I must say, I was quite speechless at the wonderful people I encountered last Saturday. The Washington Gardener Magazine Seed Swap was held at Behnke’s Nursery in Beltsville, Md. and I just had to be there. Behnke’s is one of the garden centers that most in the DMV know is a leader in finding all things beautiful. What a beautiful day it turned out to be, traffic behaved, there was no snow, it was the 10th National Seed Swap Day and there was a Seed Swap where gardeners, eager to swap seeds and dream of Spring came together on familiar ground.
The seed swap had two guest speakers that were quite enthusiastic about their topics. Paul Blundell, Owner, Southern Exposure Seed Exchange spoke about the importance of saving seed. The emphasis Paul placed on how saving seed has brought us heirloom seeds rang true to many in the room. He defined heirloom seeds as seeds that had been saved from at least 50 years ago, prior to 1940 and are non-hybrid varieties. If you are serious about growing a few varieties of plants – veggies and flowers – check out www.SouthernExposure.com. I promise you will not be disappointed and the things you find out about in their colorful and informative catalog will simply astound you.
Carol Allen,Certified Professional Horticulturalist was our second speaker of the day. A familiar face to most of us from her talks at Behnke’s on all things garden, her discussion did not disappoint. Carol shared tips on seed sowing success when starting seeds inside. Explaining how important it is to pay attention to what the seed packet says helped beginning gardeners learn that putting seedlings out too early can spell disaster. One of my personal takeaway nuggets was that there are some seeds that require cool/warm/cool/warm conditions in order to germinate. Ladies, we know what this is similar to, right???
Throughout the program, Kathy Jentz raffled off wonderful prizes from well known vendors such as Behnke’s, Corona Tools and Gardeners Workshop – to name a few. While a few of us wore our creative name tags, the finalists were chosen and won fantastic tools from Corona.
Attendees had the opportunity to share what was happening in their communities that they wanted to share. We heard from the Beltsville Garden Club about the Duckworth School Plant Sale at Highpoint High School on April 11th and May 9th. We heard about the Silver Spring Garden Club Plant Sale at the Historic Silver Spring Train Station on May 9th – I am a member of this fine organization and let me tell you, we have some awesome plants ….and raffles. If you come out early, you can certainly shop both plant sales.
We also heard about The Garden Coalition in District Heights, MD. A young organization that will be enhancing our environmental footprint by planting pollinator plants in abundance throughout District Heights. I am excited about this project in District Heights, as Founder, I am trying to grow a garden community in Central Prince Georges County…..one gardener and one seedling at a time! This informative session was enjoyed and appreciated by all….now we just have to mark our calendars, shop those plant sales early and consider planting for pollinators!! The bees and butterflies need our help!!
The seed swap was brief, but fierce. No seeds flying in the air, but a cordial group of sharing and caring seed people. All ages participated and friendships were cultivated as people asked if someone had Echinacea or Green Cotton seed. Another person spoke up and they got together and shared their seed harvest. What an amazing afternoon it was!
If you missed last weeks National Seed Swap Saturday, you have a second chance. This weekend there will be Seed Swap II – The Sequel at GreenSpring Gardens in Alexandria, Virginia. The guest speakers will be Elizabeth Olsen Certified Professional Horticulturalist and Pat Brodowski, Monticello’s Vegetable Gardener. Wow…the excitement continues this weekend from 12:30 – 4:00…and if you haven’t been to Greenspring Gardens……well, you need to get out more. The program starts promptly at 12:30, but if you get there early, you can walk through the garden and imagine the beauty that will surround you when Spring and Summer finally get here!!
I have to say that the DMV Gardening Community is awesome……….#seedswapday !!!by