Gardeners Seek Tips

ST. MARYS — Gardeners were out in force for the second-ever Swap n Share at St. Marys Community Public Library Thursday night.

Locals took plants others had left, offered extras from their own garden and heard new ideas from old pros.

While some may think of gardening as an adult recreation, youth crowded the event on skates and with their families to check out the plants and participate in a children’s gardening area.

“It’s the Lily of the Valley,” said grandma Anna Frederick of a plant that her granddaughter, Tayla Meeker picked out.

“Don’t you think it’s neat?” asked the girl, as they picked it up to take it home.

The swap was busy with more than 70 gardeners in attendance, said Allison Brady, with the Heritage Trails Park District, a sponsoring organization for the event.

“This lets people just share the bounty of their gardens,” Brady said.

The Gardening Club was present, along with farmers market representatives. Door prizes, free seeds and plants were given. The library sold gardening books and recommended books for check-out related to gardening.

Special speaker Larry Gruber spoke on square foot gardening with a raised bed.

He explained that with square foot gardening, the garden was marked off foot by foot, filled with loose compost and soil in a raised bed, then planted.

About anything a person would plant for a garden or in flowers could be planted in the square foot beds.

“Basically it’s an introduction to making a successful square foot garden with a sample for people to see,” Gruber said.

Beth Keuneke, adult services coordinator at the library, said she loves to garden, and thinks it interests many people in the area.

“Gardening is part of nature, and people like to be close to nature,” she said.

The plants were going fast for the first twenty minutes, with more people unloading even as the plants dwindled.

“People want to share. If you’re gardening, things multiply,” Keuneke said.