5th Annual Billerica Spring Plant Swap, All Areas Welcome

littleonefb(zone 5, MA)April 15, 2010

Hello All,

It's that time of year again to start planning for the 5th annual Billerica Spring Plant Swap.

The plant swap is held in Billerica MA, but eveyone is welcome to attend, regardless of where you live.

â¨All are welcome with or without any plants or seedlings to swap. There will be plenty of seedlings just for the taking. Annuals, perennials, flowers seedlings, tomato seedlings, as well as anything that is related to gardening, seed sowing etc.

So don't be afraid to come because this year you are new to gardening and have nothing to bring. We will be glad to solve your problem and fill up those new garden beds for you

Remember, you don't have to just live in the Billerica or surrounding area. You are more than welcome to come even if you live in a surrounding town or much further away.

For those of you that are new to plant swaps or have never attended my plant swap, we get together on a Saturday and swap our seedlings and plant divisions with each other. â¨Everyone brings something with them, goodies to eat, cold drinks, hot drinks, plates, napkins etc.

This is a very informal get together, I'm one of those informal people, like simple gatherings and just enjoy ourselves.

I set no basic rules for swapping plants, seedlings, divisions. Bring what you have to swap, set them up and each person sets their own "rules" if they want to.

If someone wants to do things differently for "their" plants, seedlings etc. that's fine with me.

â¨I just put out my seedlings for anyone to take and in the past most have done the same.

I like to see my seedlings and plant divisions go to anyone that wants them and not have to replant anything that is left.

Looking forward to seeing old faces (not age, those that have come before) and meeting new gardeners who want to join us and fill up their garden beds.

So here is the basic information and any ideas to add, just toss them out.

At least for me, it's far to early to know what I will and will not have for the swap. As time gets closer I will post what I will have and others can do the same.

I don't have any problems with people asking if anyone wants a particular division of plants or requests specific seedlings that will be available. â¨I would rather know that someone wants a division before I dig it out than to waste time doing so and have to replant.


DATE: Saturday June 5, 2010

TIME: 10AM until everyone wants to leave

RAIN DATE: Sunday June 6, 2010

RAIN DATE TIME: 10AM until everyone wants to leave

LOCATION: Billerica MA. I will e-mail address and directions the week of the swap to all who are planning to attend.

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started_with_bean(Zone 5--MA)

Yay! Just over a month away! I started seeds too early this year and have some BIG babies to bring with me. So far, I've got orange impatiens, purple laurentia (never seen them before but the pic looks good), maybe some gazanias, and bachelor buttons. I'm bringing neighbors with me this year who were quite jealous with the plants I brought home last year. Can't wait!!

    Bookmark   April 16, 2010 at 9:47PM
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littleonefb(zone 5, MA)

Yup, tis not that far away, is it.

Never to early to WS seeds. do you really have regular "orange impatiens"? the salmon color ones or are they the balsam impatiens?

Jean will love some if they are real impatiens and if they are balsam, I will love them.

My WS babies aren't that big yet, but most of what I put out in Feb has all germinated, 60 containers out of 66. and the next ones that went out are about 50%

Neighbors are more than welcome, HMM jealous of the plants, where they? there will be plenty of them this year too.
Maybe even a japanese maple seedling or 2 as well.

What kind of gazanias did you sow?

I can't wait either, plant swap hopefully will mean warm weather has arrived and maybe, if we are lucky, the rain will stay away for the swap and the summer. no more whole months of rain like last year.


    Bookmark   April 18, 2010 at 1:12AM
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started_with_bean(Zone 5--MA)

They are regular orange impatiens, not balsams, though I WS'd some of those too, but haven't seen any sprouts. They are really vivid orange ones, and they've got some buds on them already, so I'll know if they are true to their parents color.

I've got some Talent Mixed Gazania seeds from TM Seeds.

I hope we don't have a repeat summer either!

    Bookmark   April 18, 2010 at 7:24PM
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Thanks, Fran. I'll be there - not sure what plants I'll be bringing yet - I'll post that as the date gets closer. Your swap last year was my first swap and I encourage new gardeners to come even if you only bring a bag of fritos! Great experience and fun.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 5:53PM
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littleonefb(zone 5, MA)

Started with Bean,

Those bright orange impatiens are beautiful, hopefully they will come true to the parent seed, but then again, if they don't, it might be something even prettier that the "mama" plant.
Either way, sounds great to me.

