel this way, it is likely that they are insulting others too and could be losing donations from others as well.


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RE: Snubbed and Insulted in Donating Seedlings

Hi Trish,
It really burns me up when people act the way this person does towards you. I have an Aunt that acts that way pretty much towards anyone and everyone, it's just her natural way of acting but still...
As for me I wouldn't care if the donated plants were as common as sunflowers (which I love just as much) I would buy them because I would be helping to contribute to an organization I believe in. Venting is good for the soul! Try to remember she probably treats everyone that way and thank goodness you don't have to live with her. LOL


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RE: Snubbed and Insulted in Donating Seedlings

Trish, perhaps this isn't the way you want to go about this but I would consider going to one of the meeting that this organization has. Find out who is 'running the show'. Either come to a meeting in person and vent or send a letter outlining your concerns. Dealing with the person running the table is not the one I would talk to. Go higher.

Perhaps this person who is so callous needs to be reminded just how much work goes into different projects. The part about your plants all selling should be noted. And, your willingness to put the past behind you for the benefit of that organization should be let known if that person will shut up.


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RE: Snubbed and Insulted in Donating Seedlings

That's just rude. I would speak with the director. Do they want someone who represents their organization insulting donors? Besides that common plants mean that most people like them and want them in their garden. If everyone wanted the uncommon plants then they would no longer be uncommon!!!!
Karyn


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RE: Snubbed and Insulted in Donating Seedlings

  • Posted by nurmey 5 Omaha, NE (My Page) on
    Sun, Mar 4, 07 at 12:33

Hi Trish
Sounds like someone just wants to make you feel bad about how good you are at growing. Probably your plant starting skill is making them nasty with envy. Why play into the nasty person's game by getting upset since that seems to be their mission.

Your responds should be a pleasant and confident "My plants are what our customers want and I'm more than happy to accommodate them while I help support (insert organizations name)." (It doesnt hurt to remind Miss Nasty that the reason you are there is to support your organization.)

Even if you were selling the average joe marigold, keep in mind that the reason that some plants are common is because THEY ARE THE PLANTS THAT PEOPLE BUY! I know you are not growing common plants but the fact that you have sold out every year proves the point that you ARE growing what customers like and want to buy.

If she continues to try to make you feel bad, please have a conversation with an official of your organization. They should be very concerned that one of their good and long-time supporters is being made to feel disinclined to support them. If your organization is NOT concerned, it may be time for you to find something more worthwhile to support.


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RE: Snubbed and Insulted in Donating Seedlings

Tell her that courtesy used to be common too :-)

Her problem, not yours, do NOT let her take the joy out of this for you. I think it's good that you vented here. Your donations are NOT common by the way. I don't even go to such sales because the usual so called 'exciting' or 'rare' (give me a break) stuff at such events is nothing I can't start myself. Now who's being snotty? lol :-)


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RE: Snubbed and Insulted in Donating Seedlings

Dicentra,

The behavior of the person who keeps dissing your obviously wonderful selections is totally outrageous. The gardening world is inhabited by too many Queen Bees, but this one surpasses their usual degree of snotty ignorance. (Please excuse me if I'm being sexist - I'm only guessing this person's a woman. I'm an unapologetic feminist but I have run up against a lot of affected prima donnas who don't know their Aspidistras from a hole in the ground.) I agree with all those who advised you to voice your so well-justified indignation concerning the situation to someone else connected with the sale. You deserve some vindication as well as gratitude for the great stuff your're donating and for the boost it's consistently giving to the organization's bottom line, not to mention the good will you're generating among the throng of happy customers who go for your plants.

Regards,

cranebill


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RE: Snubbed and Insulted in Donating Seedlings

I'd go and give that person a plant just for her, either wormwood or a gas plant (supposedly they irritate the skin). Tell them the gas plant is JUST FOR THEM, for some reason the plants characteristics remind you of them. :>

I'm bad.


