New obsession

a.girl.named.max(4a)June 5, 2011

I went to my first garden swap yesterday. Very fun! Great plants, yummy eats, and wonderful people. It was hosted by Zen Potter who posts on the GW Minnesota Gardening forum.

Late last summer I moved into a home that had been abandoned for six years so it needs total rehabbing and tons of landscape work.

Since I'm new to gardening and don't have any plants to trade, Zen Potter was kind enough to let me bring some of my garden junk (tea cup bird feeders and tea pot totems) to the swap.

Well, the gardening bug has bitten me big time! I came home with dozens of plants. I've never done gardening before so I'm clueless and now I have lots of research and planning to do. I guess I'll be spending some time on the GW gardening and landscape design forums.

I want to say thank you to Zen Potter and to all the generous people on the various GW forums.

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Oops! I meant to post this on the Off-Topic Conversation side of the forum.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 7:08AM
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Max, I know you will enjoy your plants and gardening. It is really inspiring to see your efforts pay off with beautiful plants and blooms. How did the others like your totems? It was great that you were able to participate by bringing them. Thank you for sharing.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 7:33AM
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concretenprimroses(4B NH)

I think you're on topic cuz you are talking about trading GJ for plants! I'd like to hear more about how your stuff was received by the gardeners too. Also what kinds of plants you got.
BTW experienced gardeners like to give plants to beginners. So admire gardens when you see them out walking or whatever and you may end up with some more plants to bring home. Just be careful where you put the ones that like to spread wildly by root spreading. Other things you can move and change as you like but somethings can get invasive. I'm not sure what those things are in MN, but other gardeners out there can tell you. I choose to grow some of them anyway, but in contained beds, that is smaller ones that can be lawn mowed all the way around.
Have fun!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 10:28AM
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Great, max! Sounds like a fun day & you'll enjoy creating new gardens for yourself! Trading GJ was an awesome idea! Have fun! Jeanne S.

Some things I've planted & learned from (NOT to plant) are Loosestrife, Clustered Bellflower, & Purple Spiderwort...they are all beautiful plants but became too invasive for me here in Zone 4, IA.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 10:45AM
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rock_oak_deer(8b TX)

Plant swaps are definitely fun. I'm headed out to one this afternoon. I do plan to start making GJ stuff to trade, so would really like to hear more details.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 12:05PM
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I got into gardening cuz I wanted some foliage to show off my garden junk! SERIOUSLY!!!ha! Now I am gardening so much, I don't have time to make garden junk...sheesh! Way to go to show up with some garden junk to educate those fellow gardeners!!!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 12:46PM
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Since this was a GW event, I had emailed the hostess before going and asked her permission to bring some garden junk. She said I was welcome to come with my garden junk but asked me to sit out the first round of exchanging and to be prudent about what I took in exchange. She also told me that I would be expected to bring an exceptionally yummy treat (LOL) which I did - a wild blueberry tart.

The event started by each of us giving a very brief description of what we brought to the exchange. I explained that I was new to gardening and talked about garden junk. I also brought a perennial that I had purchased that one of my new neighbors recommended. There was a lot of discussion about the plant and it was a big hit. All of the stuff I brought was gone by the third round of exchanging.

There will be another exchange this fall and I will post what I would like and what I have to exchange. If no one shows interest in garden junk then I will just bring plants.

I received approximately 50 plants at the exchange. I'm new to gardening so please excuse my spelling. I received several types of sedum, canna, iris, tomatoes, and chives. I also received campanula, solomons seal, moneywort, jacobs ladder, bloodroot, wild columbine, centauren dealbeta rosea, mums, ash leaf false spirea (aggressive but it came with instructions on how to contain), banana peppers, greek oregano, and a hanging bowl with a variety of lettuces. WOW!

Many of the participants are very serious gardeners and they took me under their wings. As I said, next fall I will only bring plants unless they express an interest in my garden junque.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 12:58PM
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rock_oak_deer(8b TX)

Wow, you did great! Lots of nice plants guaranteed to grow in your area.

We are not nearly as formal at our swaps and try keep it very casual. We set up tables and walk around to visit and see what was brought, make offers and trade person to person. A number of our swappers have all the plants they need and have expressed an interest in other types of garden items, including one of the pieces I've posted here. I think small garden stakes would be a hit so I'm going to give it a try.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 1:37PM
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Sounds like so much fun!! There isn't any gardens exchanges or swaps in my town. :(

    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 7:40PM
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Dandelion, you could always be a pioneer and host the first one in your town. A park or church would be a good site if you didn't want it at your home.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 9:14PM
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Sounds like fun. About only plants I have that you got are mums. Cut them back some, can use a scissors & that will help roots get stronger & they bush out more for more flowers later towards fall but mine are blooming right now so I guess more humid weather confused them. That happens a lot with plants! If Sunset publishers have a Mn. gardening book that would be your best guide. I've gone on Ca. GW forum & the Sunset New Western Garden Book seems to be favorite of folks on there. See if there is MN gardening forum too. You certainly have a good start, spiraea is 1 my DIL had to have in So. Dak. & I remember how I loved it growing up. It kind of needs to stand alone seems like. Wow! It's raining! We can sure use it! We'll take it & then hope it goes into fire areas in AZ. Think N.M. needs rain & parts of TX. Love to see pics when you get the stuff in & it gets going! Jan

    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 10:59PM
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Marlene Kindred

Max...sounds like you had a great time! And came home with lots of cool plants too! You have shade and sun plants, so that's very good.

Plants are always good....after all, we need somewhere to put our junk, don't we?

    Bookmark   June 6, 2011 at 1:27PM
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