Spring Swap in Arvada on May 24, 2014

mayberrygardener(z5a, Broomfield, CO)April 11, 2014

Hi all, I think it's official!

Most folks that chimed in said that the 24th would work, and since that's a long weekend, here's hoping that it works for lots of folks that didn't chime in as well!

Details will follow, but for now, please contact me through private message so I can add you to the list, along with how many folks you think you might be bringing. As we get closer to the date, I'll email you directly with an address and directions (We don't give it out here in the interest of safety and the fact that I don't need any more junk mail *wink*)

Bonnie, Skybird, ya'll will help me with any details that I'm forgetting? Do we talk about what food people are bringing (is that another thread)? Furniture? I know for sure that folks will want to bring their camp chairs, but I think I'm set for tables.

So, sound off, who are we gonna see on the 24th? YAY now it's time to REALLY get excited!

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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

Hi Mayberry,

I'll copy the "all inclusive" Swap Information from the last time I had it here at my house! This way you won't need to be answering individual questions for people, and any newbies will know what to expect. Brace yourself! Here it is!

~~~~~ THE BASIC SWAP FAQ'S! ~~~~~


Anything that has anything to do with gardening is welcome at the swap!

Plants, of course, are our primary "commodity," but people also sometimes bring fresh produce, like cut herbs, rhubarb, or other fresh spring veggies to include in the trading. The Spring Swap plants are usually mostly starts and seedlings of annual bedding plants and veggies, with some perennial divisions and seedlings. (The Fall Swap is usually mostly perennial divisions!) Houseplants are always welcome at the swaps too! Pretty much anything that grows in dirt!!!

In addition to plants, we also welcome seeds, pots, books/magazines, tools, rocks, garden art.......... Anything garden related that you don't want or need anymore! The non-plant items are not officially "traded!" There will be a place to put these things and they will be available for anyone who sees them on a first come, first served basis! A few years ago someone had some concrete "tree ring" blocks to give away, and they were spoken for and picked up even before the swap. If you have something heavy or large and bulky that you'd like to go to a new and appreciative home, I recommend posting it here and possibly someone who would like to have it could pick it up before the swap so you wouldn't need to bring it all the way to the swap!


The Arriving Part!

When you arrive, there will be a table with a sign in sheet and name badges. Everyone signs in and makes a name badge for themselves and any significant others or guests.

The Eating Part!

We start out with the pot luck! Your dish can be absolutely anything! Hot dishes, cold dishes, appetizers/finger foods, salads, sweets--anything you think others would enjoy! Homemade dishes, if you have time, are always good and very much appreciated! Please plan to bring a serving spoon if it will be needed for your dish, and also please make some provision for it to be covered--a lid if it's that type of dish, or plastic wrap, or whatever. And a request I've made at the last couple swaps that has worked out pretty well! I love sweets, so I definitely don't want to put too much of a damper on the dessert type things, but at a couple of the early swaps we seemed to wind up with mostly sweets, so if you're trying to decide between that or something else, lean toward the something else!

The Swapping Part!

During the arriving and eating parts you will have had time to check out the plants people have brought, and now it's time for the swapping! First we make sure anybody who has plants earmarked for others, gets or has already gotten them to the right people. Then we draw numbers for the first TWO rounds of picking what we want. With number in hand, we go around and have everyone briefly describe what they brought so people know for sure what's there and so everyone can decide what they want the most! Then we go around twice in "number order" and each person picks the one thing they want the most in each round. This gives everyone a pretty good chance of getting the two things they really want! After the two "civilized" rounds of picking we open it up to a free-for-all! Everyone just goes around and grabs whatever they want of what's left! (Bring your Body Armor!)

About the Earmarking!

On the day of the swap we don't allow any "early picking," meaning, while you can look and touch all you want, nobody can take any of the plants till we start our first two rounds of picking! BUT we do allow earmarking of plants BEFORE the swap when people post what they plan to bring. To post what you hope to bring and see what others are bringing, go to the “Spring Swap - Plant Trading” thread, and for the people that are planning to take dibs on the things they’re bringing, that’s where you can ask for the ones you want. The Plant Trading thread is also the place where you can post things you’d like to be able to get--in hopes somebody might have what you’re looking for and be able to bring it for you!


