Plant Swaps – A Perfect Way to Grow Your Garden {Part 1)


A few weeks ago, Ben’s family was visiting from Iowa. His Uncle Jerry is a gardener extraordinaire, so while he was here, I picked his brain about plants that would work in my neglected landscaping.

Side note: When we moved into our house 6 years ago, The previous homeowners had put in a rock bed in the front (most of the length of the house) and one in the back near the shed. I hate them. Yes, I despise the fact that there are blah bushes that take over that spot since colorful annuals are not a great option.

Anyway, Jerry gave me a TON of ideas. I was so excited that I posted on Facebook all about them and how I was going to run out to the nursery and start buying. Anything to get more color into that front bed!

Enter Stephanie. This amazing friend of a friend (and now a friend of mine) reached out to me via FB message, telling me to not to buy anything at all and that she has a yard full of plants that she is always looking to split. You see, she too is a gardener extraordinaire and personal landscaper (as in she works A TON on her own yard and knows quite a bit about it). Of course, I was floored. Do you know how expensive it is to buy new plants, trees, and shrubs? Expensive. And here she was, offering hers to me. Sure, I’ll take it!

Apparently this is not too uncommon a practice among lovers of plants and all things gardening. Plant swaps – gatherings where plants are swapped in exchange for other plants or even sometimes nothing at all.

Stephanie gave me a time to come over her house to grab them. She created a group Facebook message with a few other friends that she had also offered plants to so that we could coordinate a time. She also had a photo album on FB that showed her yard and some of the plants in it, in case we wanted anything in particular. I am not an expert on landscape plants or flowers by any means, and so having a visual helped a ton!

We met last week at her house and went through such a nice little informal tour of her landscaping. She pointed out the plants that would work well in the shade and ones that would thrive in sun. She asked about the areas I was trying to fill so that she could get an idea of whether I needed something tall, short, wide, or thin. You see, Stephanie loves this. She loves sharing her garden with others. She explained how some of the plants she received from her high school boyfriend’s grandmother’s house, and how some she had received from… As soon as she started recounting these memories, I knew it was perfect. I immediately thought of the hydrangeas that my brother gives me for Mother’s Day every year and how much it means to me to plant them in my garden. A garden full of memories is my kind of garden.


After choosing a trunkfull of plants including this incredibly soft “Lamb’s Ear”, a beautiful purple flower, an Oakleaf Hydrangea (yes, a total score), and a Dogwood seedling perfect for a spot next to the sandbox in my backyard where a Weeping Cherry used to be but died because of all the shade, I was off. I spent the weekend planting these gorgeous flowers, excited for how they will make my yard look with just a bit of care. Stephanie’s memories of where these plants came from have now turned into stories that I will be able to tell when I someday take someone in need of plants on a tour through my yard. My landscaping is finally turning a corner after spending absolutely no money at all. AND I found out that the Hostas that have been growing out of control on the side of my yard are a special variety that Stephanie would love, which helps me put the “swap” in plant swap. :-) Perfect!

So, before you head to the nursery or gardening store to spend a bunch of money (not that these places don’t deserve it), ask around. Talk to your friends that have a green thumb. They may LOVE to spread their gardens. Stephanie has even set up a gardening Facebook group in our area to talk about gardening and plant swaps. She even told me about a gathering at the local park where everyone just brings what they are willing to swap and they get some great plants. That may be next on my list to check out!

Make sure to look in the gardening sections of your local newspapers, your township papers, or your local Patch to see if there is information on upcoming swaps or gardening clubs!

Stay tuned for more information about Plant Swapping!

I am finding Motivation Monday incredibly inspiring and motivating! Started by Barb Hoyer from A Life in Balance and Stephanie from Confessions of a Stay at Home Mom, I have enjoyed reading this link-up for a long time now. It is a great way to start the week!



Please link up your post here! A post that motivates you to be a better you, a better person. This inspiration is different for all of us, some are on a physical journey, some on an emotional one, either way, share your motivation with us…we would love to read! Read through some others that are linked up. You never know where you will find some words of wisdom or even an encouraging idea.

