7th annul billerica spring plant swap, final details

May 24, 2012

Hello All,

This is the new post to firm up all the details for the Swap.

Everyone is welcome, with or without any plants, seedlings, divisions to bring.

Don't be shy because you are new to gardening. I promise there will be plenty of seedlings and divisions just for the taking.

I will have plenty of wintersown seedlings and some divisions that will be just for the taking and I'm sure that others will as well.

All of these plants, divisions and seedlings need a home, so please come and enjoy the experience and take home new "babies" for your gardens.

This is a very informal swap. Those that want to post what they may or are bringing are more than welcome to.

And, don't be afraid to list your wants as well or say that you would like particular plants, seedlings that are being brought.

Those that want to ask if there is interest in any plants before they dig them up and divide them are more that welcome to do so. Better to ask if anyone is interested in them or wants them before spending the time digging them up. potting them and bringing them to the swap and then having to bring them home again.

Also, Michelle aka GW ontheteam, aka crazy plant lady, will be attending the swap but won' be able to arrive much before noon.

She is the GW member that holds the Plant sale in Avon to benefit Children's Hospital in Boston.

She puts an enormous time into this plant sale every year.

She will be more than happy to take home any and all of the left over perennials or any perennials that anyone would like to donate to her for next year's sale.

She will winter over the perennials, pot them up and sell them at the Plant sale next year.

Also if you have any pots, plastic one that any purchased plants come in, that you no longer need, or any decorative type pots that you no longer need or use, she will be more than happy to take those as well.

I can't think of a more worthy cause that to support Michelle in her plant sale that supports Children's Hospital.

As parents or even friends of parents, one never knows if/when they will ever be in need of the services and care offered at Children's Hospital. None of us expect it, or think we will ever need it or know anyone that will.

Take if from this mother of 2, now grown adult children in their late 20's and early 30's; It was always a comfort to know that Children's was there and I worked there myself for many years, but I never thought I would need it for my children. But sure enough, hubby and I where there, first with our oldest, then our youngest and I can't imagine what our lives, what our kid's lives would have been or be like today, without the help from Children's hospital.

So Michelle will be here and more than happy to take any donations to such a worthy cause.

Oh, yes, if you have any gardening books, magazines, pots you don't want, left over seeds, garden supplies of any kind that you want to bring to give away, don't be afraid to bring them. I'm sure someone will want them.


DATE: Saturday June 2, 2012

TIME: 10AM until everyone wants to leave

LOCATION: Billerica MA. I will e-mail address and directions the week of the swap to all who are planning to attend. Please e-mail me for directions and be sure to tell me where you are coming from and include your GW name in the message

The only thing I can't promise is good weather. I hope we will not have to worry about rain, but, as I said above, I do have a carport we can be under if we have to deal with a bit of mist or a chance of showers.

So let's keep our fingers crossed that we don't have to deal will heavy rain.

On the other hand, last year we did manage quite well with steady rain, a couple of heavy downpours as well. The plants where quite happy being watered, we just put up our hoods, our umbrellas and where under that carport enjoying ourselves, the goodies and the wonderful company.

Besides seedlings and some divisions and small plants I have the following to use.

1. Huge table to put various non plant items on

2. several coolers to keep ice and cold drinks in

3. Plastic knives, forks, spoons

4. at least 6-8 chairs, but anyone that wants to bring some folding chairs is welcome to do so.

5. name tags, I should have enough, but will holler out if I find we need more

6. a huge table cover for the table I have

7. a carport to sit under and keep the sun off of us

8. a huge yard and plenty of space to move and put out the plants and seedlings.

9. plenty of parking for everyone.

10. I will provide coffee and the fixins and cups for the coffee

Which now brings me to the volunteer part of the swap. Especially for those that feel "strange" coming because they don't have anything to bring.

So that we can really have a good time and enjoy the swap, anyone that can bring the following items, it will be much appreciated by all of us.

1. ice, to keep drinks cold

2. napkins

3. plates

4. any kind of "goodies" that you would like to bring. cookies, pastry, fruit, etc. Denise is bringing a coffee cake

5. cold drinks

6. plant tags in case someone forgot to label their plants

7. hot/cold cups

8. sharpie pen to label plants that may need to be labeled.

