What drives my every move these days is “the cost.” I’m rehabbing this house and running out of cash fast, but I see the wisdom of getting a garden in sooner rather than later. So I’ve bought a lot of plants like azaleas, butterfly bushes, lilacs, and blueberries; plants that take time to settle in before they are large enough to really enjoy. But I’ve hit a brick wall in my budget, and when I was recently offered some bushes from a neighbor who is thinning and changing her garden, it dawned on me that there might be a better way. Hence: A Whimsical Garden Plant Exchange.
Here’s how this will work:
* Each member will speak to their needs for plants, gardening help, or information at the group meeting (probably held once a month). A particular plant you might be looking for may be in another member’s garden, and you can arrange to help that person separate out a few of the plants, and as an “exchange” have them come to your home and help you separate out plants that you have and they may want.
* It does not have to be quid pro quo. You can give up plants for the mere help in the act of thinning them. At a later date you may realize a desire for a plant someone else has and go get them then. People are smart, and most of us are fair. It will never work out completely even. Besides, those who have more will naturally give to those who have less. And most gardeners love to think about their fledgling plants thriving in other people’s gardens.
* There will be no exchange of money. Ever. The purpose of this group is to share, not profit, from the relationships that will be made through this venue. We can spend our money on plant food and gardening tools, luncheons and home and garden tours. This is the Cardinal rule of the group. Sharing is our mantra.
This went live yesterday morning and there are already five members. If we can get fifty or so people on board, I doubt any one of us will ever have to buy a plant again. Any community can do this, and the best part(s) is that we’ll find kindred spirits, have someone to help in the garden, and we’ll be sure the plants we’re getting are right for the area because they’ve proven to grow to the extreme.
This may turn out to be one of my favorite activities. The idea of it is similar to bringing a plant to each garden club meeting, a practice I became familiar with in Virginia. This is just taking it to the next level. Have I sparked an idea?