It's Official: Ft Worth Spring Swap April 10 2010

sylviatexas1January 26, 2010

We'll be meeting at the pavilion in front of the Zoo starting some time around 9 or 10 or whenever you arrive.


From I-30 at the western edge of downtown Ft Worth, go SOUTH on University not quite a mile;

turn left into the zoo area, & follow the path through several curves.

When you see the ball fields on your right, slow down.

Turn right into the parking area, hop out, & do a happy dance!

NOTE: Go SOUTH on University;

the NEW SITE is in the OPPOSITE direction from where we've met in the past;

it offers easy access, good parking, a huge pavilion, 2 grills, the company of young people playing ball...

& porta-potties!

As in years past, we'll "swap til we drop".

Since this is a fairly intense activity, most of us "drop" by about 2 PM, so don't wait too late to show up!

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Since we want everyone to have a happy, harmonious experience, we're posting info, hints, suggestions, & rules this year:
Bring your surplus plants, cuttings, seeds, garden supplies & tools, art, garden clogs...
anything that another gardener could possibly use, & be realistic & respectful about what you expect to "trade" these items for.

(I sometimes bring a cat litter bucket full of rose cuttings, but I don't expect to get a brand new Ace Hardware wheelbarrow in return!)

Be sure your plants are well-hydrated, as travel & wind are hard on them, & we want to give our adopted plants the best start possible in their new homes.

Sturdy, permanent, not-easily-dislodged labels are most helpful, & info sheets are absolutely priceless.
When arranging pre-trades, be sure that you & your trade partner are on the same page;
if you offer a "plant" for a "plant", describe its size, size of the pot it's in, age of the plant, when you took the cutting from the mother plant, etc.

Nobody likes to be surprised or put on the spot;
if I have a 4" pot of mint, & my trading partner has a 30 gallon palm tree, I'm going to feel uncomfortable-I don't want to take advantage of someone, & I might not have brought enough plants or other items to balance the scale-
& my trading partner very likely expected more than a 4" pot!

Now having said that, if you have a palm tree & you can't handle it any more & you *want* to trade it for a 4" pot of mint, that's fine:

an equible trade is one in which both parties are satisfied.

be sure that your trade partner knows that he/she is getting cuttings rather than rooted plants, & bear in mind that, while some cuttings will root, not all of them will, so bring a bunch.

When I bring that bucket of rose cuttings, I always have as many as possible of each variety;
they "cost" me literally nothing, & I want to be sure my trade partner ends up with *roses*.

Helpful accessories include hats, sunglasses, drinking water, water for hydrating/watering plants, Sharpies, notebooks, little red wagons or some such, newspaper, extra boxes, cards with your name/email/phone # to hand to kindred spirits.

A good way to keep your "inventory" in order is to box your pre-trades & label each box with the trade partner's name;
I my own self use a whole sheet of letter-sized paper & write the person's name in enormous letters;
on one side of the page, I list what is in the box;
on the other side, I list what that person is bringing me.

Complete one trade before you begin the next one:
It's too easy to hand off your box to a trading partner only to find that they get lost in the shuffle while you try to answer questions from someone else, & someone else gets your plants from the trader, who has gotten carried away with swap fever.
PLEASE HELP new arrivals to unload & get set up, &
DON'T SWARM them with your trade list or boxes!

I'd estimate that the very most confusion at the swaps occurs within 2 minutes of each person's arrival!

When you set up your space at the table, put your "availables" on top, your "already promised" pre-trades on the bench, & the things that you're taking home beneath.


put your own name on some boxes or at least to bring paper & a Sharpie to label what you're taking home.)

We've always kept rules to a minimum, but here are 2 that should be self-explanatory:

Do not stick a cutting in a pot & call it a plant.
If someone discovers this at the swap, the person who did it will have to leave.

Do *not* remove or "take" a plant from *anywhere*;
the owner/trader must hand you the plant or item.
This is the only way for everyone to be sure that they are satisfied & happy with the trade.

Remember, if there's a conflict over this, the trader/offerer/*owner* of the plant will prevail, so be sure that person wants you to have the plant.

If you remove a plant or other object from someone elses area, you will have to leave.

Extra plants that we want to share without a trade will go onto an "Orphan's Table", which is to be left untouched until the door prizes are drawn.

When you collect your door prize, go to the Orphan's Table & pick 1 item or 2, depending on the number of items donated.

