24 September 2011

Fourth Annual Fall Park Circle Plant Swap

It was that time of year again - time for the fall plant swap.  We had a lot of stuff going on this weekend and the thought crossed my mind that I might not have time to go this year.  Can you believe that?  It was only a passing thought - I came to my senses pretty quickly.  We have had a lot going on, and I procrastinated until this morning as far as pulling plants together for the swap goes.  I got up at 5am and was outside at 5:30 trying to get plants together, realizing that I couldn't see a thing!  I promptly went back inside and read the paper, ate breakfast and watched tv until 7am, when I resumed my activities.

I came up with a large pile of plants - more than I expected on such short notice.  Earlier in the week, I had dug up all the pups from our century plant.  This morning I dug up some irises and some phlox and potted them up.  I thinned out the water irises growing in the waterfall of our pond - it needed it.  It needs a good cleaning out and repotting, but that will have to wait.  And hostas - I have to explain the hostas.

While at the previous plant swap in April, I was in the middle of planting a shade garden and was looking for enough hostas for a mass planting.  I didn't find many at the swap, but I met a woman there that offered me some from her yard.  A week or so later, I went to her house and we walked around and dug up parts of almost every clump she had in her yard.  When I got them home, I broke them into smaller plants and had them in a couple of buckets of water.  I planted as many as I could and put the leftover bucket of hostas, dirt and water in the driveway, intending to plant them in the next couple of days.  Days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months, and so I ended up bringing them to the next plant swap.  I wanted to tell her the story, but she wasn't there.  I did save a clump for myself - I still have plans to plant some in the near future, along with what I got at the swap.

I mention this every time now, but I don't find as many plants that I have to have as I used to, and it was trued this time.  Inevitably I end up doing more socializing in the beginning, rather than scoping out plants.  I see people who I don't see all the time and I end up talking to them.  I eventually find my first selection - there's usually one must-have plant - but I didn't see one today.  Just like last time, I found my groove - I changed my first selection from a Euphorbia trigona to a citrus I found after Darren mentioned that there were some mixed in with the rest of the plants.

Before I go any further, let me mention the plants I didn't get.  These were high-ranking choices, that got picked by other people while I was picking other plants:  Euphorbia trigona, night-blooming cactus, corpse-flower cactus, giant papyrus, canna and ginger lilies.  I think that's about it for the plants I didn't get.

I had a little trouble prioritizing this time.  Every other time Robin was there and, for the first few rounds, she would help me get the plants I wanted.  So I started out with the citrus and then I found some daylilies.  I saw someone with one of my friend Joan's Yuccas and I decided to get one of those.  I would have preferred Echinacea, but I got some of Joan's Black-eyed Susans instead.  I found some more daylilies - I wasn't sure what they were at first.  They were in a plastic bag and extremely leggy, like they didn't get a lot of sun, or they were over-fertilized with Nitrogen.  They reminded me of the Narcissus bulbs I brought previously - in their case, it was not enough light.  I got some Persian shield and a couple of beautyberrys to add some native plants to our landscape.  As always, I feel satisfied by what I brought home from the swap, and the fewer plants mean that they won't be neglected because I don't know what to do with them.  I've already planted the Yucca and I know what I'm doing with most of the others - nothing should be neglected this year.  I would say that I'm happy about this swap and look forward to more in the future.

No comments: