Plant and Seed Swap event looking to grow

REED CITY — Residents looking to increase variety in their gardens and share an abundance of their own flowers can do both at the third annual Perennial Plant and Seed Swap.

The event will take place from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday at the Reed City Depot and is hosted by local master gardener April Hamilton, who became interested in the idea after a friend in the Detroit area shared her experience after attending one.

The first two swaps have been a success and Hamilton said she is expecting a larger turnout this year.

Many different flowers have been seen at the swap, including irises, daffodils, columbines and even lilac bushes.

“It really depends on what people have in their garden. More people means more variety,” Hamilton added.

The concept of the swap is easy. Attendees bring extra flowers or seeds and trade with other swappers. The exchange, which is free, is decided by the individuals making the deal. Sharing tips and other planting information is encouraged.

In addition to the swap, Hamilton will give demonstrations on how to divide one potted plant into multiple plants. It is one way she can offer her master gardener skills and talents and how others can develop their own.

“If you have a love of gardening and you share it, that’s master gardening,” she added.

Cathy Morrison, of Midland, attended last year’s event and will attend again after Hamilton spread the word through her Facebook page.

“It turned out to be fun. I ended up with some nice plants to take home,” said Morrison. “It’s really nice and relaxing.”

She said the event is enjoyable because of the fellowship gained with other gardeners and the sharing of experiences. This year, she said she is hoping to see more people attend the swap and also to receive a peony bush to add to her garden.

Hamilton said her long-term goal is to see the Perennial Plant and Seed Swap flourish in Reed City and have the idea extend to other area cities.

“I’d like to see other communities do swaps like this,” she added. “There are plenty of opportunities.”