If I missed something on the list or you have a question just holler.


I will post a list of the plants, seedlings and plant related items I have later today or tonight.


Comments (81)

  • littleonefb

    here's more that I will have for the swap


    Burpee champion bush cucumber

    2 cleome queen mix

    4 zinnia zowie yellow flame

    for whatever reason, this years winter sown tomato seedlings are really, really tiny right now. they need steady warmth now and we just haven't gotten it yet. these seedlings are just getting their true leaves, but they should take off with some good weather and I'm not worried about them for myself.

    2 sweet 100

    2 cherokee purple

    2 black cherry

    1 warren's yellow cherry

    DIVISIONS from HEIDI so far

    perennial forget me nots

    hens and chickens

    knautia macedonia, either the light pink or the dark burgundy, they are mixed,

    Now looking for the following

    Gaillardia Arizona Sun


  • reball517

    I have:

    - Hardy chrysanthemum - daisy-like flower - very late blooming (1st week oct.)
    - Filipendula rubra - queen of the prarie
    - Polygonatum humile (korean/dwarf solomon's seal)
    - Goatsbeard - Aruncus
    - Primula Japonica

    And maybe some more - I'll see what I can dig up.

    Would love some of the cardinal flower and fox gloves.

  • ishareflowers {Lisa}


    what kind of artemesia is Heidi looking for, I have oriental limelight.


  • dekprizm

    Hi All,

    So I won't be shy and would like to add to my list of wants: Phlox, Hydrangea, Foxglove, Lobelia.

    Thank you!

  • ishareflowers {Lisa}

    After a quick run through the lists, I have the following to give away.

    whitegarden-hellebore babies

    heidi-artemesia limelight if you want it!

    reball- cardinal flower and foxglove

    delkprizm-foxglove and cardinal flower

    I also have divisions of a couple heucheras,var.kmotgg,campanula cherry bells.

    I am interested in the following:

    hens and chicks
    creeping phlox-snow in summer

    Fran, I have the dianthus artic fire for you, the impateins didn't come up...

  • PRO
    Nancy Vargas Registered Architect

    Fran, I would love some hen's and chicks and maybe a cherokee purple tomato.

    I have tall phlox, Annabelle hydrangea and white and purple creeping phlox.

    I also have both silver and limelight artemesia.

    Claim the above if you want some. I am trying not to pot up things people might not be interested in.

  • singleton165

    Sorry to be posting late, but I will bring pasta salad and can bring:
    Ornamental grasses: Miscanthus Graziella/Gracimillus, Varigatus, and Strictus
    Hosta: several named varieties
    Dianthus Siberian Blue
    Snow in Summer (Cerastium tomentosum)
    Creeping thyme

    Ishareflowers, I will reserve you some Snow in Summer

  • Agnes

    So far I will have:


    Fran--white rose campion, lantana

    whitegarden--white rose campion

    zahzeen-- white rose campion

    hotzenplotz--lantana, cardinal flower

    wispfox--impatiens, ageraturm, lantana, white rose campion

    Ishareflowers, I'm sorry but I'm all out of the lantanas.

    singleton165, can I get a dianthus siberian blue?

    I did some dividing and have 2 more white rose campions available if anyone is still interested.

    See you all in a few days!

  • littleonefb

    I honestly hate to do this and I really feel horrible but I don't have any choice. Sometimes thing do happen and get in the way of the best of plans.

    I have to postpone the swap by one week. Between the rain that is going to be all day again on Saturday and an emergency health issue with my husband that cropped up out of no where Wednesday morning, I just don't have any choice.

    I could deal with the rain, if everyone was willing to do so, but this infection he has in his knee worsens, I will have to take him back to the doctor and/or hospital on Saturday or earlier, so I figured the best thing to do is just postpone everything a week.

    So here is the plan.

    Billerica swap.