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RE: Snubbed and Insulted in Donating Seedlings

I know exactly what you mean but I am too quick witted to let this person get by with this, especially after the first year. I would have replied to "everyone has this."
"And can I see what your brought so next year I'll try something new so you can appreciate it."
Gaurantee this will shut them up.


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RE: Snubbed and Insulted in Donating Seedlings

When I get this sort of treatment I make it very clear right then that the person has insulted me. I show no mercy. I cause a scene.

I'm the nicest guy in the world until something like this happens and then I let loose. Foul language flies from my lips and I let them have it with both barrels.

The goal is to keep this person quiet or distant and you won't get either by being nice.

I use the same technique while selling at market. If I get one of those cranky/never ending complainers I say whatever it takes to get them as far away from my display as possible. There is no sense in winning them over. Standing right behind them is someone with good money wanting to buy what I offer without a complaint. My job is to get person "A" out of the way so that person "B" can shop.

Go to any open air market. There is someone there with a line wrapped around the block. A line of happy customers, yet the vendor is the most coarse, abrupt, caustic person you could ever meet. Sometimes it doesn't pay to be nice.

After the first insult I would've found another charity to donate to.


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RE: Snubbed and Insulted in Donating Seedlings

I would be more than appreciative to receive your plants as gifts, as most would. The person your referring to probrably doesn't realize "it" is even hurting your feelings. I say put a sign in your yard "Plants For Sale" and see how many people would actually enjoy the fruit of your labor. You would most likely get a boost from it as well, financially and maybe even an ego boost. Gardening is "suppose" to be for enjoyment these days.

If it bothers you, don't participate. ;-)


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RE: Snubbed and Insulted in Donating Seedlings

You could print out this whole thread, give a copy to the offender, then, if she persists in being negative, give it to the director of the organization.
If you are talking about a sale like at a mall or someplace similar, I don't think people who come to these are expecting some exotic plants, but want the "new latest" plants. Being somewhat a newcomer to gardening, that's what I want. I don't want to tackle orchids if I'm still working on keeping the geraniums alive through the winter! I do want something cool, but easy to care for.
If you're talking about a sale that "pros" are attending, then I guess she might have a bone to pick.
Considering that your plants sold out each year tells me otherwise!
Good luck! Nancy


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RE: Snubbed and Insulted in Donating Seedlings

Thanks everyone for the insight about the situation, I really appreciate it!
My plants go to general community events, and not to some exotic plant sale. The problem is with one individual, and I'm finding out that she is sarcastic by nature and has made comments like these to other people. The other people have also been turned off in participating because this female event leader has made some negative remarks to them throughout the years. I'm going to give this event person my list of possible plant donations ahead of time, and she can choose, or not, what she'd like to have for donation. I'll donate the rest of my seedlings/plants to another community fundraiser. I'm going to talk with her about her expectations from people, and how a positive approach and diplomacy will help everyone to feel as though they have a stake in the organization. I've got nothing to lose in voicing out this concern with her, for me and on behalf of the others who would never say a thing. Maybe she won't change, but at least she will be aware that her "bedside manner" needs a little improving. Thanks, again, for all of your comments :)
Garden on,
Trish


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RE: Snubbed and Insulted in Donating Seedlings

trish,

I'd let the mayor know what's going and been going on, not only to you but to others (hopefully, it isn't the mayor's wife who is mistreating you--then, really, poor man).

When I donate, I usually do it by word of mouth to people who want plants, who tell others, who tell others...

You could also, send this thread and all our answers to the city council--I doubt if everyone would be married to the same woman (lol). Let them know of the discouragement you've received.

To stop this, have them either get another person to run it or post the guidelines of what is wanted. And have someone oversee it, so that an uncommon plant is not classified as something "you can pick up at any nursery."

But even then, with common ones, if you are helping people who can't afford to buy, then you're doing a great job.
So, keep it up, but not under these circumstances you are subjected to.

Oh, & like a few others here, I'll take anything that will grow in my area, that you want to donate, and I'll be very grateful : ) .