We have one basic Swap Rule that everybody needs to know about! Nobody needs to have any plants to be welcome at the swap! If you're new to gardening and don't have anything yet, if you just moved to a new house and don't have anything to give away yet, or if you just don't have anything for whatever reason, that's ok! There are always way, way plenty of plants to go around, and we get together as much to swap gardening talk and friendship as to swap plants--so come regardless of how much you do or don't have to bring! (And, yes, you do get to pick plants in the swap part even if you weren't able to bring any!)


PLANT THEM -- Whether it's divisions or seedlings or whole plants you'll be bringing, please try to get them into their pots AT LEAST a couple weeks before the swap so they have time to "settle in" and start to root out some. If plants are dug up and put into pots, and then taken back out of the pots to be planted in the ground just a couple days later, it's "double trauma" for them! Also, most plants don't do at all well in pots in "garden soil," so if at all possible, use some sort of a store bought potting mix. It doesn't need to be expensive! (But Hyponex brand would probably be worse than garden soil, so if that's the option, stick with the garden soil!)

LABEL THEM -- Please be sure the plants you bring are labeled one way or another! Here are some of the ways people have labeled their plants in the past: a regular plant tag in the pot -- plastic beverage cups cut up into narrow strips -- popsicle sticks -- old blinds cut up into label size strips -- staple or tape a piece of paper with the name onto the pot -- write the name of the plant on the pot with a marker or crayon -- make up adhesive labels with the plant name and basic information and stick them on the pots. I make up little strips of paper on the computer with the name and other info and include one with each plant. Be creative, but find some way to label them! Anything to ensure the person getting the plant will know what they have when they get home. When we're at the swap, we all think we'll be able to remember the things we're getting to take home, and then we wind up grabbing all kinds of things in the free-for-all, and........... Oops! What is this!

WATER THEM -- Please plan to thoroughly water the plants you're bringing the DAY BEFORE the swap so they'll have time to drain well enough to be easy to transport, yet be wet enough to not be wilting at the swap or while people are taking them home!

TAKE THEM HOME! -- It's a really good idea to bring a box/tray or two to carry your booty back home in! If the plants you're bringing are in something, don't let anybody else snag it, and you can use that to refill with the new goodies! We do ask that you please don't use someone else's boxes or trays without asking them first if it's ok!

MARK YOUR EARMARKED PLANTS -- If you're earmarking something for someone who's requested it, please be sure to clearly mark on the pot somehow who it's for. I use small "pots" (styrofoam cups!) for my plants, and I've found it works well to write the screen name of the person on a paper bag and put the plants in the bag. If there's more than one bag for someone I just write "1 of 2" on it to be sure nothing gets missed! It makes it easy for everyone to find the ones that are for them, and it's easier to carry the bags than to carry a bunch of separate pots. Small boxes work well too! There will be an area away from the general swap plants to put things that are earmarked for specific people.


ALL swap information is posted here on the Rocky Mountain Gardening Forum! The ONLY email that will be sent directly to the people that are planning to attend the swap, will be one with the address and directions, approximately a week before the swap. So everyone who plans to attend need to “private message” Mayberry to send her your email address! To do that go to her “bio page” and click on the link that says “send me an email.” That’s all there is to it!

To answer your question, Mayberry, the last time I did the swap I started a separate thread to help keep track of who was bringing "other stuff," like chairs, tables, cups/plates, AND food and beverages. Having it in a separate thread made it a LOT easier to be sure somebody was bringing the things I needed, and it will help keep this thread shorter with just info about who's coming. I recommend you start a thread listing what you're willing to provide and then list the things you'd like somebody else to bring. 

That Saturday is very shortly after I'll be returning from a short spring trip, so I probably won't be bringing as many plants as I usually do, but I will be able to come, and since I already have more than a dozen plants potted up, I definitely will have some plants with me! :\-) 

Six weeks till the swap! 

    Bookmark   April 11, 2014 at 9:52PM
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mayberrygardener(z5a, Broomfield, CO)

Thanks, Skybird, I knew you had a list somewhere, and I couldn't find it in the search feature.

So far, I've heard from Polygonium_tinctorium with an affirmative, and I'll add Skybird to the list (I have your email; Bonnie sent me the whole list from last year).

I keep trying to bump this up in the RMG threads, but if you are coming, and reply here as WELL as emailing me, it will help me keep track and also keep the details of the swap further towards the top for the newer RMG-ers.

