from whence do the swappers hail

mirka_gMay 8, 2006

Hello All swappers.

I think it might be helpful to get an idea of whence everyone hails so that perhaps we can come up with another site somewhere other than Mont Co for the fall swap. Mary

I am in Temple hills in PG co

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I'm coming from Fairfax, and the swap location is usually an hour's drive for me. I know that there are others who come from NoVA (like Larry). Christine comes from Annapolis, and we have swappers from Baltimore as well. I would like to know who has the longest drive to the swap.


    Bookmark   May 8, 2006 at 9:39AM
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avoirgold(z7 MD)

I'm in Columbia, so the swap was very close for me.


    Bookmark   May 8, 2006 at 9:57AM
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faerieannette(z7 MD)

I am also from Annapolis. It was a pretty terrible drive for me with the kids :-( Though it seems like a pretty central location for everyone. I do wish we had more shade though both my little ones got overheated and sick.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2006 at 10:56AM
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treehouse(z7 MD USA)

I come in from Elkton which is in the northernest/easternest spot in MD.

I think of the long drive as a mini vacation. I think I need a life!

    Bookmark   May 8, 2006 at 11:02AM
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oogy4plants(6B MD)

Hi! I live in Eastern Montgomery County, so the swap was convenient for me. Especially since I can't get my self up early on a Saturday.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2006 at 11:37AM
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I live in Perry Hall which is Northeast suburb of Baltimore County near I-95 so the swap was only about 45 min drive for us. Steve in Baltimore

    Bookmark   May 8, 2006 at 11:57AM
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I live in Wheaton, about 20-30 minutes away.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2006 at 1:40PM
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leslies(z7 No VA)

I live in Middleburg, VA.

If traffic on the Beltway had cooperated, the drive would have been about an hour for me (as it was on the way home). Unfortunately, it didn't and it took me nearly an hour and a half to get there. I didn't think one hour was bad for a "Mid-Atlantic Forum" swap. The Mid-Atlantic area is pretty big.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2006 at 2:52PM
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I'm in Waldorf and it takes an hour or more-- which I personally do not mind since it seems like almost anywhere I enjoy going takes an hour or more but w/ the steep gas prices...

    Bookmark   May 8, 2006 at 3:51PM
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We live near Westminster, MD and the drive took us just over an hour ~ I consider it to be a fairly central location, and worth every second of it! (Perfect amount of time on the way home too for Sarah to nap and me to rehydrate before planting.) Thanks again Gardengranma and we'll look forward to Prof dirt hosting in the fall!!! :)

    Bookmark   May 8, 2006 at 3:52PM
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On Saturday morning some fool called in a bomb threat. Thankfully it was a hoax, but it really screwed things up for a while on Saturday.
The call was traced to a post office in Merrifield VA and the guy taken into custody.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2006 at 8:00PM
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julia3(z7a MD)

I come from Laytonsville, about 25 minutes northwest of Burtonsville.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2006 at 8:02PM
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kimka(Zone 6B)

I also come from eastern Montgomery County so Gardengranma's and SSFS have both been very convenient for me (no saying either of these hosts is obligated for having us again). But locations for swaps have had more to do with who was willing to volunteer to host in a free place that had enough parking.

If someone wants to have the swap at their place and can deal with maybe 50(?) cars parking, remembering that in the event of rain, it can serverly damage a lawn.... just post a thread and see who responds. If enough people signal their willingness to travel to your site, you have a swap. There is no official imprintor or even limits on number of swaps.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2006 at 2:10PM
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Thank you Kim for your words of wisdom. Vlad sent me an e-mail wondering anyone would be willing to drive to Aquasco if if hosted the Fall swap. I told him to go for it. He has plenty of parking Mary

    Bookmark   May 9, 2006 at 2:37PM
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I come from the Baltimore area and it took me around 45 minutes to drive with ideal conditions. It's a comfortable ride and I enjoyed it.


    Bookmark   May 9, 2006 at 6:30PM
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cfmuehling(7b DC/MD burbs)

I like it in Laural and SSFS myself. It's about 45 to 1.5 hours for me, depending upon traffic.

