suggestion for future swaps

doucanoeJune 15, 2006

I would like to make a suggestion for the next swap if I could. And it is just a suggestion, if you all don't agree, that's okay too.

As much fun as it is to have everyone talk a little about what they brought to share, I found it confusing to remember which plants were where when it came time to choose what I wanted. When all was said and done, I had made a mental note of several plants I wanted to get, but when it came to making the rounds, I couldn't remember who brought them, and there was so much variety, I couldn't remember all the ones I was interested in.

I would like to suggest that we place like plants together. Hostas in one spot, yarrows in another, roses over there, campanulas over here, etc. That way we know how many of each we have so if there are several people interested, they all may get one, and there is less running around looking in vain for the plant we knew we just had to have.

Anyone else find that confusing at the swap? Any other ideas to make it flow more smoothly?


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

never been to a swap before.. but your idea sounds like a good one.. if its a concern to mark what plants were brought by who.. could always get them colored little rounds stickers and designate a color for each person. I hope I can make it to the next swap(s) I have a few things I am sure I could share..

    Bookmark   June 15, 2006 at 11:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Most of the swaps I go to- do group them together. It doesn't matter to me. I do have a suggestion though I think at the next swap we should stick to the time we state and not wait for gardners who are late. I felt bad for many people who had plans that had to leave but were delayed.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2006 at 1:08AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
zenpotter(z4 MN)

If they are grouped together does that mean that they aren't talked about?

    Bookmark   June 16, 2006 at 7:10AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My favorite swap is the one that the City of Plymouth & MGs host (actually, there are two a year). Everyone pulls into the parking lot, unloads their offerings behind their car and walks around picking up what seems interesting.

Here's what I like about it:
* Stuff is labeled and there is always someone nearby to ask questions
* It's large enough that there is lots of variety, even if you are looking for more particular plants
* You can socialize as much or as little during the swap as you like, with more concentrated visiting available afterwards
* There aren't a bunch of rules, trusting that gardeners are good people and everything works out nicely
* People with tight schedules can arrive and leave as they need to and still get some cool stuff

    Bookmark   June 16, 2006 at 8:53AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
selkie_b(z4 MN)

We started discussing what we brought only a couple of swaps ago when it was realized that folks really were loosing out on some treasures and didn't know what was what. This was a pretty small swap actually, the one at my place last year had almost twice as many plants.

I think an idea would be that when you arrive and "pick your spot" we make a master map (hastily - on a white board, chalkboard, paper stapled to a tree etc...) of who's where and everyone has pencil and paper! That way you can note who and what you want, and know WHERE it is. We all forgot to bring nametag blanks - though masking tape works too and that really helps. I'm horrid with names.

Hmm... I just made this up and I LIKE the idea hmmm....


    Bookmark   June 16, 2006 at 11:07AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
zenpotter(z4 MN)

Since the next one is at my house.

We don't have a parking lot so we can't just drive up and pull the plants out of our trunk.

If we were to use Marie's idea each person could make a simple sign with their name on it and put it by their stuff. I am bad with names too and we always have masking tape and usually have computer labels to write names on. Marie if I forget to put them out remind me.

By the way I am fine with what we do now. I end up with lot's of good stuff and have a great time. Talking with all of you is an important part of the day.


    Bookmark   June 16, 2006 at 3:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jel48(Z4 Michigan)

I love the GW MN Swaps. Socializing is as important as the plants I bring home. I do like the idea of some sort of rough map, or a little sign by each person's plants with the person's name on it. That way, if we walk around and each person talks a bit about what they brought, we could make notes - person's name, plant, etc. Maybe we could even put a number on each sign along with the name. that would make it quick to jot down the location of the plants you were interested in.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2006 at 3:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The only flaw I see with that plan is this. Let's say there are two people who each brought a blue daylily, and they are located on opposite ends of the yard. I REALLY would like to have a blue daylily, so I jot down where each of them are. When it's time to swap, I rush to Mary's spot only to find someone has already grabbed the blue daylily. So in the meantime I check my map and quick rush to Joan's spot and alas, hers is gone too.
Now I realize this can happen even in a categorized swap, especially with very desirable plants, but it is more likely that you will get most of the things you would really like if they are grouped together.
On the flip side, it is nice to have people discuss what they brought, at least the less common plants.
Perhaps there is no perfect solution...


    Bookmark   June 16, 2006 at 3:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
zenpotter(z4 MN)

Linda, I go along with the no perfect solution idea.

To me it is the people not the plants.


    Bookmark   June 16, 2006 at 6:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

How many people are we talking about anyway?

To me it's equally the people and the plants but it can get to be a bit much when everything's going on at once.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2006 at 6:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
zenpotter(z4 MN)

What I mean I enjoy talking to the people, the plants are an added bonus.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2006 at 6:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

leaves, I think there were about 25+ people at the one at Rick's.
I love getting together with my cyber friends, too.
Just the actual swapping got a bit confusing is all.


    Bookmark   June 19, 2006 at 10:05AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
cheri_mn_524(zone4 -MN)

I agree with organized swaps, if I am a daylily collector or a hosta collector it is much easier if they are in the same place, yah it's easier just dropping them off anywhere and it's fun talking to everyone but I think we all visit anyways. We could also put shade plants, ground covers, sun certain areas. If anyone has pictures that is also great. The big swap I go to is great, the lady that puts it on has pictures of most everything, even if they are from catalogs. it works out great..