Holy Camole--Skybird, why'd ya have to go and say 6 weeks? I have easily 6 months of work to do before then! I guess I'd better get to it!

    Bookmark   April 12, 2014 at 8:22PM
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kvenkat(5a Colo)

So far the 24th looks good to me so count me in!

    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 7:31PM
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I will be there. I tried to send you an email. Did it work?


    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 7:57AM
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I'll be there!

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 8:23AM
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ginnytrcka(z5 CO)

Excited to be able to come this year...it's been a while! I will definitely be bringing chives and strawberries. They are coming up like mad everywhere. Will post later when the snow clears with others. Close to a foot of snow on the ground.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 10:01AM
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mayberrygardener(z5a, Broomfield, CO)

I got your emails:
catnohat, chellersm.

Silke Popp, I got your email, but didn't get a gardenweb name, and more importantly, I did not get an email address to send you directions. Please send me another message, thanks!

kvenkat, I did not get an email from you. Please send me a message through my profile here, and include your email address in the body of your message to me so I can add you to the email where I send out directions.

Several newbies so far, YAY! Get to see some familiar faces again, YAY!

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 10:06AM
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Count me in with my sisters, a total of 4. Missed you guys last year, I was working. Cant wait.... Gloria

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 10:57AM
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mayberrygardener(z5a, Broomfield, CO)

Gloria, I've got your email as you were on the previous year's list. Look forward to seeing you all!

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 11:03AM
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Count me in! I was just wondering if the swap planning was underway...what timing! :)

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 8:48PM
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treebarb Z5 Denver

I'll be out of town and am bummed since they'll be new folks to meet, but that's the luck of the draw! I'll be sending some plants with Catnohat or Skybird and making a request or two on the swapping thread. I'll see you in the fall!


    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 8:29AM
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I'll be there. Thanks for hosting! I'll send over an email.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 6:04PM
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I'd like to come, but will have to negotiate, because that is my husband's birthday weekend. It would be fun to meet some of you folks though!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 3:38PM
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Sent you a PM I would love to come! Only been gardening for about 2 years now and didnt do so well last year because of squirrels and lots of rain, also I'm new to the forum. I would LOVE to come like I said b4, I'm not sure if Ill have plants grown by then but ill try. Can we use money? THanks cant wait!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 4:49PM
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kvenkat(5a Colo)

I tried again to message you,mayberrygardener, through GW.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 12:23AM
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Hi mayberrygardener!
I would love to come to the spring swap. Please count me in. I'll send you a PM right away!

    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 9:06PM
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mayberrygardener(z5a, Broomfield, CO)

Okay, here is the latest update:

kvenkat, I still never got an email from you, but when I went to send you a PM, I saw a "gr8..." email, is that correct?

katgardener, I got an email but no email addy; when I went to PM you, I saw "kathe....@q.com" email; is that correct?

amester and iluvamaranth, I still need email addies from you as your settings prevent me from seeing what email addresses you are using.

I also still need info from Silke Popp--I have no GW handle to contact you, and the email was blocked when you PM'd me.

I'll keep posting (hopefully weekly) updates as I am able! Yay, can't wait! (how many times have I said that?)

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 11:45PM
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mayberrygardener(z5a, Broomfield, CO)

Okay, I just got PM's from katgardener and iluvamaranth, I've now got your confirmed emails, thank you!

BTW, it's been said before but warrants saying again, if you don't have plants to bring (you know, if something "untoward" happens to them between now and swap day? I'm just sayin', cuz it's NEVER happened to ME! Okay, maybe it has!) don't feel obligated to bring anything! We always have TONS of plants, and we just like to see everybody come, because fore sure everybody gets to go home with goodies! We do have a pot luck, and there's always TONS of food, so either way, git your tookus to Arvada and join in on the fun!

