25 September 2010

Third Annual Fall Park Circle Plant Swap

Today was the 3rd Annual Fall Park Circle Plant Swap. I've been looking forward to this for...well. since the spring plant swap! I didn't do a lot of growing specifically for the swap, but I ended up having a number of things that I was able to take as is. There was a growing number of garden-related items being brought for people to take, so I had a number of things in that area - old tools, pots, books and magazines. I guess there wasn't much of a trend, because I think I was the only one to bring any of that stuff this time.

Getting rid of the books and unused tools was great for me - like a fall purging of junk. I had a few plants that I felt the same way about too. This morning I got rid of most of my water irises around the pond. It's real hard to contain them and by the fall, they are just trying to take over. I still have some in my waterfall filter, but all of them in the bog are gone - at least I think so.

I might have mentioned this before, but I was dividing and repotting succulents a few weeks ago - most of those went to the swap. I got some hibiscus from a neighbor in the spring, and have had it in a container of water since - minus what Robin wants to keep and what my neighbor Joan wants, I took the rest to the swap - about four pieces. I changed my mind about a few things I could have taken - if I don't want them, they can always go to the next swap. I also took the smaller Hymenocallis that I divided earlier this year - I still have twenty left.
I gathered up everything and got there a few minutes after 10am, when the set-up started - the actual swap wasn't until 11am. I wanted to get there a little early so I could socialize a little - I always do too much talking and not enough looking. When I got there, there were about 10 cars and hundreds of plants - I couldn't believe it. I unloaded my plants and stuff and started to look around, but ended up doing a good bit of socializing - catching up with friends and neighbors, helping other people with plant identification where I could. Eventually I got around to looking at plants.

Like the last few times, I wasn't excited about what I saw - there were some things we could use when we do our landscaping in the near future, but nothing that jumped out at me. I remember feeling this way at the last swap, but ended up being very happy with what we got at the end - I hoped today would be the same. When Robin showed up I was able share my ideas about which plants we might want to try to get. One good thing about not being overly excited about many of the plants, is that there is no disappointment when you don't get the plants you want.

I was interested in a couple of hostas and ajuga. Robin found a couple of ferns. There were a number of bromeliads that I considered, but I already neglect the ones I have - same goes for the night-blooming cereus. We got the ferns and the hostas and the ajuga - Amy Dabbs, who brought the ajuga, said I could have more if I ever needed it. After several rounds of grabbing plants, we started running out of plants we definitely wanted - I laughed a little bit when I saw Robin grab plants that I had brought, until I did the same thing a few minutes later! I was impressed by what we ended up with - a lot of what Robin grabbed, I didn't even see! We got a lot for the landscape: rug juniper, liriope, hosta, ajuga, society garlic. A couple of curiosities - pregnant onion, bed of nails. A couple of things that I'll repot and give away - dwarf papyrus, aloe, spider plant.

I was very pleased with our haul and I feel like we will get more use out of these that any other plant swap we've been to. Now it's time to get planting.

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