The Hollywood Park Neighborhood Improvement Committee holds a plant exchange every year. This year it was held on May 18th. If you missed the exchange, Val Anderson, the host of the event gives the details on the history and what to expect next year.
The History of the Plant Exchange:
There was a plant sale at the first member meeting I attended in 2004 and I bought some roses and sunflowers. I then joined the Neighborhood Improvement Committee which was discussing the logistical problems with holding the plant sale at the school. They were disinclined to try it again. I suggested a plant exchange (rather than sale) along with a holiday decorating contest (we started with door decorations, then expanded) these were good ways to get to know our neighbors while beautifying the neighborhood. As people came without plants we also added sales with profits going to the Association. I offered my yard to site the exchange so the problems of transport and cleanup would be lessened. Both projects have grown and are still conducted by members of the Neighborhood Improvement Committee.
Recently this year we added the fall bulb exchange, and now the produce exchange after Christina Maradik-Symkowick came to the Committee with her proposal. I also collect seeds from my wildflowers and other plants and give them away at the member meetings, along with plant advice when asked.
Plant Exchange Information
The charges for plants are usually 25 to 50 cents for a 4-6 inch pot and 75 cents to a dollar for larger ones.
To participate in the exchange plants do not have to be potted, but can be in plastic bags, milk cartons, or whatever is available to transport them. The most popular to donate are aggressive and hardy plants like agapanthus and society garlic, but the most coveted by shoppers and exchangers are the less common such as day lilies, chrysanthemum, geranium, ground cover, succulents, roses, small bushes and trees suitable for pots and patios, extra seedlings and “that plant that didn’t work for me, but may be just what you need”. We also get and offer garden art, pots, gardening books, large seashells and some of Cathie Duncan’s rock collection each year. She started collecting as a child and can give you the description, history and location of each of her rocks she hopes will find new happy homes in neighborhood gardens.