Maybe there's another place or even your own neighborhood (ex.: a plant, "garage sale"), where they'd be more than happy to accept what you have to give?

Seriously, I think it's a shame for anyone to be mistreated. It sounds like you've had enough of that. Now, decided if you want to be subjugated to it anymore. --I don't think you do.

Bob


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RE: Snubbed and Insulted in Donating Seedlings

If this happened to me, I would be prepared the next time to stand at the entrance next to this rude person and GIVE away to anyone who wants one - one of my plants. I would also explain loudly with each free plant, that this person (pointing to Mr/Ms Rude) doesn't think they are good enough for the event and therefore you are giving them away for free.


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RE: Snubbed and Insulted in Donating Seedlings

Excuse me . . . "Everybody has these"???? Just smile sweetly and say, "Really? They must love them - they're selling like hotcakes!" Jealousy! Be proud of what you do and keep doing it, Dicentra!


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RE: Snubbed and Insulted in Donating Seedlings

I just read your posting on Gardenweb. I know it has been 18 months since you posted but I wanted to add my comments. I have never let people get away with making a sleight at my expense. I have made a large number of snappy come backs over the years. I like Paulemar's idea. But I would carry it to a different level.
I would go to the planning meeting or write the organizer with a long list of things I am prepared to donate. I would present the list and ask if this was a satisfactory donation. Then I would ask (by letter or in the meeting) everyone to check with Miss Snob because in the past she has not been happy with my donations, she has made rude comments about my donations and I want check with her and get her approval before bringing anything. This will be the last time you ever have the problem from Miss Snob and it will put everyone else on notice that you don't take anyones' crap.


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RE: Snubbed and Insulted in Donating Seedlings

It is difficult to run a volunteer organization. Sometimes people get volunteers that really don't understand the whole marketing scheme of how to get people to donate and participate. On one hand you have people marketing, inviting everyone, making the proper press releases. Then you have people in line or working the sales that are insulting to donors or uninviting people from the event they did not even throw themselves!

Every now and then, you have an organizer that is just not right for the position. Most of the time, that is not the case though. It is a good idea to mention your experience to the organizer so they can present the ideas at meeting that they want to be inviting.

Any plant sale I ever attended was sold out in the first hours. It would be really nice to get a greater abundance of available plants and support the plant as donators and buyers!

Other people's behavior does not give me an excuse to act act badly. I would go graciously to another plant sale or as a donator elsewhere. That is how I have handled donations in the past.


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RE: Snubbed and Insulted in Donating Seedlings

I slid over to this forum looking for much needed info on seed starting and found this thread.

If anyone offered me gorgeous things like Lilac, fig tree, paw paw, bleeding heart and all the rest I'd be over the moon!!!

The gardening world in the local sphere must be like any other microcosm of existence...people get jaded and perfunctory about things millions of people can only dream of having at all let alone from an individual's private stock grown with care.

BTW...my niece and her new husband graduated from Penn State. They played the school song at their wedding this past Saturday...LOL.

Wish you were in my NJ zone 6...I'd be all over those plants you offer.

You go, Dicentra. Keep spreading that prime plant beauty around while a few others sulk in their ignorance and lack of social graces.


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RE: Snubbed and Insulted in Donating Seedlings

i've read everyone of these posts, and while i read them i think. ya, that's what i'd do..but, i think the best way to handle this for me, would be to let that woman know right off the bat. well if everyone else has these, then i'll just take them back. then take all of the plants back home. she's acting like a toddler. treat her like a toddler.but then i'd be acting like one. hmmm....i'm very good at that!! LOL but she won't do that againl. you could sell the plants at your place. then give the money to your choice of charities. ~Medo


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RE: Snubbed and Insulted in Donating Seedlings

Well, I gave an answer above and I need to add I headed up the Spring sale for my club in association with the local botanical society sale for about 10 years. We gave 25% of what we sold to the botanicql society and kept the rest. We made about $15,000 for the club. I would never criticize what a member brought. We always priced everything fairly, reduced prices after 1 p.m. the last day and always sold out. Our philosophy was the early birds got the pick of the best plants at fair prices and the late folks got discounted plants which had already been picked over. It was important to me that everyone contributed in some way.