Laurel had it up on the other side of Baltimore (was it Laurel?) once, and it was tough.

The one thing I don't support is what happened a year or so ago: Someone getting pissy about driving a little out of her comfort zone and splitting the swap. No one had as much fun as we usually do, all coming together. It really diluted the plant pool, too. Not everyone could afford the time, travel and plants to attend both, either. If I recall correctly, that person wasn't even able to attend the swap closer to her home.

Anyway, I'm near Annapolis/Bowie/Upper Marlboro. I'll drive where necessary -- but only once. Montgomery county seems to be a pretty central location.


    Bookmark   May 9, 2006 at 8:55PM
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donnap99(z7 MD)

I'm from Baltimore. I love the location, and I'm sure it would have been a shorter ride if I had followed the directions posted! :-)

Donna in Baltimore

    Bookmark   May 10, 2006 at 1:31PM
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fergusk(z7 MD)

We came from hagerstown, md. about 1.5 hr or a little more if traffic is good. It's usually ok on a sat am. we enjoyed the swap immensely and did not mind the drive,cost of buying all those great plantsat a nursey would far exceed cost of gas

    Bookmark   May 10, 2006 at 9:57PM
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giverny(z7 Maryland)

Very convenient for me, as I live on the southern edge of Columbia.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2006 at 10:29PM
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annebert(6b/7a MD)

Yes, the location is convenient for me (about 30 mile drive), as is Sandy Springs, but I wouldn't mind seeing Vlad's place...

    Bookmark   May 11, 2006 at 12:41PM
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My friend Brian and I are from Middletown, past Frederick. It took us over an hour to come.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2006 at 11:58AM
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gardengranma(6a/6b MD)

Next year, if you guys decide to have it here again, parents with children can ask and park along the bamboo where we have shade. Also, there was a shaded area with a gym set, swing, etc, and there is shade in the back yard. We can always improve as long as we know what problems there are. The house was also available, we just didn't want the total crowding we had last year. Prof. Dirt wasn't totally sure about the Fall swap, but you better ask him. In the Fall I am willing to go wherever. My best, gardengranma who had 0 miles to go. By the way, many thanks to all of you who brought me plants and the wonderful orange candle.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2006 at 8:05AM
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lvmygrdn(z7 MD)

I came from Germantown so it was just a hop, skip and a jump. This was my second swap. I've enjoyed both very much. I will drive to wherever. Yesterday I drove an hour to a nursery because I knew they would have what I wanted and they did. It was worth the trip to me. So just point me in the right direction. :-)

    Bookmark   May 14, 2006 at 8:24AM
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juliat(z7 VA)


I hope you are enjoying the seeds. Perhaps I was the "pissy" one who scheduled a mini-swap since I couldn't get to the MAG swap one time. So here's a little window on my world -- sorry to all who didn't ask for it! (Well, you can just skip this message) ; )

With an infant and a very young child at that time, I could not leave for long without them getting quite upset. I didn't want to leave my husband for five hours with crying kids. Alternatively, the baby would have cried belted into her constrictive carseat during the long drive, and swaps aren't enjoyable when you already have a migraine. Also, the main swap was scheduled on the same day as a plant sale at Green Springs Park & Gardens, which is a cool event here. So we had a little swap in Northern Virginia at a different time. About four or five other people attended, so it didn't diminish the main group much if at all (some said they had schedule conflicts with the main swap -- weekend work hours and such).

This year, my children are older and I was able to leave them with my husband without any concern and freely enjoy the day with MAG. The drive took about an hour and twenty minutes from my part of Northern Virginia, and I had a super time both on the road listening to the radio (I luckily heard about the beltway tie-up and meandered up through Rockville instead) and at the swap. It was great to tie so many names to faces, to talk with so many friendly gardeners, and I absolutely want to do it again. Now that my family obligations are somewhat easier, I can enjoy a road trip with as much luxury of time as others.

I didn't realize our little swap, borne out of various time and scheduling conflicts with the big swap that year, would annoy anyone, or that anyone would even care! I hope you didn't really care! Unless the whole group could agree in advance to the location and timing of a swap, there will always be people who can't make it, and if they decide to have their own swap, no big deal, right? -- to those fortunate enough to have the time to attend the big one.