    Saturday: June 9, 2012

    Time: 10AM until everyone leaves

    Location: Same Billerica

    RAIN DATE just incase we have to deal with this again

    Sunday: June 10, 2012

    Time: 10AM until everyone leaves

    Location: Same Billerica.

    I'm going to post a new thread just so it is visible to everyone and will email everyone individually as well.

    If anyone can't make the swap on the 9th, and there are items being held for someone, I can try and see if we can work out something to get them to the right people.

    Again, sorry I have to do this, but hey, maybe we will be lucky and no rain next week. my seedlings will be a little bigger too.


  • singleton165

    Just take care of your husband, Fran! We'll all see you the on the 9th!
    (plus, now I have Saturday to dig up more plants!) :)

  • PRO
    Nancy Vargas Registered Architect

    Unfortunately, I won't be able to come. I am babysitting for family from the 7th to the 10th. Sorry to everyone I promised plants. I will be at Annie's on Sunday, so anyone who wants to meet up there, just let me know.

    Have a great time all!

  • hotzenplotz

    No problem, hope he will feel better soon.

  • wispfox

    So, I can't make the reschedule as I'll be at a wedding that weekend.

    I'd still like to ask for things, though, just in case there's some way to get them?

    Fran: Burpee champion bush cucumber would be lovely! Mine don't seem to be coming up.

    Similarly, my own seedlings for sweet 100 and cherokee purple did not survive being planted, so I'd love one each of those. I'd be interested in a black cherry tomato since I'd not heard of black cherry tomatoes before!

    I'd love a hens and chicks; mine didn't survive the winter, confusingly.

    Tara: I'd like a Dianthus Siberian Blue and a creeping thyme.

    I had at least three people who wanted bee balm, and it looks like those who have asked for creeping phlox and snow in summer are already covered. I'd be happy to figure out some way to get those bee balm to people somehow, even though I can't make next weekend?

    Sad to be missing the swap,


  • zahzeen

    Hi Fran,

    Sorry to hear about your husband. I was going to Salem NH after the swap and will still be going tomorrow. OK if I drop off some plants? I think Jean wanted to try some grasses. Please email me directions - I know I've been there several times and can see your house in my head but can't remember exactly how to get there. Thanks. My best to you and your husband.

  • dekprizm

    Hi Fran,
    Give us an update please on your hubby. Hope you are both ok. I have had a plan change so I will be able to make it next wee
    kend after all if its still on.Thank you!

  • Agnes

    Wispfox, whitegarden, if neither of you mind the traveling, I am happy to leave your plants on my front porch for you to pick up either tomorrow or anytime during the week before next Saturday. I'm in Belmont, and if you email me, I can give you my address for the pick up.


    Hope the hubby is feeling better on this lousy weather day!

  • lissatink

    I also have cherokee purple tomato. I also am making some crafty plant tags .

  • lissatink

    I also have cherokee purple tomato. I also am making some crafty plant tags .

  • littleonefb

    I"m so sorry I didn't post sooner with an update on hubby, It's been a very, very long last couple of days and both of us got hit with a stomach bug to top all of this off, which I"m guessing is a result of the doc visit about his knee.

    Hubby's knee is doing much better, still totally immobilized till he sees the doc non Thursday and hopefully drained and that is the end of it.

    What a disaster of weather Saturday was. Don't know what it was like where some of you are, but it poured and poured and poured here from as early as 6AM Saturday morning and it was still going late Saturday night.

    Now, does anyone think that I should start a knew thread for Saturday or should we just stick with this one?


  • wispfox

    Started with bean: actually, Belmont is only a town over from me. I'll sharp you. I can leave a tomato plant or two, if you like?

    Yay, thank you!

    Fran: glad to great things are going alright, stomach bug notwithstanding.

  • wispfox

    Hey, all!

    Fran said that she would be willing to hang onto the plants I requested for me from those who will be there Saturday, and I'll be giving the three bee balms to started_with_bean who was kind enough to be willing to bring those with her when she goes to the swap.

    So even though I'll not be there, swaps involving me should still be possible. :)

    Extra thanks to both started_with_bean and Fran!


