An annual plant exchange draws together serious home gardeners in LosAltos, California. They arrive at a community center on a Saturdaymorning, laden with excess bounty from their gardens andgreenhousess–bulbs, plants abd trees in containers, rooted cuttings,boxes of succulents, flats of seedlings, and edible plants anf fruits. Displayed on outdoor tables, this cornucopia is free for thetaking. The Los Altos Parks and Recreation Department and the Los AltosGarden Club cosponsor the low-key, 4-hour event. Last year, clubmembers started things rolling by bringing pots of rooted succulents andstaying on hand that day to discuss care, feeding, and best location foreach plant. They also encouraged other local gardeners to donate plantmaterials. You could plan a similar program in your own neighborhood or town.
There should be no cost–all it takes is display space, time, andvolunteers to staff the event. In the Los Altos exchange, garden clubmembers received help from recreation department employees who provedinvaluable in moving some of the larger, heavier trees and in setting updisplay tables. The giveaway takes place in late spring, but start planning now.Start cuttings or divisions of perennials in plastic pots sothey’ll be presentable in spring. A summer swap could sharehomegrown crops. For more details on the exchange, write to Jack Hatton, Los AltosParks and Recreation Commission, 1 N.
San Antonio Rd., Los Altos, Calif.94022.