Sunday, October 5, 2014

Neighborhood Co-op

That's what it feels like, at least.  We don't actually have an official co-op, but I have several gardeners in my neighborhood and we frequently trade plants, produce, or baked goods.  It is truly wonderful to have that sense of community - of knowing your neighbors, having some similar interests, and sharing with each other for a greater benefit.

I recently divided my canna lilies and also had extra squash transplants that I was planning to throw away if I couldn't find someone who I could give them away to.  My neighbors, Bonnie and Manny, a sweet couple in their 70's, are some avid gardeners as well, so I offered up my extra cannas and squash plants to them.  In exchange, Bonnie said I could come dig up some bearded irises from her beds.  Really, she would have given them to me even if I didn't give them anything, but it is nice to give back to someone who is giving to you.

I was planning to dig up a few clumps of irises, but I ended up with a full wheelbarrow of pass along plants from Bonnie.  I even had to start declining some plants because I don't think I have enough room in my garden if I took her up on everything offered.

Bonnie with the wheelbarrow of goods that she gave me.

I ended up with about 70 bearded iris rhizomes (two varieties of yellow, a deep purple variety, an "Iris of Old" yellow/purple variety, and some mystery varieties), a few transplants of purple heart and spider plants for the shade garden, a potted succulent, as well as some banana peppers, pomegranates, and pecans.

Trading plants and produce is so much fun - especially with neighbors that love gardening just as much as I do!  Now, time to get all this stuff in the garden...


  1. You and Bonnie are lucky to have each other. I'm sure she enjoyed trading plants and produce as much as you did. Variety is what keeps gardening interesting after years in the same spaces. And, it is always wonderful to have other gardeners on the street as you all keep working to improve each other's views.

  2. Oh my, Bonnie was very generous! I agree with Deb--you are both fortunate to be neighbors. I think that's one of the best things about gardening--anyone of any age who can get around or who has helpers can garden. And we all learn from each other!

  3. Swapping plants is a great way of getting plants for free and get a new home for surplus plants from you own garden – and also get some plants you possibly never would have thought of buying yourself. I have swapped plants with many people the last few years, both people I have met and people online, fellow bloggers. We just send plants to each other in the post!
    Good luck with your wheelbarrow full, a lovely collection of plants :-)

  4. Sharing plants and food is one of the great pleasures in life! That is an amazing barrow of goodies...