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They swap and give away plants.

An annual plant exchange draws together serious home gardeners in Los Altos, California. They arrive at a community center on a Saturday morning, laden with excess bounty from their gardens and greenhousess--bulbs, plants abd trees in containers, rooted cuttings, boxes of succulents, flats of seedlings, and edible plants anf fruits.

Displayed on outdoor tables, this cornucopia is free for the taking.

The Los Altos Parks and Recreation Department and the Los Altos Garden Club cosponsor the low-key, 4-hour event. Last year, club members started things rolling by bringing pots of rooted succulents and staying on hand that day to discuss care, feeding, and best location for each plant. They also encouraged other local gardeners to donate plant materials.

You could plan a similar program in your own neighborhood or town. There should be no cost--all it takes is display space, time, and volunteers to staff the event. In the Los Altos exchange, garden club members received help from recreation department employees who proved invaluable in moving some of the larger, heavier trees and in setting up display tables.

The giveaway takes place in late spring, but start planning now. Start cuttings or divisions of perennials in plastic pots so they'll be presentable in spring. A summer swap could share homegrown crops.

For more details on the exchange, write to Jack Hatton, Los Altos Parks and Recreation Commission, 1 N. San Antonio Rd., Los Altos, Calif. 94022.
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Title Annotation:Los Altos Parks and Recreation Department and The Los Altos Garden Club plant exchange program
Date:Nov 1, 1984
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