Hope that clears things up, but perhaps it'll just ruffle more feathers! Ah, the lovely Internet...

Best regards,


    Bookmark   May 14, 2006 at 11:55PM
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I'm from SW Baltimore County, and both Gardengramma and SSFS are around 1/2 hour's drive for me. I have no complaints, but then I don't have to deal with the Capital Beltway.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2006 at 11:38AM
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kilngod z6b(Zone 6b)

I'm in northeast Baltimore (Parkville), about an hour drive.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2006 at 10:40PM
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cfmuehling(7b DC/MD burbs)

Warning! Christine got long-winded again. Probably too much procrastination and not enough coffee. Here we go:

Actually, Julie, I wasn't referring to you at all, nor the NoVa swap, but I guess I struck a nerve. I recall there being issues at the NoVa swap about people deciding to sell their plants instead....

Of course people can arrange their own swap; that's not even a consideration. I know of no one who feels they need permission. However, it's easy to say dividing the swap for distance reasons in the way it was last year diluted the enthusiasm, let alone the plant availability. I think region could/should govern where/when. It makes sense. Not just because someone doesn't want to drive an extra 1/2 an hour. Particularly when there are others driving several hours, even if it's just traffic! For example, I am less than 30 miles away, but it takes me 1.25 hours because of the indirect route I must take.

I also recall strangers (non gardenweb members) at the swap to which I'm referring being a concern because they might steal. Well, someone did walk off with all Vlad's strawberries and there were other issues I recall reading about. These could happen at any swap, though. Look at all the hoo-ha above about people taking designated plants!

I'm going to make some enemies here, or at least make someone mad, but you know there's never any question about where I stand -- given whatever the current information might be! Julie, this isn't (necessarily) referring to you, but since you seemed to take my post a bit personally, I thought I'd make that clear. It's a general "here you have it" from me. My opinions don't necessarily reflect those of the mangement nor other childless people:

I find it extremely difficult, if not impossible to sympathize with the kid issue. It seems to govern everyone's lives when they reproduce, yet new parents always seem surprised. Or suprised that others aren't particularly impressed. (News Flash: having kids has been done before.) But that's a choice one makes, and there is no question that those little buggers must come first. And I've never met one of these little humans that isn't as cute as a button. However, this is an element of why I don't have kids and can drive to swaps, dinner, tours, movies, and anything I darned well please as long as I can afford the gas. You guys repopulate the world, OK? And you guys do what you gotta do, but don't expect me (and people who aren't brave enough to say so) to necessarily understand.

Well, I digress from the topic. I also happen to think it's overwhelmingly generous of Henrietta to offer to structure her space to accommodate swappers and their families and pets. Even to have kids' play stuff available! To designate an area in the shade for families? Who could ask for more? (Unless she's willing to provide nannies, in which case I want one named "Bruno" and can carry my trades and protect me from the hot sun with a parasol.)

So we hail from a wide area in the MidAtlantic region. It's fun do discover microclimates, successes and failures, and the plant proclivities of different people. It's what makes it fun.:)

I, for one, am looking forward to the fall swap!


    Bookmark   May 17, 2006 at 11:44AM
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You have 2 different Va swaps confused
Julia's was inside the beltway and with just a few of us attending the other was clear-to-hell-and-gone way out in Va
The HOST was allowing vendors as well as swappers as well as selling his stuff I guess a some sort of fundraiser for his organization.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2006 at 12:21PM
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cfmuehling(7b DC/MD burbs)

Mary, I'm sure I can have them mixed up. I can tell you that I was not referring to any swaps in VA at all, anyway.

When does swap = sell? It's kind of like "equal value" and free...

Ah well,

    Bookmark   May 17, 2006 at 2:02PM
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I missed the swap - but would love to be included in the Fall swap..... I'm in eastern Baltimore County.... Sounds like you had it in a pretty centrally located location....

~~ janice ~~

    Bookmark   May 19, 2006 at 1:46AM
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juliat(z7 VA)

Hi, again. Well, Christine, that message (above) was a surprise after your quick, cordial email. However, since apparently you were not peeved at me, I won't take it personally. Deal? Deal. Great.

