MN Pond Plant Exchange

sheepco(MN z4)July 7, 2006

Well I just sent out half a dozen letters to friends in my area that I know have water gardens, suggesting a pond plant exchange. I started my little pond last year, and after buying plants locally and on line this spring I thought there must be a less expensive way. Got the idea here! I'll organize it. Hope they all tell their friends!

My town is only about 5,300 but with the surrounding area I hope to get 10 - 15 people to trade plants for free next spring. I have contacted the local gardening club as well. We also have a U of MN Ag Research Center here that has a big Hort department, so will contact them as well if I don't get much response.

I have had 1 newbie (like I'm NOT!) call me already and is so excited. I've got her trying some of your 'unusual pond plant' ideas cause I don't have extra plants to divide yet. I've been sharing my WH and iris with her so far, and we ordered together on-line.

Anyway, wish me luck. And those of you with overgrown plants, keep this fledgling ponder in mind next spring!

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good luck! i miss minnesota :(

    Bookmark   July 8, 2006 at 1:33AM
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That's a great idea, Sarah! It sounds so fun and exciting. I wish I had a bigger pond (duh!), or at least more room in this one so I could trade with locals here. I ended up putting some monster plants in my pond! LOL

Did you used to live in MN, FTM?? DH has always wanted to live there. I told him that as soon as we can afford a chauffeur for me during winter, I'd be more than happy to go (picture freaked out CA woman driving in snow...ACK!). :D Love the Vikings, too!


    Bookmark   July 8, 2006 at 2:23PM
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chickadeedeedee(z 6-7 ish Ohio)

That IS a great idea! I bet you get a nice variety of plants in the exchange. Best of luck ! Sounds like fun too!! :-)


    Bookmark   July 8, 2006 at 6:28PM
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sheepco(MN z4)

Brenda, ROTFL! Actually we all drive like freaked out CA women with the first snow, then it becomes routine. That's why snowplows were invented...though there was that one winter where we had freezing rain the 2nd weekend of November and it was so cold it didn't thaw off the roads til after New Years, even with salt. I never drove over 50mph, passed a car, or took a back road for 2 months, even the gravel roads were covered with ice... And funny your DH should want to move here, most of my relatives transplanted to southern CA 25 years ago. Course now they've seen the light and have emigrated to Idaho and Arizona and BACK to MN :)

FTM, where did you live in MN?

And thanks all!

    Bookmark   July 8, 2006 at 11:58PM
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actually, i only "lived" there for a week on a working vacation. i wish i lived there! i cannot convince dh to move to a colder climate, and way north so the poison ivy can't survive. he is too resistant b/c he doesn't want to grow old in that climate. ah well.

the funny thing is i get cold so easily and he is sure i can't hack it. but, i prefer cold to heat.

i wannnnnnaaaaa live in minnesotaaaaaaa! :)

    Bookmark   July 9, 2006 at 2:18AM
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I have a cat from Minnesota.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2006 at 2:22AM
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Sockmonkey, does your kitty say, "Meeeeoowww, doncha know?" :D

Geez, we'd get snow up in Redding (2 hours north of here, where I "grew up")...oh, about once every 3 years. And usually then only a dusting. It was GREAT until I had to do responsible adult stuff, and get my license and a job.

I slid around the corner in slow motion, the back end of the car fishtailing to the beat of "O Holy Night", and the lady who was waiting to pull out onto the street looked like she was having a coronary in slow motion - big eyes, mouth hanging open, white-knuckling the steering wheel. I never met her, but I bet she'll never forget me. :D

I'd still take the cold any day to the heat, plants be doomed. :)


    Bookmark   July 9, 2006 at 2:34PM
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This is him saying that exact thing!! LOL

    Bookmark   July 9, 2006 at 9:34PM
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pondmaninfl(z9 FL)

Sarah, have you thought of getting everyone together at a local park? How about putting flyers up at pet stores, pond shops, or even Wal-Mart? Have you got a local free classified ad on-line like we do here (

These are things that I did for the plant festival that I had back in April.

Good luck,

    Bookmark   July 9, 2006 at 11:21PM
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sheepco(MN z4)

sockmonkey - looks like a precious Minnesota kitty if I ever saw one! Oof dah! Please tell - sounds like a story.

FTM - so...where did you vaction?

Scott, thank you. Because it's already late for this year, I thought I'd do it by mail the first time around, but when I sent out the invitation letter I mentioned a get-together swap meet if there was enough interest. The nearest Walmart or pet shop is 45 miles away, the nearest real pond shop 120 miles. Until I got a grip on how many people were interested I didn't want it to get out of hand. Sort of wanted to keep it among 'friends' and friends of friends. I'll take it from there. The U of MN West Central MN Horticulture Night is July 27th, so I'm going to publisize a bit then. My boss's wife is a very active member of the local gardening club, so using the facilities at work should we have a 'swap meet' wouldn't be a problem. I appreciate your input!!

Thanks for all your good thoughts!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2006 at 12:40AM
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hey, brenda! if you ever want to go for another ride with even more excitement, aka sliding downhill to the tune, rock and roll all night and party every day, just let me just love how you put things.

deb, there is so much hair there. as i scrolled down i didn't look closely. i thought it was a pic of a pomeranian. don't worry, my cat will get me later for that.

my vacation was in ely, minnesota. i didnt' get into the border waters, but i didn't need to! i was at the international wolf center and housed at the community college. i "took a trip" into town one day and i'll be ***** if i didnt' get into brandenburg's studio. i DID have mousse at the chocolate moose though. also, i now know what size mukluks i need.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2006 at 12:48AM
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i mean boundary waters.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2006 at 12:52AM
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sheepco(MN z4)

FTM, You picked a great place to visit! Brandenburg AND the wolves can hardly be beat. But if you ever come again, I can recommend other good spots!

Sarah :)

    Bookmark   July 10, 2006 at 11:29PM
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Ooooh, I'd love to go to MN, if it meant I could exchange plants with Sarah, as well as bring home one of those kitties! LOL He is SO handsome!


    Bookmark   July 11, 2006 at 9:14AM
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okpondlady(7a Oklahoma/Mounds)

I put in a free ad in our local paper a couple of years ago giving away extra water lilies and other plants too and had 1, ONE count it... ONE taker. Couldn't believe it.
After that I gave up.


    Bookmark   July 11, 2006 at 9:18PM
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sheepco(MN z4)

Well, if it doesn't work out it's their loss, I had a great time on the plant exchange here this spring! Thanks to some of you I have more to give away :) And I like giving them to people with new ponds - just a year ago when I had any empty puddle people were so generous to me.

But only ONE? Very weird...

    Bookmark   July 11, 2006 at 11:18PM
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hey there. i was extremly disappointed last summer when i couldn't go back for the pup nanny reunion/wolves at one year program. i WILL get back, someday. "my" grizzman (my version of his given name, grizzer) may be part of a retired pack by then, but i WILL. unfortunately, i also didn't get to see the mine. ah, well. i would love to hear your suggestions. :)

good luck on your plant swap. it would definitley be worth it to see the goods.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2006 at 2:23AM
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