Middle-South Swap

littlehelper(7b)March 3, 2011

idea time for those of us who aren't able to go up to the North Alabama, April 16 swap. I like the swap we had at Petals From The Past a while back. Any other Ideas?

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mws366(8a)

hey littlehelper---the north Al. swap in april is too early and too far for me. a lot of plants don't make a showing until the last week in april or the first week in may. some where between birmingham and montgomery on one of those weekends would be good. even the old standby oak
mtn. park will be ok. anyone else have suggestions ?

wayne

    Bookmark   March 5, 2011 at 4:46AM
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browneyedsusan_gw(8a)

Driving for two hours each way would it a very long day for me. I have four children.

I second Wayne's suggestion of Oak Mountain Park.

Susan.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2011 at 7:27AM
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catbird(z7 AL)

Susan: Guntersville is an hour and a half from B'ham, but bring the kids and come to that swap. The kids would love it. People South of B'ham may need to go farther South. I don't want to start a competition between the swaps, but we should have plenty of people for both.

Alice

    Bookmark   March 5, 2011 at 11:51AM
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ourhighlandhome

Just a thought (or four or five):

April 15th & 16th is the annual "Antiques in the Garden" event at Petals from the Past; it is spectacular, and not many central-Alabama gardeners are going to miss it for a plant swap, in Guntersville or anywhere else.

And, as Wayne said, unless what you are planning on trading is currently being grown in a greenhouse, the proposed date is a little early. It can still be cold in mid-April, especially in N. Alabama. Add to that the fact that most people posting about a swap don't even have an exchange page. That does not encourage me at all. There are just too many "ifs" for me to drive that distance when I could spend the gas money on something unusual and established at a local nursery.

The most successful swaps have traditionally taken place, IMHO, between a line from Birmingham south to Montgomery. That seems to be the geographical center of most of the serious traders. For serious traders to the north, an alternative is the Middle-Tennessee Plant Swap - from my understanding one of the biggest plant swaps encompassing that area - they even have a website. If it weren't so far I'd love to attend, but it is, and that's just life.

The biggest thing that has hurt the "central-Alabama" plant swap over the years is it's perception as an event where you just show up, and people will load you down with freebies. True, most of the people who attend are some of the most generous gardeners you'll ever meet, but this is a SWAP, not a free-for-all. As someone put it years ago, everybody has something to trade. The swap that was held at Petals from the Past a couple of years ago was great (especially the fellowship we all enjoyed while sharing a meal together), but it was also the first swap where people showed up with the "show & load" mentality. I (among others) was shocked at the number of people in attendance with nothing at all to trade (and most of them were well-dressed and driving expensive vehicles). I'm struggling to keep afloat financially, folks. My plants, soil, pots, labor, etc., are worth something.

Most seasoned (serious) "traders" usually pot things up a season or two in advance of the spring/fall swaps so that they'll have healthy, established plants to offer. And increasingly we/I resent giving them away to "moochers" or trading them for inferior, run-of-the-mill "fillers" that are available at Wal-Mart.

Sorry if this offends anyone, but these are just my feelings about the swap, having been involved in it for almost every year since it's creation. Anyone is welcomed to host a swap, but those of us who have been in this for a number of years know what generally works. In plant swaps as in life, you can't please everyone. It always "worked" at Oak Mountain State Park. Thoughts?

On another note (yes, I have another one!), at Terry's visitation his family expressed to me their wishes to have his cherished greenhouse plants adopted by his friends here on the Garden Web (or more importantly, those who can care for them as he did). There are tropical hibiscus of every kind, citrus shrubs/trees, birds-of-paradise, etc., in addition to pots and maybe other stuff. His son is taking care of them over winter, and his daughter is going to contact me this spring with a date on which they wish to empty his greenhouse. I'll then post the date here, along with any particulars. Hopefully it won't conflict with the date of the swap(s). Let's continue to keep Terry & his family in our thoughts. He was, after all, the "founding member" of the CAPS, if memory serves (and increasingly it doesn't!).

I'm finished....peace, and ya'll have a good & fruitful spring!

Nelson :-)

    Bookmark   March 5, 2011 at 10:23PM
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lsmcw(7b-AL)

Thank you, Nelson. Well said. I would love to have a plant of Terry's but since I don't have a greenhouse and live north of the "outside tropical" zone, I doubt that there will be anything suitable. I think going back to Oak Mountain is fine. Someone pick a date.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 8:29AM
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browneyedsusan_gw(8a)

Like Nelson, I have attended nearly every swap since the very beginning. He has clearly explained the important points and I am in complete agreement with him. I would like to add that the Birmingham Botanical Gardens spring sale will also be on the weekend of April 16th.

Susan

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 8:42AM
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littlehelper(7b)

It seems as if Oak Mtn is the spot and how would May 14, the Saturday after Mothers Day work for all. I will be glad to get with Oak Mtn and reserve us a pavilion and such. Would anyone be interested in a pot luck lunch? Either bring something from home or pick it up on the way.

Nelson, I would be honored to adopt some of Terry's plants. Just let me know when and such. He had so many cool plants and was always so helpful with information.

I will update my lists soon.

I look forward to seeing everyone again.

Peggy

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 2:56PM
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mokey(7)

Terry and his family are in my thoughts. He let me do postage for plants and gave me great information. I am still somewhat a newbie to gardening, I greatly appreciate kindness and patience. He even saved me heartache and a headache when he read my post to someone that was a bad trade. If I can't make it to the swap, I hope his plants get very good homes.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 11:44PM
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lsmcw(7b-AL)

May 14 works for me.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 8:58AM
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littlehelper(7b)

now for a new thread.... central alabama swap May 14 at oak mtn. Ladies and Gentlemen start arranging swaps :*)

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 9:29AM
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catbird(z7 AL)

I also would love to have a plant or two of Terry's to remember him by, but I, too, am too far North for his choice tropicals and don't have a greenhouse. I know they'll find good homes with other GWers.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2011 at 11:37PM
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Frog_hollow_lady(8Al)

I posted on the other tread, but I'll start posting my trade list alittle later...

    Bookmark   March 13, 2011 at 10:36PM
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