Plant swaps spring to life

By John DeGarmo

Plant swaps are becoming more and more popular across the country as the economy pinches our wallets. With less money to buy plants, gardeners are looking at different avenues in order to acquire new plants. Certainly, all good gardeners share plants with new and old friends all the time. Yet, plant swaps offer something more. This weekend, both Jackson and Monticello will hold plants swaps of their own.

The idea of a plant swap is to bring a plant or two that you have in your garden and trade it for one that you might not have, or would like more of. Of course, the more plants you have to bring, the more you can trade out. With the price of plants slowing creeping up at nurseries, and the gardening budget shrinking for many during these tough times, plant swaps are just the thing to make a spring garden, well..."spring" to life.

Many tell me they don't know what to bring to a plant swap. Any plant that you have extras of will work just fine. Whether it is perennials, bushes, annuals, groundcovers, or even vegetable plants, simply place then in a pot, label them, and bring them along. Please, do not bring houseplants, or plants that are invasive. With a plant swap, you can leave home with some plants that you have become overly familiar with, and arrive back home with something new, something colorful, and something different.

This Thursday afternoon, I shall prepare for the swap by digging up a number of plants and groundcovers. Forsythia, lamb's ear, black eye susans, cranesbill, and Autumn Joy sedum are just a few of the many plants that needed some serious dividing in my garden. Not only can I trade these plants with someone else, I have the opportunity to meet new gardeners, as well as be introduced to new plants.

When planning this event last year, I envisioned an event that would be welcome for all, both beginner gardener and veteran, both green thumb person and non-green. Not only did that happen, but it also now an event where people from across our community can come together, meeting with old friends, and making new gardening ones.

The Second Annual Monticello Plant Swap will be held Saturday morning, April 17th, on the Monticello Square, beginning at 10:00 AM. For further information, you may call me at 706 468 9215. Jackson is holding their second Seed and Plant Swap and Sale the Jackson Presbyterian Church, from 9:00-2:00 PM. You may call Janie Carmichael at 770 775 2780 for more information. So, if you are looking for a chance to get outside, meet new friends, catch up with old gardening ones, and take home some new plants, visit the plant swap in your town. Even better, visit both! Enjoy!