The Harlequin Effect and Membership

At Harlequin’s we are not only expanding our facilities to make money, we are expanding to test and demonstrate plants and to educate ourselves and you, our friends and clients. This would not be easy for a large company and it is difficult for us, but we are persevering. However, planting, weeding and watering display gardens is expensive and time-consuming. And the data bases we are developing to provide you with regionally accurate plant information are a massive project. And adding new gardens like the Ornamental Grasses Garden and the Penstemon Garden is expensive.

So it occurred to me that if we used the “Harlequin Effect” to raise money, we could all get our benefits more quickly, without us going into huge debt. This story about Harlequin explains how this could work:

When Harlequin was young, he was invited to join his friends at the masked Carnival. But his mother was very poor and could not afford a costume for him. His friends were very disappointed that he could not come with them, but one of the mothers had a good idea. She gave Harlequin the scraps that were left over from making her son’s costume, and when the other mothers did the same, he had enough cloth. His mother sewed all the pieces together into the colorful patchwork that became his signature costume, and he was able to join his friends at the Carnival.

All along, Harlequin’s Gardens has depended on recycled materials, trades, word-of-mouth promotion, generosity, kindness, passion, service and other non-corporate building blocks to create our success. So now the new idea to finance our educational gardens and plant literature is Membership. This idea will continue to develop, but here is our current offer: Members will give us $20 for a one year membership and in direct return will receive these benefits:

  1. During the May Day Sale (May 1 – 7, 2010), members will get first pick of the unusual and specialty plants Mikl and Eve have propagated, which are often in short supply, for only $2.25 each. The following week these plants will be available to everyone at the regular prices of $3.00, $3.50, and $4.00.
  2. During the May Day Sale, members will get 10% off all roses (except quart size).
  3. Members can begin the Fall Sale one week earlier: Regular sale begins Aug. 31, 2010, member’s sale begins Aug. 24.
  4. Members will enjoy a 25% discount on all books throughout the 2010 season.
  5. Members will receive email notification of special offers, ‘members-only’ sales, new plant and product arrivals, classes and special events.

If you do not become a member, you will continue to get the same excellent plants and the same personal help in selecting the best plants for your particular situation.

However if you do become a member, your $20 will go to a good cause, creating botanic garden-like demonstration areas and educational materials not only for yourself, but for the community. If you like what we’ve been doing so far, help us to do it better.

You can become a member anytime you are at the nursery, or mail a check for $20 (and include a note with your email address) to

Harlequin’s Gardens
4795 N.26th St.
Boulder, CO. 80301

We will put you in our Membership Rolodex and file, so you won’t have to carry around a card in your wallet.

Previous years’ membership donations have paid for hundreds of new labels in our demonstration gardens, and for creating new display gardens, and for renewing the older gardens. Also membership money helped to pay for weeding and watering, and developing our website as a gardener’s resource. This year free to members will be the results of our 21 year test of very drought tolerant plants for Colorado; ask for it at the desk.

Thank You to all our Members!