    Bookmark   June 21, 2006 at 8:35AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
julie_mn(z4 MN Henn)

Hey there Linda- Now I get it! I was wondering what was behind the reason for change- I have always asked the person if there was more to be traded from the garden it came from. Call it a post swap. Or- I ask the person who picked it up if they would share some as soon as it could be chopped up again. I think that is why/how Pre Swapping using our GW page started-
I do really like it when folks talk about their plants- I am still learning so much and I appreciate learning from the grower!
It was a wonderful experience at my first swap to uload my car right into others waiting arms- as the "unloaders" talked about what they were offering. Kinda like Christmas and every one got to be Santa!
But I do like the addition of ROUNDS- it helps to keep it more even- instead of the more gregarious (um- that sounds like me....) folks getting the most/best- while the meek/polite stand back and watch.... With rounds- you are pretty much assured that every one has a pretty equal chance at getting a few treasures high up on their want list. It does mean that you must have an excellent memory- or paper though...
What I really miss are lables! Where are those names?!? Or even a discription if the 'name' is lost or unknown- like medium blue green unknown hosta- tall pink astilbe- When you bring a new to you plant home- it is hard to remember names or types of plant let alone know how to take care of it if you don't have the briefest bit information to rely on. It could be on masking tape taped to the pot- or a cut up blind or what ever- every little bit helps!
I do like that the GW swap is different than others- we are a community here in GW- We give freely of ourselves and our gardens to each other- we are known to each other- we offer help and suggestions and encouragement to each other- I think our swap should reflect that about us. We are not such a large group that needs precision organization - nor are we the dump and run types. All of the different swaps I have been to- I have enjoyed each individual "flavor"- but I like ours best. It is the people at this swap that make the swap good- It is their willingness to give of themselves and their plants to others whom they are known to - that's what I like best.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2006 at 10:05AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lazyweeder(z4 MN)

Each swap has it's own merit as to the way it's done. The first gardenweb swap in St Cloud was a free for all and tons of fun. Only at the last three have we done rounds and they've been fun too.

The Plymouth swap is a free for all. You drop your plants and run to see what everyone has and hope to get a plant. The Maple Grove swap is done the same way.

The Plant Party is very organized by plants and rounds. By far the biggest swaps I've been to. But no info as to what the plants are other than sun or shade. Although there is time before the swap starts to possibly get info on plants you're unsure of.

Rick's idea at the last one was a good one. One pick the first round and most likely everyone will get atleast one treasure they were hoping for. And it would be nice if they were organized by name and requirements like Linda and others requested.

But no matter how it's done you still have to remember what it is you want and where it is. Even when they are organized by plant or shade etc you still have to remember where they're at and which one it was that you wanted and get there first. As Julie said, pay attention to who was offering it and who was able to get it. The nice thing about the gardenweb trade is that there is a good chance the person who brought it has more to share or the person who got it might be willing to share if there is enough.

And don't forget to check other's trade lists before the swap so you can make prearranged trades too! And make sure your trade list is updated if you don't have anything listed on your page it's hard to know what your looking for. If you haven't looked at other's trade lists or not sure how to do it. Click on the blue link next to my name Lazyweeder above that says My Page. Then click on See my trade list. Scroll down to where it's says plants I am looking for. If you have anything on there send me an email and maybe we can make a trade.


    Bookmark   June 22, 2006 at 1:08AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
carmellia(z 4 Minn)

I would just like to add "ditto" to what Lazyweeder said. The St. Cloud exchange was my first and, so far, the most fun. It was a free-for-all. I don't know if that was what made it seem so sociable, but it really was fun from beginning to end.

But, I suppose there are pros and cons no matter what the setup. I don't think anyone goes home without several things they consider treasures. I know I never have. I treasure my Basket Flower, Little Business Daylily, Regal Standard Hosta, and many more, including the "turning red as we speak" Raspberries!

My only real preference is that I do prefer an End of Season Swap to a Beginning of Season Swap. It is not just that I have so much work to do in my garden at the beginning of the year, but I don't think many of my things should be dug at that time - either they are blooming or setting their buds or making their biggest growth spurt of the season. Fall seems like a less stressful time - both for me and the plants - to be digging.

Gaillardia and I have been talking about setting up a Fall Trade to be held in Kenyon, Goodhue County, Minnesota. It is about 15 miles to the SE of Faribault - from the Cities it is about halfway to Rochester. My yard is large. If it would help anyone coming from afar, you are welcome to pitch a tent or park your camper (although I have no hookups).

If anyone is interested in a Fall Swap, please let me know. Carmellia

    Bookmark   June 23, 2006 at 1:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Carmellia, we do both a spring and a fall swap. This year the fall one will be held at Paulines home in Mpls.
You may want to communicate with Pauline and make sure you don't have yours on the same date as hers.

Kenyon is a long way from North Branch, so I cannot say at this time whether I would be able to attend or not. I will give it some thought.


    Bookmark   June 24, 2006 at 10:15AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Identify this plant please.
I found this plant at some one's home, outdoors. They...
Wildflower seeds for Mn gardeners
I'm offering free seeds for Mn folks(and other upper...
Looking for narrow shrub that can handle part shade and dry soil
Hello, My husband and I have a privacy screen made...
Favorite hardy roses
I want to add another rose to my garden, so I'd love...
Hot Pepper Spray questions: making, affect on taste, effectivenes
Hi, I'm considering making some hot pepper spray to...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™