Plant and Seed Swap to give green thumbs something new, tried and true

By: Sherri Kolade | Farmington Press | Published May 15, 2018

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FARMINGTON HILLS — It’s time to get blooming at the 19th annual Plant and Seed Swap 8:30-10:30 a.m. May 19 at the Heritage Park Visitors Center parking lot, 24915 Farmington Road, between 10 Mile and 11 Mile roads.

Farmington Hills Beautification Commission member and Farmington Hills Community Development Coordinator Charmaine Kettler-Schmult said she appreciates seeing unique items brought in for the swap when she visits.

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

“I have seen everything from pineapple plants to native cactus and everything in between, including more common plants: daylilies and black-eyed Susans,” she said. 

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

The twice-a-year event brings about 35-40 people each spring and fall.

Governor Warner Mansion head gardener and Farmington resident Betti Poole took home a seed during a swap about 16 years ago. That seed has since become a shrub that is now about 8 feet tall.

Poole said that in the spring, some people bring tomato, green pepper and other vegetable seedlings. 

“People park … open their trunks to show what they have … then socialize with coffee and doughnut holes for all,” she said. 

Poole created the event in the spring after noticing that garden swap events in the area were becoming popular.

“Experienced and part-time gardeners gather from many nearby cities — like South Lyon, Southfield, West Bloomfield and others — to swap plants, talk about gardening and simply enjoy each other’s company,” she said. “Some are regulars, and many are new each year. … All are very friendly. Most learn something from other gardeners each year and really enjoy the socializing.”

Poole said attendees bring everything from perennials to trees and shrubs, “even occasional houseplants.”

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

“It is great for folks that are interested in plants. They come together to share information, share different types of plants. They get all kinds of great information on different growing techniques,” Kettler-Schmult, a plant aficionado, said. “I’ve got some plants that I grow at home, outdoor plants, all sorts, indoor plants. I have my lemon tree, my orchids, different things.”

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