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Right Plant, Right Place: Lakeshore Plant Exchange

Dig this. Free plants and plenty of schmoozing. The happening place is 3811 Lakeshore.

I don’t know about you, but whenever I spot a garage sale on my morning walk my heart leaps and I break into a jog, hoping I’ll nab another vintage Bauer pitcher or yet one more charming watercolor of a dreamy landscape. When I stumbled upon the first Lakeshore Plant Exchange a few years back, I thought I’d died and gone to free-plant heaven.

Succulents, orchids, mystery grasses, garden tools, funky pots . . . all free for the taking. But to gain “entry” to this sidewalk sale, I needed to run home and grab something from my own garden (or tool shed) to bring in exchange. Last year I brought a rusty old lawnmower. This year I’ve dug out a bunch of volunteer euphorbia babies and stuck them in some old plastic nursery containers.

I’ll be heading down again this weekend (Saturday, March 31, noon–4 p.m.) to 3811 Lakeshore with an open mind and an empty trunk. Yes, most of the plants are on the ratty side because they’re unsold items from local nurseries or just-plucked cuttings or divisions from a neighbor’s garden, but that’s what makes it an adventure! They’re diamonds in the rough that just need a little TLC.

Sound a little overwhelming? No need to panic. The Plant Exchange has real live horticulturists on hand to answer your questions. What a great way to spend some of your afternoon — finding intriguing specimens, learning about unfamiliar plants and meeting new neighbors.

Not to mention, the notion of a neighborhood plant exchange is just so deliciously sustainable I get green goosebumps all over. And the good feeling lasts forever. Every day when I look out the kitchen window at my handsome adopted Agave americana (see photo), I think about my first plant exchange adventure and wonder what nice person donated it. Then I wonder who’s getting a weekly workout with my creaky old mower.

Check out                                                                                               http://plantexchange.wordpress.com/ for more info.

If we’re lucky, we’ll have some more glorious spring rain to help get our one-of-a-kind finds established in just the right place in our gardens. 

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Minoter March 30, 2012 at 10:35 PM
What a great way to clear out areas of the garden by lifting out those volunteers that have started crowding out the main structure of a bed. I always am sad to just dump perfectly good plants. They can now find their way into another welcoming garden.
Mike Henn April 02, 2012 at 12:04 AM
We've chanced upon this event in the past by accidentally driving by and seeing it. It is fun and the people their are knowledgeable and remarkably nice. I do not know how often these events are held and when the next one will be. They probably have a website but I do not know it. Ann, do you know? Mike
Dixie Jordan (Editor) April 02, 2012 at 12:49 AM
Mike, the Lakeshore Neighborhood Plant Exchange website is http://plantexchange.wordpress.com/
Madelyn Mackie April 10, 2012 at 04:46 PM
I missed it! Anne, is it only once a year? Are there others?
Anne Weinberger, garden designer April 12, 2012 at 03:45 AM
I think there are two a year, the next coming in October. Check their website for updates: http://plantexchange.wordpress.com. Sorry, don't know about others. If you're interested in a harvest exchange, though, sign up at http://www.piedmontconnect.org/

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