Fall Plant and Seed Swap to greet green thumbs and newcomers

By: Sherri Kolade | Farmington Press | Published September 12, 2017

 Plants abound at a past event.

Plants abound at a past event.

FARMINGTON HILLS — Want to take home a pineapple plant? Or a cactus native to Michigan? 

You might find these and more at the Farmington Hills Beautification Commission’s 18th annual Fall Plant and Seed Swap 8:30-10:30 a.m. Sept. 16 at the Heritage Park Visitor Center parking lot, 24915 Farmington Road, off of Farmington Road, between 10 Mile and 11 Mile roads.

Charmaine Kettler-Schmult, community development coordinator for the city of Farmington Hills, said she loves to see unusual items brought in for the swap when she visits.

 “It is always interesting to see what folks bring (in),” she said, adding that she did see a pineapple and a native cactus brought in a few years ago. 

“You get your typical hosta (plants) and standard perennials, but once in a while something unusual shows up.” 

The event, which takes place rain or shine, invites new and experienced gardeners to bring plants from their gardens and swap them for other plants.

The Beautification Commission, Garden Club members and master gardeners will be available to answer questions and provide refreshments, according to a press release. 

“Folks like to get together and get some really interesting social interactions and ... to talk about what they love: plants, seeds and how to grow stuff,” Kettler-Schmult said, adding that the event allows people to get a tremendous amount of information just by talking with the other folks who are there. “Even if you only have a couple things you want to bring with you … the folks who attend have an expansive amount of knowledge about plants and how to grow things.”

She added that the twice-a-year event brings about 35-40 people each spring and fall.

“Interact with some folks and maybe go home with something unusual,” she said.

Governor Warner Mansion head gardener and Farmington resident Betti Poole took home a seed during a Plant and Seed Swap about 15 years ago. That seed has since become a shrub that is now about 8 feet tall.

Poole created the event in the spring because she noticed that garden swap events in the area were becoming popular. 

“There is an Italian gentleman … he could be 70, could be 90 … he comes every year, and he always brings me just a flower from his garden,” Poole said, adding that he has attended the events for the past six or seven years.

Attendees are encouraged to bring gloves, a wagon, and plants and seeds to exchange.

“We had one fella, every year he brings redbud trees — he must have a large piece of property,” Poole said. “It’s a lot of community talk. It’s a lot of fun. You learn a lot of stuff. You learn about plants.”

For more information about the event, call Kettler-Schmult at (248) 871-2543 or Poole at (248) 477-3854.