Plant Swap Treasures – Memes of the Garden

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Night blooming Cereus (Epiphylum oxypetalum) is a commonly shared passalong plant

Pssst! I got jewels of Opar and a string of pearls… wanna make a deal?

My garden is stuffed with hard-to-find plants that came to me with sweet folk names and back stories.Their charms have been spread over and under fences around the world, cutting across cultures and languages.

But worthy as they are, many are not easily found for sale – to get a start, you gotta have informal connections.

They are passed around like the simple string game which has no written instructions yet is known by children worldwide.

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Simple and easily transferable

For decades, as the co-author of the Passalong Plants book, I’ve been overseeing small and large-scale plant swaps. Often there is little in common between participants except a love of plants.

True anecdote: Some years back the Pulitzer Prize winning author Eudora Welty told me over dinner that her mother “stopped going to her garden club meetings when they stopped swapping plants.”

But not to worry, thanks to folks with generous spirits, the tradition comes back to life twice a year  Continue reading “Plant Swap Treasures – Memes of the Garden”

Passalong Plants

night blooming cereus

They’re plants that everyone grows, but hardly anyone buys…

Each has a strong value or combination of values -pretty, fragrant, extra productive, long-flowering, family heirloom, fascinating history, whatever – making it desirable by a lot of different kinds of gardeners.

Each is easy to grow without special soil preparation, extra watering or other horticultural finesse, and grows well in a wide range of conditions.

Each is relatively insect and disease free – I mean, who wants a plant that is always boogered up?

And, most importantly, each is easy to propagate by seed, division, or cutting, else it won’t be easy to share.

Hens and chicks (Graptopetalum)
Hens and Chicks (Graptopetalum)

 

Types of Passalong Plants

Bulbs

Perennials

Annuals