Crowdfunding A Garden Festival

Apr 13, 2017 | Love This!

For the past six months I’ve tried to enlist the help of larger plant companies to help cultivate the Cape Cod Hydrangea Festival, but have had no luck. But this week, I had an ah-ha! moment. “Why go big when we can go small?” I thought. Many smaller donations just might add up to more…

We are approaching the third year for the Cape Cod Hydrangea Festival. Last year 84 gardens were open and they raised $52,000 for local non-profits.

In order to help this event grow, so that more people become excited about plants and gardens, and more non-profits and businesses will benefit, we need funding to print the signs and get the word out into the world.

So I’m thinking, in this age of crowdfunding, why look for big donors when we could go small? Why not ask 100 people to donate $100.00 instead of asking for thousands from one source? Think of it as FestStarter.

Here’s the idea: those who are able to donate $100 to this event should send a check into the Cape Chamber, or click on the link below. The first 100 people who do so will be invited to a private cocktail hour event in my gardens at the end of August where they will be given a signed copy of one of my books, either Coffee for Roses or The Cocktail Hour Garden.

All who donate $100.00 or more, and come to Cape Cod Beer Hydrangea Fest Opening Night on July 6th, will also be given a signed copy of the 2017 Cape Cod Hydrangea Fest keepsake poster.

Some of the highlights of 2016 included the Hydrangea University kickoff symposium by the Cape Cod Hydrangea Society, talks and displays at local garden centers, a special hydrangea label on the Cape Cod Beer Summer Ale, and the first Cape Cod Hydrangea Fest Cocktail Trail. This year will feature all of these events and more.

Let’s get it started! To become a Cape Cod Hydrangea Fest Cultivator, follow this link.

Professional gardener Pamela Phipps will be opening her garden again this year, for the benefit of the Master Gardeners Association. The master gardeners will have a speaker in every garden this year – you get a garden visit and an educational experience!

Open gardens are a great way to learn about new plants, see what other people do with their properties, and be inspired by creative use of furniture, ornaments and plantings.

It’s not just about hydrangeas! We Cape Codders love Hydrangeas, and grow them well. But the Cape Cod Hydrangea Festival celebrates gardens of all types and sizes.

The Phipps garden has no lawn! Come see how this lovely cottage-style garden is beautiful and requires no mowing.

This blue box filled with plants from Proven Winners drew attention during one of my open gardens. I’ll have many great annuals and perennials on display again this year.

If you have any questions about the festival in general, you can find information on the home page of their website.



  1. Carol B Chittenden

    Would this appeal be annual, or would some of this year’s ticket sales go to fund next year’s festival?

    • CL Fornari

      Whether there is any money to “roll over” to next year would depend on how much is raised. The money will be toward 1. signage, 2. map/garden listings flyer and 3. publicity. What I hope for the future is that as this festival builds individuals and businesses will look forward to supporting it every year, much as the supporters of Garden Walk Buffalo do. (Google that festival and see how many supporters they have in their community!) The festival can be a really great thing for Cape Cod and Horticulture if we can cultivate it.


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