Beautification Commission welcomes spring with an annual tradition

By: April Lehmbeck | Advertiser Times | Published May 7, 2015

HARPER WOODS — After months of cold winter, spring has sprung, and the Beautification Commission is kicking off the season with its annual perennial plant exchange.

The exchange will be held from 10 a.m.-noon May 16 at Salter Memorial Park on Harper between Allard and Moross.

People can come with perennial garden plants, herbs and ground cover to exchange for other plants. It’s an opportunity for those who need to thin out some of their plants — they can share them through the exchange. Organizers will have a garden specialist on hand to answer questions.

“We’ve had some really nice things,” Beautification Commission member Mary Kingston said. “People bring ground cover. We’ve had mums. We’ve had hostas. We’ve had all different kinds of plants.

“There’s no money exchange,” she said. “When you bring a plant, you get a ticket.”

While the commission attracts a lot of regulars who come every year with plants to exchange, commissioners wish they could attract more new people to stop by the event.

“They come and trade, and they can communicate with one another about their plants and growing and things,” commission member and event chair Mitzi Giles said. “And the best part is you know they’re trading for plants that they’d like to grow in the garden that they’d otherwise have to pay for.

“It’s a fun thing, and it’s also making their own gardens more beautiful very inexpensively,” she said.

To make selecting new plants easy, the commission organizes the plants into areas such as those that love sun and those that love shade.

“It’s all organized with different categories,” Kingston said.

The event includes more than the plant exchange. Grosse Pointe South High School’s food class will bring complimentary refreshments. The event also includes raffle prizes from Lowe’s, Home Depot, English Gardens, Meldrum & Smith, and Meijer. 

“(They’re) pretty nice raffle prizes, too,” Kingston said.

Those attending the event need to bring their perennials in a labeled container with freshly moistened soil. The commission asks that people do not bring trees or shrubs to the exchange.

For more information, call (313) 343-2510 or (313) 884-0297.