When Helene Hondrum moved to Columbia County from the Netherlands, the garden lover couldn't grow a thing.
Cherokee Rose Garden Club members Frances Maxwell (from left), Betty Crowther, Helene Hondrum and Jan Nelson pose with some of the plants they plan to trade or sell at Saturday's Plant Exchange and Swap. The four women started the event in Columbia County in 2000.
Photo by Valerie Rowell
So she took a master gardener class and joined the Cherokee Rose Garden Club, where other gardeners shared information and plants. Hondrum has since mastered the climate in Columbia County and her yard now resembles a lush tropical paradise.
Hondrum and three other garden club members want to offer the same information and plant-sharing opportunity to the residents of Columbia County with the sixth annual Plant Exchange and Sale.
"People who like gardening want to share their information, their plants. It's just a community," Hondrum said. "It's fun just to get gardeners together to share some information on a Saturday morning."
The plant exchange is slated for 9 a.m. to noon Saturday in the Savannah Rapids Pavilion parking lot.
Hondrum, Betty Crowther, Frances Maxwell and Jan Nelson started the plant exchange in 2000, modeling it after the spring plant swap at Pendleton King Park. Gardeners are eager to get digging in the spring, but real gardeners know fall makes for the best planting, Hondrum said.
"It's really a very good time to get perennials in the ground," Hondrum said.
The swap, which allows gardeners to see, buy and trade plants and other gardening items, is not just for the experienced, but it's also for new gardeners. Plants at the exchange are usually inexpensive and come from a gardener who can share exactly how to care for it, Crowther said.
"There are lots of people who have knowledge that they share," Crowther said. Plants at the exchange are often cuttings from plants, such as the ones the founding members have already rooted from their own gardens and potted to take to the plant exchange. Crowther said all kinds of plants are at the exchange - from the unusual to more common plants such as canna and day lilies.
"For a new gardener, it's expensive to garden," Maxwell said. "You can go to the plant swap and get something that somebody is really wanting to get rid of that is just as good as what you can buy. I would have been thrilled if I had that when I was a brand-new gardener."
People interested in setting up a table for their wares need to bring their own tables and display equipment.
Admission to the event is free to buy, sell, trade or just browse.
The 2004 plant exchange attracted about 200 people to the event. Crowther said many of the plants in her garden, which is under construction, came about as pass-along plants from other gardeners or from past plant exchanges.
For more information about the plant exchange, call Crowther at 860-3696 or Hondrum at 854-8215.
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