I have some balsam impatiens that just germinated in the past few days, dark pink ones.

And your gazania a different from the ones I have. should have some extras for the swap.

Zaheen, looking forward to seeing you again.

And yes, new gardeners are very welcome at the swap, there will be plenty of plants and things for you, just for the taking.

The swap has grown over the years to quite a large crowd last year, and it's always fun.

Lots of new friends to meet, new garden friends to talk to, tons of seedlings and plants to take home and always wonderful food brought by everyone.

A great way to start off your new gardens, add to already existing gardens and just have fun with other gardeners that think the same way.


    Bookmark   April 21, 2010 at 6:26PM
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littleonefb(zone 5, MA)

Just want to bump this back to page 1


    Bookmark   April 24, 2010 at 6:24PM
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I don't have the greatest success story concerning my first year of WS but I will have a few Cup & Saucers, Columbines and Cluster Bellflowers (Campanula glomerata). Hopefully, more.

Question please - my few WS "babies" are 3 to 4 inches high now - when can I plant them in the ground? Thanks.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 6:01PM
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Might have a few sky blue iris fan divisions. Possibly a few red (somewhat orange/yellow center)daylily (approx. 3" flower and about 3' high?) Could have some (blue) balloon flower seedlings, no sign of them yet.

Will try to find a few pictures to post as the date gets closer of what I will have to swap.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 6:44PM
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littleonefb(zone 5, MA)


still to early to put any WS seedlings in the ground, temps still go below freezing or about freezing.

Mid May would be the earliest I would attempt anything and those would be perennials and some real hardy annual types like bachelor buttons and poppies.

What seedlings do you have that are that tall?


those iris are just beautiful. I'm sure plenty will want some at the swap, including me.


    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 12:28PM
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Thanks, Fran. I'll hold off for a couple more weeks then. The ones that survived that are 3-4" tall are Enchinacea Magnus, Aquilegia Hybrid Fire, Aquilegia Danish, Aquilegia Vulgaris, Columbine Dragon Hybrid and Potentilla Melton Fire. Those were the ones I WS'ed according to your schedule - sometime in late January or early February I think. Most of the ones I started on the solsitce didn't make it. I did buy some other perennials at Home Depot today (I'm listing them in a separate thread). I was planning on putting them in the ground over the weekend. Would that be OK? Some are a little root bound but not overly so. Thanks.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 6:20PM
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littleonefb(zone 5, MA)

Don't know about the store bought plants. But those have been in a greenhouse then put outside.

I haven't bought many perennials over the years for my own gardens, most have been divisions from friends.

What little I have purchased, both annuals and perennials, weren't purchased till Memorial Day weekend.

Store bought are established plants, the perennials that is, but I would still hold off, if it where me, till at least mid May at the earliest to put them in. Memorial weekend would be better.

If you get them in over the holiday weekend, then you will have room to put the containers that come home with you from the swap, till you get those in the ground.


    Bookmark   April 30, 2010 at 4:48PM
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littleonefb(zone 5, MA)

moving back to page one.

Have heard from several regulars that will be coming to the swap


    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 6:02PM
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fgirl21(z6 - MA)

Hey Fran

I'll be there - with my trusty assistant of course! Not exactly sure what I'll be bringing except I know that some heliopsis seedlings will be there. I've got a ton of them!

Will check out the inventory and see what other goodies I can bring along!


    Bookmark   May 7, 2010 at 7:21AM
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I'd love to attend, so please put me down on the list to receive directions!

Not sure what I can bring since my garden is relatively immature, but I'm sure I can find at least a couple plants to divide so that I don't come empty handed!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2010 at 2:04PM
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Hi Fran!

Thank you for hosting this again this year!! Andrew and I will be there again! We are enjoying watching everything from last year come up this spring. I will have green hosta, sweet woodruff, monarta, Egyptian walking onion, seeded corydalis(yellow), and More!!! I will post more specifics in a couple of weeks as we get closer.

I would love orange impatiens if there are extra!!!

I absolutely cannot wait- what fun!


    Bookmark   May 7, 2010 at 7:47PM
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started_with_bean(Zone 5--MA)

I've got three impatiens, one hot pink and two red/orange. I will set aside the red/orange ones for Jean and Laura. These guys are getting SO big, I hope they'll last in their pots until June. Can't wait! I'm holding off on buying anything else until after the swap.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2010 at 9:41PM
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littleonefb(zone 5, MA)

Michelle, so glad to see you post and "our trusty assistant" will be with you.