  • hotzenplotz

    Ok great whispfox, I will leave hyssop and bachelors for you at Fran's. Thanks for the bee balm. Other than that I have cilantro and hyssop for dekprism, and I'll bring the rest for anyone interested.
    Looking forward to it and the nice weather.

  • littleonefb

    With just a couple of days left, and I'm pretty sure I wasn't dreaming when I just heard a weather forecast that said some sun for the next 3 days and a beautiful Saturday and Sunday.

    I have heard from the following who will not be able to attend the swap this weekend.


    I will be holding plants for wispfox to pic up next week as posted above and susieque offered to bring her plants to my house before Saturday if anyone is interested in what she has.

    revising the prior list of needed items coming is as follows

    Plates ----- dekprizm and lissatink

    cold drinks ----- started with bean

    plant tags ---- s_angel0 , lissatink

    hot/cold cups ----- started with bean

    sharpie markers ---- s_angel0

    We still need napkins and ice to help keep cold drinks cold and/or to put in drinks to keep them cold.

    Anyone up for Napkins and Ice?


    dekprizm ---- pasta salad

    started with bean --- her famous phyllo cheese triangles, lemonade and

    hotzenplotz ---- either something sweet or not sweet to eat.

    lissatink ----- pumpkin bread

    singleton165 ---- pasta salad

    I hope to be outside most of Wednesday potting up the rest of the seedlings. I'm thrilled I'll be able to do it outside. I was planning to start bringing in the seedlings and potting them up for the swap in my kitchen sink. Outside is so much better.

    Please don't forget that any plant related item, magazines, seeds, plant books, garden tools, etc are more than welcome to come.

    Also, don't be afraid to bring indoor plants as well. or list any that you would like to bring to see if anyone is interested.


  • littleonefb

    My mistake, it is reball517 that offered to bring the plants before saturday if anyone wanted them.


  • ishareflowers {Lisa}

    is anyone interested in sedum angelina or cherry bells campanula ????


  • s_angel0

    Hi Everyone,

    Fran, I can bring ice and napkins too. I am also going to *TRY* to bake a lemon loaf tonight. Some exciting, last minute plans came up for Fri night (concert in Gloucester) so hoping I can get it baked tonight.

    Suzanne, thank you so much for sending the bee balm along!

    See you Sat!

  • zahzeen

    Hi Lisa,

    I'd be very interested in the campanula. I really don't have any full sun spots in my garden and love these flowers that can tolerate half shade. Thanks.

  • singleton165

    Hello Lisa,
    I'd like a sedum angelina if you don't mind...I've got a spot on a stone wall that would do great.

  • littleonefb

    Thanks Sharon,

    Sharon is bringing ice and napkins for us as well.

    Good luck making the lemon loaf tonight.


  • littleonefb

    Weather is sounding great for Saturday, at least so far.

    Anyone still needing directions, please email me through my GW member page for for directions and be sure to let me know where you are coming from.
    I will have my phone outside early Saturday morning, so if anyone get's lost, please just call me and I'll help you out. I sent my phone number along with directions to everyone that emailed me for them.

    I have about 8 chairs we can use, so if anyone has a couple of extra folding type chairs and/or lawn chairs, don't feel shy about bringing them with you to use.


    Don't forget that if you have garden, plant related items you would like to pass on to someone, bring them along with you. I will have a table set up to put garden related items on for anyone who brings any and anyone that would like to take the items home.

    Things for that table would be seeds, decorative pots, garden tools, watering cans, gardening books, plant books just to name a few things. Also bring along any type of drink containers, (we need to keep ourselves hydrated when working in the gardens, so coffee/tea cups, etc are garden related. If it can be used while in the gardens, working in the gardens, sitting outside looking at the gardens, bring it along if you don't want it anymore, don't use it, etc. Hoses, sprinklers etc. New gardeners are starting out with very little and will love these kinds of things.

    I will be putting out for the taking, a large kids wooden wagon, about 4 feet maybe more long and at least 2 1/2 feet wide. It is in need of some repair but it just isn't going to happen at my home, so want to offer it for someone at the swap. It is fairly sturdy, fit 3 toddlers at once and would be wonderful for potted plants.

