Last year, in a moment of self-absorbtion, I decided that from my 33rd on I would host a party on my birthday. Actually, I don’t know that I would call it self-absorbtion. I think it is more like the girl finally getting wise and not waiting for prince charming to make her dreams come true and instead making her own dreams come true. Or in this case, surrounding myself with friends, plants, and cocktails on my birthday. These are the dreams I have in my thirties. But, instead of simply having a birthday party, I decided I would host an annual plant swap… with cocktails. So this weekend I hosted the 2nd Annual (sneaky birthday party) Plant Swap.
The rules of the swap are simple. Dig up/divide 5 perennials from your yard, bring ’em to the swap, and bring home 5 new-to-you perennials. I made plant markers for each of the attendees. One side says “2011 Plant Swap” and the other side has the person’s name and space to write the name of the perennial they are giving. My thought was that as my friends stroll through their gardens years from now they can gaze upon their plants and think fondly of the person the plant came from.
As friends arrived with their plants they arranged them by light need: sun, part sun, shade. Pia and her cousins helped with the lovely chalk drawings and words.
The swapping is intense. Look at the seriousness on these faces as choices are made. As each person gets just 5 plants they have to think hard about which ones will go best in their gardens. Here I am describing to Laurie just how tall Joe Pye Weed will get. Luckily we each had a pomegranate and blueberry champagne cocktail to lighten the mood.
I came away from the swap with some serious scores. An oriental poppy. A yellow hosta. A fern. Lily of the Valley. And not one, not two, but three peonies, courtesy of Robin. I spent the whole next day neglecting my family and happily gardening. Ah, birthday self-absorbtion. Such fun.