Plant Swaps and Cold Feet

Today was the day of the Middle Tennessee Plant Swap at Henry Horton State Park. If you missed it I really can’t blame you. The weather was cold, wet, and pretty miserable. It reminded me of early December Christmas parades back when I was a band director, and I sure don’t miss standing around in that weather! My wife and I gave our oldest daughter a choice whether to come with us or go to her grandparents house and she chose the plant swap. It was probably more for the big fancy playgrounds at the park than for her desire to see plants. Maybe one day her priorities will switch but for now we’ll let a kid be a kid! Unfortunately for her the grass was wet, the playground was wet, which meant her shoes got wet and her feet got cold, very cold. We dressed her up very warmly but there is little cure for cold feet when you’ve outgrown your boots. She was miserable. It’s definitely time for new boots. My wife and daughter ended up sitting in the car warming up while I traded plants. They did fine in the end and got to spend a little “mother and daughter time” but the unseasonable temperatures were not a friend on this day!
I do have to say, if you missed the swap you also missed some great plants and great people. The temperatures may have kept some people away but the die-hard gardeners and swappers were there. And you know what? Die-hard gardeners have some really nice plants! I brought with me an assortment of herbs, perennials, cuttings, and a couple shrubs and came home with this:
Ajuga, variegated
Butterfly Bush, Honeybells
Canna, Purple Foliage – Pinkish Blooms
Canna, Red
Canna, Yellow
Elephant ears
Elephant ears, Black
Forsythia, Kumson
Grape Hyacinths
Hibiscus, Rose of Sharon
Hydrangea, Lacecap
Iris, White reblooming
Malaviscus arboreas
Oxalis, Dark Purple
Rose, 9 Various Cuttings
Rose, Catholic Cemetary
Salvia coccinea, pink
Salvia coccinea, red
Shasta daisy
Swamp Sunflower
Not a bad set of plants! The ‘Kumson’ forsythia is a variegated forsythia that offers more interest though the year than the standard yellow blooming shrub. The rose marked ‘Catholic Cemetery’ was a cutting the gardener took from Catholic Cemetery! The elephant ears will have to wait to go in the garden until after the spring frosts are done but should be pretty neat in the garden. What I like most about plant swaps is the increased diversity in my gardens when I come home. In my mind these are really free plants. The plants I bring to trade I either raised from seed or made from cuttings and are practically free which means anything I trade for is essentially the same. Swaps are a great way to increase the diversity of your garden without spending much money, and we’re always looking for ways to save money!

5 Replies to “Plant Swaps and Cold Feet”

  1. Looks like there was a lot to choose from, but I think I would have had to think long and hard about going out in the cold today. It is the dampness that creeps in.
    Band director eh? This is the second year since 1996 we have been without anyone in band. Cold rainy nights are not something I miss.

  2. Dave, It looks like you must have had quite a time… now, where to plant all those wonderful new acquisitions?

  3. Hey Dave! That a fine list of plants~~an out of area trip was not in the cards, but maybe next year. The sun did start to shine, but then the temperatures dropped! gail

  4. At first I thought you did not go so I am glad to find out you did. Poor Grace to get cold feet. It was so damp yesterday. Sunny today though. I did make it to GroWild yesterday and I can vouch it was cold but warmed up a bit so not too bad. I was actually happy there wasn't so much sun. It is freezing here in Clarksville and when I got back yesterday even colder! The temperature change was very noticeable. I was on a time limit at GroWild because I had to give a presentation at 1 but managed to get what I needed. I did not have a chance to check on your dogwood but I'll try to check it out on their website. They are most nice and helpful there. Springtime they are having a two day event. I will be at that plant swap for sure in the spring. You got some great plants and all at free-can't beat it, cold feet and all:) I can't wait to see your garden. P.S. PPS's speaker on Tuesday is Andy Sudbruck of Nashville Natives. He may have some plants. I still have a bunch of plants here I dug so I think I'll take them there and give them away. Anyhow, enjoy the sun today.

  5. Darnit, Dave, it's been horrendously cold, wet, and generally forbidding up here, too. I hate it when that hampers attendance at a great plant event! Fortunately, sounds like you managed to score some great plants, anyway. And we snuck out in the 5 seconds of sunshine yesterday and got some fabulous heirloom pumpkins, tomatoes, peppers, ornamental corn, hot pepper jam, and a dried flower and hot pepper bouquet from one of our favorite local establishments, Meadowview Farm in nearby Bowers, PA. Now Silence feels her autumn decorations are complete and I'm looking forward to good food and good times!

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