I posted 2 posts here at the GPS website about my Meet and Swap Day in East London (E13) and I sent a personal message to 50 growers living closest to me - and hoped as many as possible would come to my first Meet and Swap Day - and despite being February and cold and windy and so on, 4 people came! We had a lovely and productive day and got a lot done, and it wasn’t actually cold at all, just a bit windy. Apart from the plant swapping, I got help to take out most of the 17 old shrubs that I inherited with the house and no longer needed and I only got an old rose and a forsythia left to take out. And we planted my 3.5m tall magnolia, finally it has a space in the ground after having lived a container life all its life! So a very productive day and I got so much help with the things I find very difficult to manage on my own.
I still have a large shelf of plants for swapping though so next Meet and Swap Day is already pencilled in; either 16th or 17th April, weather permitting – or the following week-end. Put a note in your diary already and have a think if you have any plants you can bring along. I will try to keep my swap list updated – and at the moment it is up-to date, but I am always happy to take requests for anything I have on my main plant list. I might not be able to make a cutting or division straight away, but if you are prepared for waiting until it is the right time for the plant then the majority of my plants can be propagated one way or the other so just make a wish-list!
For my next Meet and Swap Day I will also encourage people with little or no gardening experience to come along. You don’t need to have any plants to swap, you can just come to meet fellow gardeners, to talk about your own garden and ask questions. That’s how we all learn and it is an excellent way to be able to ask about things there is never time for when you are at a garden centre or a nursery buying plants. I have also thought about having short demonstrations, like for example how to make cuttings of various plants - a super way of making spare plants of your own for safety should something go wrong with the mother plant, – and if you get any spare plants you can always swap them for something new and exciting! Let me know in the comments if there is any interest in demonstrations like this, and also if there are other demonstrations you would like to have for the future, like how to split and divide plants, how to prune roses, how to grow strawberries…well I am just listing some suggestions, the list is ENDLESS, and I am certainly no expert in anything, but I can contribute with my experience and other people can do the same too and that’s often the best way to learn when you are just starting out. So whatever level of gardening you are on, meeting other growers like this is a good opportunity to have a chat and learn a trick or two.
I will write a reminder post about meeting in April once we get a bit closer, but you can already get yourself on my list by writing in the comment box or message me. I have a small garden so I have to limit it to 20 people, it’s first come, first serve – hope to see as many as possible next time :-)
PS, I didn’t take any photos on the day so I though a photo of one of my camellias which is flowering right now would do instead, Camellia japonica ‘Amabel Lansdell’.