My neighborhood association hosted a plant exchange for the first time today, and I had an enjoyable and productive time!
When I got there, I had to sign in, and was then directed to the first table. That was covered with window box planters and big round flowerpots, in several colors. Each family got to choose one planter; if you chose the window box style, then you got five free annuals provided by the association, and you could get four if you got the round planter.
Then you went to the next table, where there was a gardener who could assist you in choosing plants for your yard. There were a variety of annuals, some that did better in sun and some for the shade. All of the plants were ornamental. Then you could bring your selection to one of the gardeners stationed at a table, and they would plant your annuals in your chosen container. After that, you were directed to an area where perennials were at, and allowed to choose one free perennial.
I had been hoping for plants that would be a good addition to my vegetable garden, but there weren’t any and I was slightly disappointed about that. I had almost finished selecting my annuals when I saw several plants to the side, looking somewhat random, so I headed over to check them out. They were tomato plants and leeks, and it looked as if they had been brought by other home owners in the neighborhood to share, but I couldn’t be sure. If the association provided them, they counted in the allotment of five, and no one seemed sure who provided them. So I happily took four tomato plants and one leek (that was my allotment), picked up a perennial (I can’t even remember which one I chose – either some kind of lily or black eyed susan), and got ready to leave.
On my way out, I commented to someone I knew manning one of the booths that it was a wonderful idea, and asked whose brainchild it was. She called over the person who arranged it all, and I told her that it was a fantastic event and thanked her. She glanced down and saw that my planter was empty, and told me I needed to get some annuals before I left. I told her I had taken the tomatoes and leeks, I was putting them into my garden, and didn’t take anything else since I didn’t want to go over the limit. She told me that she wanted me to get five plants annuals in addition to the veggie plants.
I picked up five dark purple coleus plants – I love how coleus looks. I already purchased three varieties of coleus when I went to the plant sale a couple of weeks ago, and they look beautiful in the front yard. I got the new ones potted before I left.
I bumped into a neighbor who brought some day lilies to share, and took some of that. I don’t know how much I like it, but I’ll plant it and see how it looks in the yard. I love beautiful plants, but my gardening energy now is going into having a productive vegetable garden, not in making the yard look fancy. We already transferred the large hostas that were in the back yard to the front, making room for squash plants in the back and nicely enhancing the front landscaping.
On my way out, someone else was coming in with small seedlings to share – they were tomatoes, and I took one of hers, too. We started some tomatoes from seed that just sprouted this morning and we found the first hard green marble tomato on our most mature tomato plant this morning, so we’ll have tomato plants in different stages of growth in the garden. You can’t have too many tomatoes, at least not in a house like this where our kids eat them like fruits!
All in all, it was very productive, and next year (they’re planning for this to be an annual event) I plan to take some of my own plants to share with others.