I was hoping someone could give me some compare and contrast of the different swaps in TN. How do the people and plants differ? Which is your favorite? Etc.
I've never been to either of the other two main swaps (MTPS or the Memphis area swap), but I have no doubt that the ETPS is the most incredibly awesome plant swap on the face of the Earth. The people at the other swaps couldn't be any nicer, but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and say they may be just as nice. Our plant selection has always been great too. Again, maybe the other swaps have good plants too. LOL
But, isn't this like asking who's the best gardener in the forum? Heck, if we weren't all so nice, this could start a war. (-;
WWIII has commenced. ;-) I need not mention the MTPS plants, great southern cooking, beautiful scenery, etc. cuz I don't want to make you feel bad. =)
I am thrilled that we have swaps that cover each end and middle of our great state. I know folks that attend more than one. Heck hit them all if you like and decide if you can or even want to pick a favorite at that point. I bet you find they are all pretty cool because gardeners are salt of the earth kind of people.
One of these days I'll hit the other two and let you know. Until then...you know where my loyalties lie. :-)
I just wish that some of you folks in Hamilton, Montgomery, Putnam and Gibson Counties would start one too! If we had swaps in Milan, Clarksville, Cookeville and Chattanooga then NOBODY would have to drive more than 2 hours to get to two different swaps!
Memphis people would only have theirs and Milan. Folks in Milan, Clarksville and Knoxville would have three to go to. The people in Chapel Hill, Cookeville and Chatanooga would have FOUR different swaps that they could hit. Those of us in Nashville would have three to go to in under an 1:30, three more in under 2:45 and Memphis in 3:30!
I could go to Jackson, Milan, but that would be my stop point due to family.
As to who is the best, do we really think it is fair or nice to even try to go there? We are all plant people and THAT makes us the same and special.
My wish is to finally get to meet everyone at the other places.
The kind of info I was looking for was things like...
East TN swaps more natives
Middle TN has more veggies
West TN labels their plants better..
I just made those up but I was just trying to get an idea of the different swaps since someone at the swap said Knoxville had a different feel and I didn't know what that meant.
If you have any input that anyone might find unflattering, please send it to me directly. I am not trying to offend anyone. I am just trying to get inspired to drive a long distance to another swap.
I would guess that there's as much difference between one time and another as there is between one location and another. All kinds of things (weather, spring/fall, luck, location, who is able to attend, etc) can make a difference in a swap. Try to pin a certain characteristic down and you are liable to miss a change. From the descriptions I've read on here about the swaps, I think there are probably more general similarities than differences.
The ETPS does have a swap forum (separate from Gardenweb). That takes our swap traffic off of here and, IMO, is a big benefit. The MTPS has been around longer than the others and, at least in past swaps, has tended to have a little larger turnout.
I can't imagine that there are consistent differences like the ones you listed between the swaps. There are too many people that average each other out and categories, like the ones you mentioned, would vary from time to time just by luck.
The West Tn swap is the baby of the swaps. We are still growing. But have a loyal group! But like Brandon has said,even ours changes from swap to swap. It changes with the seasons and the things we all want/need. We always welcome all people and are very friendly. All of the swaps are great folks!
It would be great if there was a list of the different swaps with their dates. Would there be any way to set up a TN Garden Events Calendar? The Tennessean usually has something around the first of each month, but I don't recall if it includes events.
I'm a newbie who'd like to set up my own gardening calendar based on what's going on--it would be great to plan ahead!
Katy ours is easy to remember.
The Spring MTPS is always the weekend (Saturday) before the Memorial Day weekend. (May 22nd for 2010)
The Fall MTPS is always the third Saturday in October. (Oct 17th for 2009)
Both are held at Henry Horton State Park in Chapel Hill.
Our website is http://www.midtnplantswap.com/
The big problem with maintaining a calendar like that is that many dates aren't known very far in advance. I try to keep an East Tennessee Plant Events Calendar up to date on the East Tennessee Plant Swap site. Don't even bother to look at it right now, because I can tell you it's out of date )-: I try to update it something like monthly, but it's more difficult than you would imagine. Even some large events like the Talahi Plant Sale aren't advertised before just a few weeks before the actual event. Usually Ijams doesn't posts plant sale dates more than about two months in advance. To really do it right, someone needs to surf all the sites (at least nine sites just for the Knoxville area) at least once a week.
In the past, we haven't set the ETPS dates up far in advance because we've tried to work around other events to minimize scheduling conflicts. We are already working on the Fall Swap dates, but nothing is firm yet. We will post that information as soon as it is determined.