    I'll also have a few garden tools as well, along with seeds that I collected last summer and fall and sowed over this past winter and spring.

    Besides what I've already listed for seedlings, I will have a few of the following as well.

    monkey flower yellow
    foxglove fushis, white, pink
    2 easter egg plants

    Looking forward to meeting and seeing everyone on Saturday.

    Will be checking the thread during Friday and Friday night and will check it again early Saturday morning.
    After about 8:45AM on Saturday, I will be outside setting tables up so if needed, please just call me.


  • ishareflowers {Lisa}

    Zazeen, I will pot some up for you today. I will warn you, this one spreads by runners.


    I have tons of sedum Angela....How much can you use???


  • wispfox

    Fran: my monkey flowers haven't come up from my winter sowing, so if no one else wants them, I'd like them.

  • ishareflowers {Lisa}

    can anyone use feverfew and/or blue spruce sedum???


  • littleonefb

    Wispfox, it put monkey flower aside for you to pick up.

    Lisa, have your knautia, scabiosa and zinnia I started for you aside.


  • ontheteam

    I can not make the rescheduled date..the twins graduate HS this weekend and i got a house full of guests.
    So sorry have fun!

  • littleonefb

    Congrats to you and hubby and the twins Michelle. Big day for all of you.

    We will miss you, but enjoy this wonderful milestone. It's wonderful to watch them grow and mature like this, Been there and done that twice. been there and done that through college twice and grad school twice as well.

    Now they are off on their own.


  • littleonefb

    Congrats to you and hubby and the twins Michelle. Big day for all of you.

    We will miss you, but enjoy this wonderful milestone. It's wonderful to watch them grow and mature like this, Been there and done that twice. been there and done that through college twice and grad school twice as well.

    Now they are off on their own.


  • katllama


    Am finally posting (see I told you I would Fran)...

    If its not too late...I'd love the following....

    Hotzenplotz if you have a bit of Agastache?

    Zaheen a little bit of the silver dragon liriope?

    Reball517 a bit of the primula japonica?

    iShareflowers if any of your heucheres are good in full sun?

    singleton165 a bit of snow in summer would be fantastic.

    That being said...

    I have what looks like Silver King Artemisia about 18 inches tall? (looks like this https://encrypted-tbn3.google.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQeFDHfJbmidAmJIiC9w5AIFKXneP2xAK3Gwqe5n_GYvdTtx2L-iw )

    Small blackberry (chester thornless) bushes but much smaller than last year, about palm-sized? (looks like this https://encrypted-tbn3.google.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQa2pclug2XkR7kP4NHKEgHiitn9TJUJsjyw7Zr9lGYsRv_EeRw)

    I have thyme all OVER the place. some that smells like pizza (according to my kids) and some that smells lemony.

    I have some coreopsis (looks like this https://encrypted-tbn0.google.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSdfYR7jyM6_VD379qbe1sq-u0Q5exXuLTHKP8p-jeOU8aLHaw1 )

    some purple fringed loosestrife (http://www.hoffienursery.com/_ccLib/image/plants/DETA-413.jpg)

    and 3 red twig dogwood (looks like http://stockdaletrees.com/images/Container%20NoCrabs/c_RedTwigDogwood_7.jpg) I will bring 1 with me.

    Not sure what I'll make to bring, there's an awesome brownie mix sitting about to be made or a cranberry bread. Going to go see what else I might dig up outside. Since I live in the same town as Fran I can always run home to grab something if you want it.


  • katllama

    ok Fran, Heidi and Jean I have your coreopsis and artemisia in pots and ready to roll. And per your request Fran, cranberry bread will arrive warm and ready to eat.

  • littleonefb

    Ah kathy, such a sweetheart, what can I say?

    And she's got an awesome daughter too. she came over and mowed my lawns for me, cause I can't do it and hubby couldn't do it still with that knee.

    Hopefully, Kathy, "chuckster" will not be hungry and will leave my coreopsis alone this year.



