Saturday, May 9, 2015
Written by JoAnn Preston, Chairman of 2015 Perennial Plant Exchange
Since 1996, the Troy Garden Club (TGC) has partnered with the City to host the Perennial Plant Exchange. Gardeners love to share so each year as perennials are popping up in yards, homeowners dig their excess disease and pest free plants to trade. They also make lists of varieties that they would like acquire to enrich their landscape and their lives.
Money is not exchanged at the Perennial Plant Exchange. When City budget cuts threatened to eliminate the event, Doris Schuchter, then TGC community outreach liaison, would not allow the event to vanish. With the City’s blessings, TGC members organized and hosted the exchange in or near the parking lot of Huber Park by the Aquatic Center. The event is held the third Saturday in May from 10:00 AM -12:00 noon. In 2015, the date is Saturday, May 16.
Hostas, lilies, grasses, herbs, small shrubs, ferns, sedums, ground covers, and flowering perennials of many types are appropriate for the exchange. Cars from Oakland and Macomb Counties and Detroit are parked trunk-to-hatch in two parallel rows to facilitate trading. Some folks bring little wagons to collect their treasures. All seem eager to eyeball and discuss the plants other horticulturists have chosen to share. An orphan table welcomes plants that were not right for a trade, but are “free to a good home”.
Master Gardeners from the Troy Garden Club assist in determining the fitness of plants for soil, sunlight, and aesthetic needs. Experienced gardeners suggest keeping roots moist and out of direct sunlight when digging perennials to share. Put the plants in a pot or tray, cover with moist soil and mulch, or place in a bucket of water, or wrap the roots with layers of wet paper towels inside a tightly wrapped plastic bag. Plant labels indicating the type of plant, sun/shade preferences, and color and time of bloom if known will help new caretakers.
The Perennial Plant Exchange is “rain or shine” event and sometimes “cold”.
Photo: Doris Schuchter and Troy Garden Club members.
Sources: Troy Garden Club newsletter Paying It Forward column by Karol Carter “City of Troy – Perennial Plant Exchange” 2013
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