I'll touch base later this week with any more updates. Thanks, everybody!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 4:30PM
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PM sent. Hope I can make it.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 12:13PM
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This is great. I should be available and so nice and close!

I'm hoping my iris are done blooming to give some away (if not this spring, it will be in the fall.

I'm forever digging up grape hyacinth if anyone wants any. I've got pink phlox and catmint too.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 10:15PM
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Mayberrygardener sent you an email, hopefully you got it so Im posting it here again "JIC" (newbie, don't know how it all works here lol) Id love to come to my first swap =) Thanks!!

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 3:43PM
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Like Viselz, I sent Mayberrygardener an email and posting here as a confirmation. Excited to swap and visit, H

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 10:48AM
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mayberrygardener(z5a, Broomfield, CO)

Hi all, Just popping in to say that I'm on vacation and my list is at home; I'll try to update it on Monday and make sure I have all the contacts I need. Please also be thinking about bringing some chairs, sunscreen, and whatever else floats your boat! I may need some plasticware and paper plates/napkins if I don't have anything after the big move...Again, if you don't have plants to swap, no worries, bring your happy selves and call it good!

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 1:11PM
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kvenkat(5a Colo)

Mayberrygardener, the email that comes up for me for PM is correct.
Don't know why my efforts to PM you are not working.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 5:25PM
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kvenkat(5a Colo)

What about food?

I thought the idea of having pizzas along with sides and desserts worked well last year.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 5:29PM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

I really enjoy it when everybody brings something different. We've had people bring some really phenomenal dishes in the past, and it's fun to sample all the different things. If anybody has questions about the kinds of things to bring, check out "the eating part" in the FAQs way up on top. If everybody else would prefer pizza, that works for me too, but if we're voting, I vote for the potluck thing.


    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 6:23PM
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mstywoods(z5, Westminster, CO)

I vote for the potluck as well - or compromise: a few of us could each bring a different pizza (homemade, grocery type, or restaurant bought)! The only problem that I know of with having several delivered pizzas for the main course was divvying up the cost - some folks didn't show at the last minute, etc. So made it a little difficult on the hostess after the swap to have to ask for some additional monies.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 7:21PM
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Mayberry - have you sent the address out yet? What time is it starting.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 7:45PM
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mayberrygardener(z5a, Broomfield, CO)

Hi all,

I've gotten a few emails about when and specifically where (I haven't sent the email yet); I'm still trying to get a few email addresses from folks that contacted me but didn't give me their emails, and I have no way to contact them:
-Silke Popp
(from the plant trade page; no contact yet)

Again, if you haven't typed out your email address when you email me, I have no way to contact you. I will NOT be posting my address here in the forums, so please send me those emails so that I can send you details!

Here is my proposed timeline, and Bonnie, please chime in if my times are way off. I propose people start arriving at 11 (earlier is fine if you like) so that we can begin eating by noon at the latest. That should clear plenty of time for us to begin describing the plants that we brought for the swap by 1:00, with the madness being over about 32 seconds after the free-for-all begins. I do remember that last year we did 4-5 rounds of picking before we did the free-for-all, and I'd like some feedback on how everyone thinks that worked? (I liked it)

We should be wrapped up by 3 at the latest, unless we get too verbose in our descriptions.

I'll be sending out the email with address and directions later this week. For those that are wondering roughly where we are going to be, the main crossroads are Pomona and Wadsworth in Arvada.

To sum up:
Look for an email later this week
Show up: 11 or 11:30-ish, mingle and meet
Lunch: noon, seconds served at noon-thirty *wink*
begin describing: 1:00
first picks immediately after descriptions are complete, and free-for-all after however many rounds of first picks we decide.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 12:47AM
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