Open Greenhouse & Plant Swap, Saturday, Oct. 1, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., 602 Ronele Drive, Brandon, FL 33511
We have lots of free stuff ourselves, but the really fun part is what other people bring to swap — you never know what you’ll find. But don’t worry if you don’t have anything, we all started out with empty gardens.
Lots of new stuff for this month!
- You-dig native firebush, probably my favorite landscaping plant because it’s always alive with bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. Limited quantities, please bring a pot to carry them home safely. (I hope you’re reading this Betsy!)
- Beautyberries which attract bees and butterflies in the spring and then feed lots of birds with spectacular purple flowers this time of year. Also limited quantities.
- Candlestick senna isn’t native but it’s another favorite because of the bees and butterflies. It’s the larval food for three kinds of butterflies and regularly hosts those big black bumblebees that always make me smile.
- Potted aloe plants that came from the last swap
- One large you-dig red firebush that’s already covered in blooms (and hummingbirds)
- A nice selection of gardening and garden craft books, thanks to Billianna
- Wooden pallets for landscaping projects. These are all shipped from the USA so they’re not treated (read poisoned) to international specifications.
- Layers of cardboard boxes to use under mulch. USPS nearly doubled the cost of shipping in a mailing tube so we had to switch to UPS. We have a lot of boxes that are the perfect shape for walkways.
- And, of course, we have free mulch too, and one nice pile that’s pretty much broken down into compost.
Also on the free plant list for October:
- Native elderberries are covered in berries but they also spread by runners so we have lots to share
- Some sad-looking passionflower in the greenhouse that really needs a good home soon. (The original fruit came from Tanja Vidovek, they’re amazingly productive vines besides attracting butterflies.)
- Bleeding heart and pagoda plants, both of which do need to be contained because they spread underground.
- Surinam cherry seedlings
- A limited number of katuk plants that are my personal favorite green. New growth tastes like peanuts, they thrive in the summer when many greens don’t
- Bush morning glory has all the beauty of a vining morning glory but doesn’t try to take over the universe
- Lady palms, a slow-growing hedge that’s tough as can be once it’s started
- Crinum lilies
- Yellow native cannas
- Ever-bearing mulberries that probably won’t have fruit this month but usually do
- Sweet almonds are thriving and are covered in bees.
- Dark blue salvia and lavender or red firespike. There’s one big red firespike you can take as a you-dig.
- Jacob’s ladder is one of the few things we grow that doesn’t benefit wildlife, but it’s an attractive plant that works beautifully in a pot
- Luffa can be eaten or used as a natural sponge
- Everglade tomatoes
- Daikon radish (mooli) is easy to grow. If you let it flower, it provides nectar all winter long, even when everything else is frozen
- Blackberry lily, another native that came through the cold with blooms
- Native spiderwort, another favorite
- Dill and parsley to plant now that it’s getting cooler – always plant extra for caterpillars
- Nasturtiums thrive in colder weather
- Cosmos in the yard have pretty much drowned but they’re spectacular when it dries up
- A nice selection of miscellaneous seeds that were gifted to us last month