“Gardening is about enjoying the smell of things growing in the soil, getting dirty without feeling guilty, and generally taking the time to soak up a little peace and serenity.” — Lindley Karstens

REED CITY — A lot of people around the Osceola County area are looking forward to getting their hands dirty out in the garden.

After months ... and months ... and months of winter weather and endless snow, it’s gardening time — or soon will be.

If the winter ever REALLY ends.

Truth be known, their are some hearty souls who start planning their spring plantings right about the time the first snow falls.

Seed and plant catalogs hold places of honor on the end table next to the sofa.

It’s an old, old story. Winter arrives, folks start dreaming about bulbs, tubers, seeds, and seedlings.

It keeps things real.

This year, as planning begins in earnest for summer gardens, there’s a little extra ‘something’ to get folks fired up.

Master Gardener April Hamilton is laboring to help organize the area’s first perennial plant and seed swap which will be held at the Reed City Depot on May 21.

From 9 a.m. to noon, veterans gardeners, dedicated ‘yarders’, and excited new-comers to the Joy of Gardening are invited to bring and take, swap and share, and generally pick and choose from a wide variety of “extras” collected last fall and already this year, and ready to go in area gardens.

“This is a ‘Just for Fun’ event, and we’re hoping people throughout the area will join in and bring their extra seeds and plants, and trade for new stock,” said Hamilton.

“This is the first time we’ve tried such an event, but similar type swaps have been very successful elsewhere in the state.

“This not only is a real good opportunity to find some new plant stock and seeds for the garden, but also to meet and chat with folks who love spending time gardening and watching things grow.

“We hope people will start thinking about what plants they have to trade, and what they’d like to see in their gardens.”

In addition to the perennial plant and seed swap, local gardeners are planning to help brighten up the RC Depot area with a volunteer gardening day.

Flower beds will be prepared and planted — and some created.

It’s a chance to make sure that one of the pearls of the Reed City community really stands out for the enjoyment of all.

The gardening work will begin immediately following the seed swap and last a hour — or maybe more!

All are invited to both the swap and the gardening bee.

For more information on either of the two gardening happenings, contact Hamilton at 832-1029.

“No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the earth, and no culture comparable to that of the garden.” — Thomas Jefferson