Just couldn't imagine a swap with out her, and you of course.

Any changes on her "color choices" or will I just have to give her something brand new in color to move this along again this year too?

sarahrock, glad to have you coming to the swap. Don't worry about having little or nothing in plants to bring with you.

As time gets closer to the swap, I will post a list of other things to bring to the swap and you can fill in with something from that list.

And that immature gardens that you have, trust me when I say, you will have your beds full with seedlings and plants after you leave the swap.

Started with bean, Jean is grinning ear to ear right now. I told her you have a red/orange impatiens plant for her.

Laura, So glad you and Andrew will be coming again this year. It's wonderful to hear that your enjoying emerging plants from last years swap.

Just a question for you. Those variagated sedum that you brought. Do you have any signs of life in yours yet this year?
I'm seeing nothing yet where I put mine. They grew well, but where loved by the chipmunks so I'm wondering if they just come up late or they didn't make it through the winter.

Will have any more of them for this year's swap, they where so beautiful.


    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 8:42PM
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fgirl21(z6 - MA)


The "trusty assistant" is officially enamored of ALL colors! Everything is fair game........ She just painted a gazillion rocks in a rainbow pattern for one of "her" flower beds...../

    Bookmark   May 9, 2010 at 10:23AM
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I'd just like to add my name to the list so I can get directions when the time comes. I am a brand new gardener (still waiting to start planting!). We just recently bought our first house in Arlington, and the grounds need a LOT of work, so it's a bit of a trial by fire. I am looking forward to meeting all you seasoned gardeners and soaking up some of your knowledge!


    Bookmark   May 9, 2010 at 10:09PM
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littleonefb(zone 5, MA)

HI Thea,

You are more than welcome to join us at the swap. We love new gardeners and will have plenty of seedlings for you to take home, just for the taking.
You will have your flower beds full by the time you leave.

Just ask away and we will be glad to answer any and all questions that you have.

Michelle, please tell the "trusty assistant" that I have a very special perennial for her. It won't bloom this year but she should have plenty of blooms off of it next year and it's leaves are a purply green and the flowers are, well a good description is "neon, electric orange that will sure as heck wake you up first thing in the morning." and that's a quote from the neighborhood kids.

would love to see some pics of those rainbow painted rocks for the garden bed.


    Bookmark   May 10, 2010 at 1:56AM
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Hi Fran,

I was worried about my seedum this year. It took about 3 weeks longer than my regular seedum to show any signs of life. I have them all planted in the same really hot bed. The variegated seedum looks like it will make it this year. I am going to hold off on dividing it this year because I think I took too much last year- it was struggling for the rest of the summer. I am still learning about all of this and so the next time I divide I won't take quite so much :)

I will have lots of other things this year!


    Bookmark   May 12, 2010 at 10:00PM
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Hi Fran;

Thank you for the email reminder! My husband and I will be there. I'm still trying to identify a plant that is right where I don't want it in the garden to bring to the swap. Once I figure out what it is, I'll let you know. Otherwise, I haven't started on my seeds yet (lots of drama due to flooding, garden pile was buried) am I too late?

Looking at the garden I can divide and bring the following: green hostas, silver king or silver mound artemisia, autumn joy sedum, wild lily-of-the-valley, oh and about 10,000 acorn-popping red oaks if anyone wants! lol....we must have picked up a thousand last fall and this yr, but those darn things are hard to get rid of!

I can bring some coffee cake if that's ok if I don't have any other plants to offer. Looking fwd to it! Fran; if at all possible, can I put in a request for some tomato plants if you have any to spare????

See you at the swap!

    Bookmark   May 14, 2010 at 1:02PM
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littleonefb(zone 5, MA)


Thanks for the info on the sedum, I checked mine again this afternoon and still no signs of growth, but several remaining old stems seem to be snug in the ground so will wait and see if they come back this year.

If you aren't sure of yours this year, don't try to divide any of them. You sure don't want to lose such a beautiful sedum.

I posted a pic on the "name that plant" forum to see if anyone can identify it for us.


So glad you are coming again. If you can get a pic of that unknown plant, you might want to post it on the name that plant forum and see if they can help identify it.

