Lisa Cook, Wood County Master Gardener Coordinator, with some of the plants that will be donated to the upcoming perennial plant exchange.
Nancy Gugger of Bowling Green pulls the invasive garlic mustard from the garden.
Spring, Robin Williams quipped, is nature’s way of saying “Let’s Party!”
And what a fiesta gardeners are having after the winter that was. (It is with cautious optimism and a knock on wood that we use the past tense.)
Plant exchanges are short, feverish parties of sorts, at which gardeners with, say, hostas, daylilies, or periwinkle uproot their excess, label them clearly, and swap them for something they do not have, such as montauk daisies or raspberries or lilacs.
They’re also good events for people newly discovering how slow worms are in April and the pleasure of having a hand in the cycle of growth, because everybody takes something home for free.
Mary Grzybowski, of Bowling Green, helps with the weeding. She is an intern in the master gardener program.
Three exchanges, along with spinach and snow peas, are coming up. All of these labors of love are rain-or-shine.
The first is Saturday at the Wood County Fairgrounds in Bowling Green, an extraordinarily well-run affair orchestrated by master gardener volunteers of said county.
Pull up in front of the plant drop-off area (between 9 and 10 a.m.) to unload your green goods and a legion of orange vests will surround your vehicle, shouting directions and carting off your sacks and pots with efficient glee.
In the last week, said volunteers have spent many hours dividing hundreds of flowering perennials (ones that come back every year, like the perennial pain in the neck) at Bowling Green’s lovely Simpson Garden Park and in their own yards to bring to this exchange, open from 10 to 11 a.m.
Volunteers are needed to assist with a one-day garden build today at a new community Peace Garden at the Frederick Douglass Community Association, 1001 Indiana Ave. at Hawley Street. Work will be ongoing from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The goal is to construct 20 raised beds, a gazebo, a picket fence, and two arches. Volunteers are asked to bring tools. A groundbreaking ceremony with U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo), will be at 9 a.m. Information: 419-244-6722.
● Gardeners needed for Weed It and Reap, that will begin May 7 in The Blade's Living section and continue Wednesdays through the growing season. We're looking for people of all ages who cultivate the soil in all manners and with plenty of heart and soul. Tell us what's unique about you or your garden in a sentence. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org, call 419-724-6075, or fill out the questionnaire at toledoblade.com/weedit.
Everybody, whether s/he brings anything to share or not, can take home two plants. People who bring seven plants can select seven plus two, and those hauling oodles can haul different oodles plus two, away. People line up early in this three-sided building where they peruse informational booths while waiting.
The grandparent of local exchanges is Toledo’s Plant Exchange, in its 10th year of steady growth. It will be held May 3 in the capacious, covered parking garage of the Main Library downtown. Everyone will receive at least five free plants.
Started in 2005 by a gardener (who had the wit to enlist attendees to help at the second annual), it has given away thousands plants and the proceeds from its raffle have benefited Toledo Grows and Veggie U.
It now partners with the Lucas County Master Gardener Volunteers and the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library.
Labeled plants should be dropped off in the garage between 8 and 10 a.m.; a 9 to 9:45 a.m. workshop on growing the best tomatoes will be in the library’s Huntington Room, and informational booths and a raffle will be located near the waiting area.
As with the Wood County exchange, volunteers quickly sort dropped-off plants into different, marked areas such as sun or shade tolerant, ground covers, ornamental grasses, bulbs, houseplants, seeds, etc. Gently-used gardening paraphernalia is accepted.
The folks who run OregonFest will host their second plant exchange May 17 with plant drop off from 9 to 10 a.m. and the giveaway from 10 to 11:30 a.m. It will be at the corner of Dustin Rd. and Harbor Dr. in Oregon.
Contact Tahree Lane at: email@example.com or 419-724-6075.