  • singleton165

    If you have tons of that sedum, then I'm sure I'll only need a couple plants to get me started...I have a small section of stone wall for it.

  • katllama

    It was such fun today. Thanks for all the lovely plants. Got a few in the ground already and the others are just chillin' and waiting for tomorrow after church.

    Yum on the philo appetizer Agnes, I'd love a recipe??

    Glad to have met all of you.


  • singleton165

    Thanks for hosting the swap Fran!
    It was really nice to meet everyone and put faces to the names. Now I just need to expand a few gardens to add the new plants! LOL Any excuse to get rid of more grass!

  • Agnes

    What a great day we had for the swap! It was great to meet people who are so into gardening and growing things.

    Kathy, here's the recipe for those phyllo appetizers:

    Recipes from the Billerica Swap

  • zahzeen

    Thank you, thank you, thank you to especially Fran and everyone else at the swap. I left with around 25 annuals/perennials (17 donated by Fran for the Childrens Hospital Sale in 2013 - she also gave me a whole bunch of seeds and some cucumber plants). A few of the other plants from NE Garden Webbers will also be going to the sale (the rest are mine!). I just know "Kiss me over the garden gate" will sell just because of its name - it's also beautiful! Thanks to started with bean for coaching me on how to get the smaller perennials big enough to be salable for next May. It was a great morning for the swap. Sorry I couldn't take the red wagon Fran, but I heard the word "wrench" and since I don't own one, let alone know how to use it, it didn't seem like a good idea to take the handle off to get it in my car. Seems like it found a good home anyway!

  • lissatink

    I want to say thank you to everyone. Thank you fran for hosting such a lovley day! Every thing got planted and I made it to both jobs today phew. The kids were excited for everything and hey after the wagon is crazy colors and covered in glitter I can always bring it to you lol. Thanks again to everyone! I'm so excited about all the seeds and some new plants for me to try. It was nice meeting everyone and everyone was so nice.

  • littleonefb

    Thank you everyone for coming to the swap. What a difference a weeks makes. Couldn't have been more perfect weather, especially after last weekend.

    It was and is my pleasure to host the swap every spring, and plan on doing so for a lot more years.

    Agnes you beat me to the link with the recipe.

    Tara, now what good is a large yard with grass growing in it. costs money to keep it growing, way to much water to keep it green and we end up with water bans, restrictions all over the place, so how do you water the lawns?, patch the lawns and keep the grass seed wet so it will germinate, seedlings grow etc.

    Yup, tis why my front lawn looks like it does. We've had permanent water restrictions in town for years and years now and there is a fine for watering on the wrong day. Trust me, the town is eager for money and they travel around just looking for someone watering on the wrong day.

    If I'm going to water on alternate days, then it's going to be water used to grown my plants and garden beds, not lawns.

    Zazheen, not a problem with the wagon. Melissa took it with her, got in her car and now the kids have it.

    Melissa, thanks but no thanks, the wagon is yours, but as Mark said, he would love to see pictures of the "newly renovated wagon" when it's done.

    Now if you want to turn those kids into wonderful gardeners, got the perfect plan for you, just call or shoot me an email and I'll be glad to tell you all about it.

    Again, thanks everyone for coming, enjoy all the new "babies" and how about posting some pics to show all of us how they look when they bloom.


  • singleton165

    Water the lawn, Fran? Please...I water the front lawn occasionally (the smallest) but the rest of it fends for itself, that's why I want to remove it!
    That brings me to another post...how do y'all (yes, I'm from the South) create gardens over lawn?

  • s_angel0

    A little late on this but thank you Fran for a nice morning. Everyone was so friendly. I hope to contribute next year and will definitely send pics of all my adopted babies!


  • wispfox

    Hotzenplotz and Fran, thank you for the plants!

    Tara, I think I had plants from you, but couldn't find a label. :) were you able to leave me creeping thyme and Dianthus Siberian Blue, and if so, which was which? There were two larger puts of things, both of which seemed to be scented. :)

    Sad I missed the company and snacks and seeds, and glad Fran could hang on to plants for me!


Need help with an existing Houzz order? Call 1-800-368-4268