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RE: Snubbed and Insulted in Donating Seedlings

Hello
Do you have the following plants?
1-Tomatillo-ground cherry (Physalis ixocarpa)
2-Cereus peruvianus
3-Pomegranate-wonderful (Punica granatum)
4-Jujube-(ziziphus jujuba)
5-Figs-(ficus carica) -black mission
6-Agave (mapisaga,salmiana, or marmorata)
7-Agave (angustifolia)
8-Agave (maximilliana) lechugilla
9- Mormon tea (ephedra viridis)
10-Sotol (dasylirion wheeleri)
11-Avocados hass
12-Passion fruit (passiflora edulis)
Please let me know how many you have, the prices and the sizes.
I need the smallest plants or bare roots, you can find.
OR Let me know what you have

Thank you very much


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RE: Snubbed and Insulted in Donating Seedlings

It's just a fact of life that there are some people who can't figure out how to get along with others. Because they are miserable to be around, they don't have any friends. Because they are lonely, they join clubs.

That means that every club has a few folks that are hard to get along with. Since volunteers are hard to come by and these difficult personalities are usually volunteers, you are going to run into them at any event.

I'm afraid that my response would have been, "Oh, you don't want them? I'll just take them home, then." And I would have picked them up and left.

There are a few local charities who lost out on big donations from me because their meet-the-public volunteer was a miserable nasty tempered jerk. There are lots of charities, so I can always find one that is happy to get a donation.


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RE: Snubbed and Insulted in Donating Seedlings

This reminds me of a thread in the Vegetable forum. One of the frequent posters with a large garden had been giving away sacks of free vegetables to neighbors for years. No one was saying so much as a thank you. At the end of the growing season he took a bag all the way down to the end of the street. He had not gone to that house before. The parents were not home and their teenage son answered the door. He was skinny and gaunt looking. The rumor was that both the parents had lost their jobs months before and had not found work yet. He said that young man was so thankful and appreciative. It was his final harvest and all he had to give them was tomatoes. It made him wish he had been bring vegetables to them all year long. He said he would next year.

If you grow something that can be eaten or has some inherent beauty or value. There is someone that will be overjoyed and truly grateful for your gift. Why give what little you have to offer to those who could care less. There are so many others that would be happy to receive the works of your labor?


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RE: Snubbed and Insulted in Donating Seedlings

My Goodness, there is always one in every crowd isn't there? I know a quilter like that. Always ready to put people down and ready to accuse other quilters of stealing things. She had so many people convinced others talked about them not to mention accussing others of theft. Guess what? She is being investigated of breaking into someones house and taking thousands and credit card theft and now it seems that stuff always went missing only when she was around. The police said she has 9 aliases and has records a mile long. Wonder why she is not in jail. It takes time but they get found out.

It seems to me that no matter how common your plants are (and I don't believe they are), as long as they sell and the money goes to a good cause, what the heck does it matter.


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RE: Snubbed and Insulted in Donating Seedlings

I am new to gardening, the last 3 yrs now, and I find gardening to be a relaxing, rewarding and gracious task. You take a small seed or plant and pour your heart and soul into it. Everyday that plant expresses it's graditude to you by growing strong and vibrant sharing it's beauty and wonder with you and those who happen by. To take that love and care and share it with someone else is as good as a heartfelt hug in my book! The joy of a plant or flower has been known to heal many wounds and to take that joy and dampen it with such negativity is very disapointing.
Common or uncommon each plant and seed is a gift from God and each in it's own way has it's own personality. So.... even though your plants are not that common, even if they were purple cones or shasta daisies somewhere there is someone who wants to share their heart and garden with a wonderful plant! Keep donating, you do it for the joy that it brings someone! Let the negative nancy find her own joy!!!!!


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