Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I'll Show You Mine...

I have a Plant Exchange with the Takoma Hort. Club this Saturday. We do this every spring and fall. It is actually my favorite part of membership and a big reason why I joined in the beginning -- to fill up my empty garden with others' cast-offs. Well, due to the magazine and various garden events I've missed going for the last two years. But this time I set aside the date and no matter what, I'm there.

The tough choice is figuring out from my own garden what to bring. I mean I have plenty of perennials that need dividing and groundcovers that have overgrown their bounds. The real trick is what do others actually WANT. Nobody wants to bring a total dud that sits unwanted on the exchange table at the end and is relegated to the compost pile. What does that say about you as a gardener? That you have horrible taste? That your plants are diseased, bug-infested wrecks? That your plants are so common everyone has them and no one can use anymore?

The last reason listed here is actually the case. I've been to exchanges when everyone brought the same thing -- masses of daylilies, iris, or black-eyed susans. In some clubs it is a running joke of the "one plant that no one can give away." Funny thing is, each club has a different make-up with a different vilified plant. A newbie can easily walk into that trap.

Well, I'll take just about anything. As much as my spindly arms can carry really. In the beginning of my current garden, it is mostly all lawn and I'd take any unwanted green stuff to fill in the beds. Now I've gotten a bit more picky. If I can't find a place for those plant orphans at my place, I'm sure I can squeeze them into the median strips near me (daylily heaven) or in secret "vacant" spots in my surrounding neighborhood.

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