So, my sister says that neighborhoods start looking a lot alike because neighbors exchange, split and share their plant goodies with each other. I say, GIMME! A Master Gardener asked if I was a "design oriented" gardener or a "plant collector." You tell me what you think I am after reading this post!!
Last year, I went to a "formal" plant exchange in Berryville with a high school classmate. There were 15 women with a huge variety of plant material from their yards which needed splitting. I brought home nearly $200 worth of plant material, including a Mayapple, Native Geranium, Anise, 3' tall ornamental grass and bearded iris.
A number of years ago, I noticed a friend's beautiful blue asters in her front yard. Last year I offered to help her split them too late as she had just dug up a bunch and tossed them. So, this year, I asked her before the season got underway and two weeks ago, I dug up a huge clump of asters for the partially sunny hillside in my yard!
If you are familiar with Freecycle, people offer items to give away or, if you want something, you can ask if someone has it to give away. Many folks have started offering up plants to members of this group ~ first come, first served. I have received yellow iris, red daylilies, columbine, variegated false solomon seal, sedum and more . I have also offered up a variety of ornamental grass clumps which get just too big for my yard. I dig, they come and pick it up - kind of like an anonymous yard sale.
In addition, if you walk around town and stop to comment to homeowners about their gardens, you might just get some freebies! Two weeks ago, I commented to a neighbor about her orange poppies. She offered to split some for me. When I went to her home, I also got some pulmonaria (lungwort) which is a great native plant for this area. What fun! She thinned her garden out to plant something else and gave plants away instead of throwing them away!!
I would like to suggest that we, as a larger than average neighborhood of Reston and Herndon, have one or two plant exchanges a year! We could do one in the fall and one in the spring. You would have to bring something in exchange for getting something new!
What do you think?