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Gardening is a Social Activity

September 26th, 2011

Last Friday I stopped by the library to pick up a stack of books. My friendly librarian was excited to see me, she wanted to invite me to a plant swap they were hostling the next morning. Our head librarian and all the ladies that work at the library are gardeners and, as most gardeners, they love to meet other people that love plants. The library sponsors many gardening events each year, trying to educate the local community about gardening. Usually, I’m working on Saturdays in the summer and cannot attend the events. Luckily, however, I happened to have Saturday off.

It was raining on Friday afternoon, so I couldn’t go out and dig any plants. The next morning, everything was still soaked, so I decided to split my aloe plant instead of digging something out the garden. Being the creative person that I am and having the need to do things well, I made labels for the plants with a short history and care information. Of course my blog address was on there too, I figured a few of the attendees might enjoy visiting.

The skies were dark on Saturday morning and it looked like rain. Luckily it held off, but I think it scared a few folks away. There weren’t a ton of people, but that’s fine with me, being slightly averted to large crowds. It was also nice to have a smaller group for ease of conversation.

We chatted about plants and gardens for a while then the plant swap started. There were some very interesting plants available and a door prize of a Kousa Dogwood tree. It was great to hear the stories behind some of these plants, where they came from, how they arrived in their respective gardens, and how to take care of them. Someone even brought mimosa plants, a plant that grows wild in Colombia and one that I loved as a girl.

Luckily, everyone wanted an aloe plant, one will even reside at the library for soothing scrapes and burns. I made it home with a few interesting new plants including: burgundy hibiscus, black pussy willow, mimosa, corsican mint, Japanese iris and a nice big houseplant that needed a new home (I believe it’s an anthurium).

It certainly was a great event, hopefully next year I’ll be able to attend again. I’m already thinking of which plants I’d like to share. I would love to see a few more events like this, as it’s a great way to acquire new plants and meet new people. These ladies will be great allies if I ever decide to try to start a community garden for our town.

Have you ever attended a plant swap? Is there an active gardening community in your area?

18 Comments to “Gardening is a Social Activity”
  1. Sue Nugent on September 26, 2011 at 5:49 am

    No, but it sounds like a great idea.I could provide many plants.The burning bush,for one,drops seeds readily and small plants pop up everywhere under the Mother bushes. When I purchased my original plants some 20-30 years ago, they were $9 for a really small bush. I know folks would love to have a few for free.

    Reply to Sue Nugent's comment

    • Susy on September 26, 2011 at 6:02 am

      I have tons of those too – they can be quite prolific!

      Reply to Susy's comment

    • Joan on September 26, 2011 at 6:39 am

      Here in the northeast, burning bush is considered extremely invasive. I’m not sure about the rest of the country, but I’d be very careful about spreading these around! They are beautiful though!

      Reply to Joan's comment

  2. Mika on September 26, 2011 at 5:52 am

    Our library had a plant sale this spring that was pretty cool! I think a swap would be wonderful, now that I might have something to swap. This is our first year gardening so I’m still learning!

    Reply to Mika's comment

  3. daisy on September 26, 2011 at 7:44 am

    What a great event! We have a local online swap, but it’s not very active.
    You got some great stuff!

    Reply to daisy's comment

  4. goatpod2 on September 26, 2011 at 8:27 am

    Nope, we were invited to one once.


    Reply to goatpod2's comment

  5. Songbirdtiff on September 26, 2011 at 8:38 am

    I haven’t heard of anyone hosting a plant swap here, but I would love to go to one.

    Reply to Songbirdtiff's comment

  6. kristin @ going country on September 26, 2011 at 9:05 am

    Our library does a plant sale every spring where people donate the plants and the proceeds from the sale go to the library. We usually contribute things like iris and European ginger. They’ve never had any edible plants, like tomatoes, which seemed odd to me. I asked about it and was told it was just that nobody had ever donated any. So I think next year the library plant sale is going to get a lot of tomato seedlings from me. They should sell well. I hope, anyway.

    Reply to kristin @ going country's comment

  7. MAYBELLINE on September 26, 2011 at 10:34 am

    I am amazed at the lack of gardening societies in Bakersfield. There are loads of gardeners; but not much organization. Your plant swap seems like a fine idea. There is a native plant sale as a fund raiser for the local California Living Museum (CALM).

    Sadly (& I’m included) not many use the Free Public Libraries.

    What about that brick church in the background? Looks like a great building.

    Reply to MAYBELLINE's comment

    • Susy on September 26, 2011 at 11:48 am

      That’s our local Catholic Church, quite a beautiful building with beautiful flower gardens surrounding it!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  8. Corrie on September 26, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    The houseplant is nepthytis. It is toxic to pets. I love the Red Shield hibiscus– I use them in the flower beds at my parks. They get huge and beautiful. Looks like you got some good plants!

    Reply to Corrie's comment

  9. kathi cookk on September 26, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    Gardeners just love talking garden talk to someone who really cares about what they are saying haha. I know my husband is fairly tolerant but not all that interested in discussing garden details,, however my fellow friends at the farm market and I can talk tomatoes for half an hour. Volunteering to take care of public gardenss is a good way to meet other like-minded gardeners.

    Reply to kathi cookk's comment

  10. Jennifer Krieger on September 26, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    Those red leaves – a tree? – are beautiful. We just do not get those colors out here in California.
    But the best part of your post – the BEST part – is the lady in the Browns sweatshirt. My husband has one just like it!

    Reply to Jennifer Krieger's comment

    • Susy on September 27, 2011 at 5:12 am

      That’s too funny that your husband has the same shirt. Folks definitely love their Browns around here!

      The red leaves are a burgundy hibiscus. They’re tender so it will be a houseplant in the winter, but in the summer it will grow really tall if moved outside.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  11. Sincerely, Emily on September 26, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    What a great local plant swap and such a nice variety that you came home with. There is a big plant swap in the spring in San Antonio. I was able to go once and came home with a few neat things. Every month when out local garden club gets together we bring plants to raffle off. $1 per raffle ticket and as the ticket is drawn we pick a plant. Raises money for our club. Thanks for sharing your new plants with us. Emily

    Reply to Sincerely, Emily's comment

  12. Lizbeth on September 26, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    I want to say that I believe in you that gardeners just love talking garden talk to someone who really cares about what they are saying . I know my husband is fairly tolerant too but not all that interested in discussing garden details. Thanks for sharing this kind of stuff!

    Reply to Lizbeth's comment

    • Susy on September 27, 2011 at 5:12 am

      Very true indeed!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  13. Sierra on September 27, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    Two years ago a friend invited a few of us to her house where she was hoping to share many different plants, since she’d just moved in and wanted to re-do much of the garden. Anyway, I knew absolutely NOTHING about gardening, but she was a wonderful resource and led to my itty bitty first garden.

    Reply to Sierra's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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