Since you are upset that people who choose to have kids haven't made the same life choice as you, it's a good thing that they are they and you are you.

Who knows what motivated the woman who you WERE thinking about, since we don't know who it was -- whether it was children, a handicap, an aged parent to care for, a work commitment, the list goes on. There are so many things in life that people care about and are entitled to care about.

Personally, I didn't start having kids until I was 36, so the lifestyle for the infant years wasn't a surprise. I'm happy with it, and am glad that your choices make you happy.

We all can look forward to future swaps, large or small -- I had as enjoyable a time at that little local one as I had at this great large one.


    Bookmark   May 21, 2006 at 8:27PM
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I would have no problem at all with a swap at Vlad's. Yes, it'll be a bit of a commute for me, but I'd love to see Vlad's place. His garden(s) must be incredible!!

    Bookmark   May 22, 2006 at 12:39PM
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cfmuehling(7b DC/MD burbs)

I'm also looking forward to Vlad's. It's going to be a long haul for some, but I can tell you the drive is beautiful.

I can also let you know that there is a way to go 3 miles out of your way and see my gardens. Just a thought!

Julie, good for 'ya. Like I said, I'm too selfish for kids and can't pretend to understand. At least I'm honest about it! No ticking clock here.

Remember that I also still have your bag of seeds, so all is not lost if you winter sow. I have also augmented your stash with other items.

Anyway, I hail from Upper Marlboro (trying to return to topic!).


    Bookmark   May 23, 2006 at 9:18AM
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faerieannette(z7 MD)

Upper Marlboro... thats where you are! its hard to tell since you seem to be everywhere

    Bookmark   May 23, 2006 at 1:28PM
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gardenpaws_VA(z7 NoVA)

I'm in Herndon, at the far western edge of Fairfax County VA just north of US 50. It takes me about 1 to 1.25 hours to get to Burtonsville, and I thoroughly enjoyed the swap last year. This year I didn't make it, having committed to a class that meets on Saturday mornings for 9 months of the year. Unfortunately for my participation in the plant-swapping community, it's a 4-year course!

Yes, gas is a consideration these days, and I'm doing a lot of providing of plants in my immediate area. It's a lot of fun getting new or transplanted gardeners started. I've also done some swaps by mail, though I realize they aren't as cost-effective (or as much fun) as multiple swaps in person.

The VA swap at Peter's was indeed a swap, but it co-existed on the same property with a fundraising sale and a handful of invited vendors. AFAIK, none of the usual swappers chose to sell instead of swap, and many good swaps were had by those who attended. I think I also got to the MAG swap that year.

ANyhow, I'm still interested in swapping when I can, and 3 years from now, Saturday mornings in fall and spring will be available again. In the meantime, once I get used to how the coursework goes, I may be able to play hookey occasionally.


    Bookmark   May 24, 2006 at 11:41PM
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cfmuehling(7b DC/MD burbs)

Annette, I live off Route 214. My mailing address is Upper Marlboro. The farm across the street is Bowie, to the right of me it's Anne Arundel County. To the left it's Mitchellville. I can pick, almost. Since I'm not way down Route 301 actually in Upper Marlboro, I always hesitate to say that's where I live. People think I come from a lot farther away than I actually do.

So Robyn and Annette are at the opposite ends of Route 50!
Neat that we all manage to get together.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2006 at 8:31AM
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maple_man(z7 DC)

I'm from washington DC, Born here, my die here! And in between I plan on going to a lot more Swaps!

Brian C.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2006 at 5:09AM
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Brent_In_NoVA(z7/6 VA)

Were there big issues at the NoVA swap at Peter's? The weather was terrible but I met some new people and I swapped for a lot of great plants. Yep I have kids. They came along and purchased some annuals from one of the vendors and I even purchase a hosta. It sure seems like the Mid Atlantic area is big enough for more than just one swap.

I am in Sterling but I have never made the "real" swap...maybe some day.

- Brent

    Bookmark   June 1, 2006 at 6:18PM
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leslies(z7 No VA)

Robin, I work in Herndon - we could swap any day!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2006 at 3:04PM
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