When everyone has picked one or two items, we'll start over.

Again: Don't Take, Wait Until It's Offered:

I cannot stress this strongly enough.

Do not take *anything*, even if you see your name on a box or a plant.

It isn't yours until the person who brought the item hands it to you, at which time you hand your trade to him or her.

This is the only way for traders to be sure that they don't lose control of their items before they know that they're happy with the item they're to receive in trade.

If you don't think the item you're offered is an equitable trade for your item, you can decline the trade.

If anyone takes something without permission, that person will be asked to leave.

One more "suggestion", but it's a *strong* suggestion:

Post your HAVES before you ask a trader for something they've posted.

OFFER SOMETHING when you ask for something;

a couple of times traders have agreed to bring someone a plant & then discovered that the person who asked for it hasn't brought anything in exchange.

Please don't put someone in this spot;
it's tacky.

If you can't bring plants, bring seeds or food or *something* (one year someone brought me 6 cans of dog food!) as a token of good faith.

As was mentioned on a thread last spring, you can always bring cookies;
Wal-Mart sells every variety under the sun!

& the flip side to that is, of course, if someone asks for something & you can't find what they've offered, *ASK* before you agree to bring them something.

Gardeners are generous souls, but no one likes to be used;
Please donÂt take advantage of someone's generosity.

If you come to the swap, please participate in it as fully as possible;

Offer *something* to any person who gives you something.


If you can, bring a garden gift worth $10.
not much more & not much less.

(This way nobody will bring a $40 saw with handpainted bluebonnets & go home with a bottle of seaweed solution.)

When you bring your gift, a volunteer will put a number on it, & you draw a "list number" out of a hat.
This number gives you your place on a list.

Before lunch, each person comes forward in numerical order & draws a new number, & you get the gift with that number.

Once you have your gift, you can choose an item or two from the Orphan's Table.


Brenda & Reuben always spoil us by arranging the pavilion & by grilling hot dogs & providing "fixings", chips, & drinks.

If you can, bring a dish to share-
potato salad, cole slaw, baked beans, just a little something to share.

& be sure to thank our chefs & maybe offer them a "pick of the litter" plant or garden object!

Oh, Dod, it's only January & I'm already getting excitified...

I'm off to start a Haves & Wants thread.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2010 at 3:29PM
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forgot to say...

Post questions or comments ABOUT THE SWAP here.

Please post haves & wants on the haves & wants thread to keep things as clear as possible.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2010 at 3:39PM
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Hi Sylvia. I'm near San Antonio, and have been attending swaps between SA and Austin for over 10 years. Love them. As do you, I can tell ! I'd love to make a trip to FW this spring just to visit y'all's swap. I think it would be fun. And different. What I'm wondering now is, can I borrow your rules/suggestions to add to our swap post ? You believe in the same things I do, and I believe it helps to remind people of The Golden Rules as they apply to plant swaps. :-) could you email me directly one way or the other ? Thanks so much !


    Bookmark   January 28, 2010 at 1:06PM
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Heck, yeah!

These guidelines & suggestions & rules sort of developed over the years, & they may keep evolving, but use them as you wish!

    Bookmark   January 29, 2010 at 2:35PM
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PKponder TX(7b)

I work weekends so can't actually come, but I'd love to be able to coordinate with someone on the north side to take some plants that I need to give away. I could meet you, drop off the plants and be happy that they all have a new home.


    Bookmark   January 31, 2010 at 6:31AM
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I can think of Linn (barkingdogwoods), & Carrie, if either one of them is coming.

& I think Weldon lives "up there" somewhere, too.


    Bookmark   February 3, 2010 at 4:38PM
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PKponder TX(7b)

I wonder if I drop them off on my way if they would still be there when you all got there. I could drop them off at 6:30 and still get to work on time.


    Bookmark   February 4, 2010 at 11:37AM
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pkponder, my wife and I live in Springtown and plan on going to the spring swap. If we can be of assistance let us know. I usually get up around 3:00 A.M. so early is not an issue with us. I have to drive through Azle everyday so I am very flexible. Happy Gardening.......Billy

    Bookmark   February 4, 2010 at 12:21PM
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carrie751(z7/8 TX)

Sylvia, I believe none of us live "in the vicinity" of Pam. I would be happy for her to drop them off and I would find a way to get them to the swap (in the event I cannot make it), but I think it would be much too much out of her way. Maybe someone else who lives near Azle will chime in.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2010 at 12:24PM
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sorry, I'm not very good at "geography"!