Last week’s most clicked link was Communication Killers: 7 Wrong Responses from Courtship Connection!

About Lauryn Blakesley

A woman out to explore, celebrate, and enjoy everything that my community and living locally has to offer. Blessed with three beautiful children and an incredible husband, our family embraces adventure while dreaming of what is to come. Lover of knitting, running (although mostly after little ones right now), the color orange, fun accessories, fall, tea, and a clean kitchen floor. I spend my days in awe of my family and trying to teach my three to treat others as they would want to be treated.

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  1. I would love to participate in a plant swap! Please let me know if you decide to host one. I’ve got lots of sprouts to share.
    Jeannette recently posted…Going green is hard. Being green is easy.My Profile

  2. What an amazing idea! I wish I had heard of this before we ripped up the flowerbeds when we moved it (it was too much for us to maintain). The previous owners had no children and all the time in the world to garden. We tried to reuse what we could, but now I feel like we got rid of too much! I’m going to talk with our neighbors and see if anyone would be interested in swapping plants!
    Stephanie recently posted…Kid Friendly Meals with Tyson Chicken NuggetsMy Profile

  3. Great idea! Would love to do a plant swap!

  4. I love this, and the garden with memories. I brought quite a few plants from my parent’s garden which now are spread around mine, plus I’ve had Greg give me plants for Mother’s Day.
    Barb @ A Life in Balance recently posted…motivation monday: switch to cloth bags for shoppingMy Profile

  5. That’s brilliant! How is it that the simplest ideas can sometimes evade us? LOL
    Nicole @ One Punky Mama recently posted…April Birchbox ReviewMy Profile

  6. Great idea! My friend actually dug up a few of my raspberry canes when she was here friday to plant in her garden!
    Heather S. recently posted…Summertime at Sesame PlaceMy Profile

  7. My mother in law has filled my whole garden with her splittings! I love it!
    carrie recently posted…DIY Mother’s Day IdeasMy Profile

  8. That’s awesome! It’s especially great for plants that really thrive and grow quickly (mint, basil and sage come to mind). If you couldn’t possibly use it all, why not share?
    Xandra O’Neill (@WombtoWorld) recently posted…Life lessons when you’ve got babies on the brainMy Profile

  9. I really like the idea of a garden swap. My sister all have extra green thumbs and I like the idea of trading! Thanks for a great idea I will be sharing with my family tonight.
    Janeane Davis recently posted…Finding Inspiration During Hard TimesMy Profile

  10. That is such a cool idea – and it was so generous of Stephanie. Now you have a great friends AND a great landscape!
    Jessica @FoundtheMarbles recently posted…Motherhood Memories: Nicole’s Amazing Apple PieMy Profile

  11. Your post makes me wish I had a yard! You have a fabulous landscape!
    Jeanine @MommyEntourage recently posted…Check out the Despicablimp Headed Our Way! (Despicable Me 2 Promotion)My Profile

  12. I love it!! Such an amazing idea to make your garden extra special Then you can tell your children who gave you what plant and where it came from…love it!!
    Sarah Hughes recently posted…When We Met Our BoyMy Profile

  13. Oooh… I wish I had friends like this! We moved into a newly built house 8 years ago and we are STILL working on filling in our planting beds. I see my friends’ yards clogged with perennials that need to be divided. I offer to help in exchange for some of the divided plants. They look at me blankly with an expression that says, “why in the world would I dig up my yard? Is she serious” I do have a big pack of hostas that came from a friend who declared that she hated hostas and wanted them all gone. I dug every one out myself at 8 months pregnant. I feel lucky to have those hostas and I think of that friend every time I look at them.
    Sarah Wagner recently posted…USA Love List- 5 simple ways to get involved (with 5 more to come)My Profile

    • Oh Sarah! I am totally going to organize the first annual PSMM plant swap:) We will fill your yard! Isn’t it absolutely wonderful how just looking at a plant can mean so much?


  1. […] If you are looking for more information on Plant Swapping and how to start your transplanting adventure, check out my recent post here.  […]

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