I'd love a division of your autumn joy sedum, and if you have more than 1, Jean would love one too, (my elderly neighbor across the street that comes to the swap).

It depends on what seeds you are thinking of starting as to whether it might be too late or not and if you are going to WS the outside now.

We had some flooding as well, but nothing near as bad as other parts of town did, and my WS seedlings did just fine.

I will have some tomato plants for the swap, just not sure which ones or how many I will have yet. Some seeds are still germinating but most of them are up and growing.

Coffee cake sounds wonderful for the swap. Perfect for morning with some coffee that will be there.


    Bookmark   May 14, 2010 at 7:12PM
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Does anyone want Solomon Seal?

    Bookmark   May 16, 2010 at 4:09PM
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Hi Fran,
Thank you for the reminder and for hosting the swap again! I don't know what I will be bringing but will post when we get closer to the swap. My daughter and I will be coming.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2010 at 8:55PM
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littleonefb(zone 5, MA)

Hi Sandra,

Glad you and your daughter will be coming to the swap again this year.

Should have a good idea of at least some plants and seedlings I will have for the swap.

So far the following.

Iris sibirica that can be dug out the day of the swap

forsythia cuttings, lots of them for anyone that wants some, Very easy to root in either water or in the ground.

Blackberry seedlings, again can dig out the day of the swap. They do have thorns on them but produce wonderful sweet tasting blackberries

Seedlings I will have so far

balsam impatiens dark pink
chinese forget me nots
aster purple burst.

will list more as I know for sure.

After this rain, hopefully the warm weather will stick around and these seedlings will get bigger.


    Bookmark   May 19, 2010 at 2:08AM
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littleonefb(zone 5, MA)

Adding these seedlings to my list.

rose campion
Alyssum gold queen
foxglove white perennial kind
foxglove lavender perennial kind
foxglove white perennial kind

May have a couple of small seedling clumps of lychnis vesuvius. just not sure yet.


    Bookmark   May 20, 2010 at 7:46PM
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Hi Fran;

Yes I can bring 2 divisions of autumn joy sedum for you and your neighbor, I'll be bringing more to swap. Here's what I have so far:

Green hosta
Sedum, autumn joy
Silver king artemesia
Lily of the Valley
Lemon balm
Italian Oregano
Pink and white striped Phlox
Variegated ribbon grass
Green ribbon grass

.....and coffee cake! :-)

Fran, I would love white foxglove as well as any tomato plants.


    Bookmark   May 23, 2010 at 4:42PM
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littleonefb(zone 5, MA)

Hi Janice.

Thanks for the Autumn joy and Jean says thanks as well, and she would love some more of the varietgated ribbon grass. She still has the ones you gave her growing in pots and coming back every year.

I'll put aside some white foxglove seedlings for you. They are very small, but will grow quickly once planted and bloom for you next year. And I will put aside some tomato seedlings for you as well. will post which ones I will have the week of the swap.

What type of phlox is the pink and white? Is it perennial? Is it tall, short or creeping?

Coffee cake sounds wonderful and there will be coffee to go with it.


    Bookmark   May 23, 2010 at 8:57PM
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Hi Everyone!

Zahzeen, I would love some Solomon Seal!

Fran, could I reserve a White Foxglove and Alyssum? Do you have any extra of the orange wake-me-up plant?

Janice, could I reserve a regular and variegated ribbon grass?

I will post my plants this weekend. I should have lots this year!

Also, Fran, do you see any signs of life in the variegated seedum yet?


    Bookmark   May 25, 2010 at 9:02PM
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littleonefb(zone 5, MA)

Laura, I will put aside a white foxglove and alyssum gold queen for you.
Will know next week if I have enough of the lychnus vesuvius to share. I'm just starting to pot up the seedlings today.

No sign of life in the sedum but I did get it identified on the name that plant forum.

It's called Sedum sieboldii 'Medio-variegatum', OCTOBER DAPHNE.

Am going to see if I can find some at a nursery.

I've just started a new thread with all the specific details for the swap, so everyone please pop over to the new thread and confirm that you are coming and check out the list volunteer list to see if you can bring any of the items.

I will be posting on that thread now only, so everyone come on over and post there.

I will update by seedling and other things I have for the swap there.


Here is a link that might be useful: 5th Annual billerica Plant Swap, All Areas Welcome, Final Details

    Bookmark   May 25, 2010 at 11:57PM
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