If it's north, I think Denton is about the same as Oklahoma!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2010 at 7:14PM
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carrie751(z7/8 TX)

Close, and you know how near I am to Denton.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2010 at 11:08PM
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PKponder TX(7b)

I would love to take Billy and his wife up on the offer! Springtown is really close by! We'll make arrangements closer to swap time if that's ok with you two.

Sylvia, Azle is straight north of Fort Worth on Jacksboro Highway. I do drive to north Plano for work, but I think Carrie is out of the way of the multiple routes that I take to get there and back.


    Bookmark   February 5, 2010 at 4:42AM
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Good deal Pam. Just give me an e-mail when a convenient time arrives and my wife and I will hook up with you. You might make a list of your plants,what you might be looking to trade for and any prospective trade partners. We will gladly tend to that for you. We have a pick-up so we should have plenty of room. It is too bad that you wont be able to go yourself,you will miss a good time and good fellowship.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2010 at 9:12AM
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Sylvia, while reviewing our swap post this morning, I realized I hadn't heard back from you about borrowing your guidelines. It occurred to me that you might have posted permission here instead of emailing me. Shur 'nuf, there you are !

thanks for letting me use these on our swap post. I think it really helps to give newbies an idea of what to expect, and what is expected of them. It's also a great reminder that we need to play nice with others.

thanks so much !

    Bookmark   February 9, 2010 at 11:52AM
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PKponder TX(7b)

Thanks Billy! I should only have one plant coming back and once I see what the seeds do, I'll have a better idea of what is going out. Now to find pots!


    Bookmark   February 10, 2010 at 7:04AM
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Pam, I have a lot of extra pots right now. What size do you need? I also drive through Azle a couple times a day, nearly every day, to and from work. Cheryl

    Bookmark   February 15, 2010 at 6:48PM
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PKponder TX(7b)

Cheryl, what size pots do you have? I think I can squeeze the cannas into 1 gallon pots (I have nearly 2 dozen plants) and I could use some 4-6 inch pots too. Whatever you can spare would be amazing! Sorry I took so long to respond, my daughter, son in law and 2 year old grandson came for a visit and I have been distracted this week.


    Bookmark   February 18, 2010 at 8:43AM
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carrie751(z7/8 TX)

Pam, you really do not have to pot cannas if you wait to dig them close to the time of the swap. I carry my rhizomes over in plastic bags, and they do just fine. Haven't had any complaints.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2010 at 9:56AM
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PKponder TX(7b)

But the swap rules clearly state that they have to be potted, Carrie. What say ye, Sylvia?

I dug a few yesterday and I can see that they will mostly be too large for 1 gallon pots. Cannas really are like bunnies, too prolific!


    Bookmark   February 19, 2010 at 4:32AM
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carrie751(z7/8 TX)

Personally, I like my rizomes better NOT in pots ....smaller holes to dig .........LOL>

    Bookmark   February 19, 2010 at 8:39AM
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Hmmm, I forgot about cannas & irises & water plants.

They are a pain to pot up, take a huge pot & a ton of soil, & they always need to be "un-potted" to go in the garden, so let's amend the rules:

If it's something that's totally insane to put in a pot...
it doesn't have to be in a pot.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2010 at 4:20PM
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PKponder TX(7b)

Great! My pot needs are greatly diminished!

    Bookmark   February 20, 2010 at 6:25AM
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About them dang rules...

I set them up, not to make it difficult to participate in the swap, but to discourage the abuse of generous gardeners.

If you find something in the rules that seems nutso, please say so, so we can change the rules.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2010 at 1:02PM
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bringing this to the top so it's closer to the haves & wants thread.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2010 at 1:59PM
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I hate rules I think you should make them into one long sentence so I don't have to keep starting and stopping and never have to breathe until I read em all Cheryl

    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 9:36AM
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I thought that's what I did?...

    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 3:41PM
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Lin barkingdogwoods

Bumping this up so it's near the top...

Lin in Texas

    Bookmark   April 6, 2010 at 1:01PM
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So, how'd it go? Got housebound by allergies this last week...

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 6:03PM
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sorry you had allergies-

It was loads of fun!

There's a new thread you can read (where everybody sez pretty much "it was fun & I'm so sore from over-gardening that I cannot move"!)

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 11:06AM
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