Friday, December 11, 2009

Plant Exchange

It is my experience that when gardeners meet, they touch each other's hearts. You only have to witness gardeners meeting for the first time. It's as if they 've known each other for a long time !

At our SFTGS (Selangor and Federal Territory Gardening Soc) bi-annual plant exchange at our dear patron, Tan Sri Chong Hon Nyan's house (just off Jalan Duta, KL) the members were only too glad to be his guests. With his wife, Puan Sri , both are superb hosts. As usual, the couple treated us to a wonderful buffet lunch which made it all the more special.

Our plant exchange works in a simple way. Grow your plants or bring your cuttings and exchange them with someone else's plants. If one has nothing to offer, he/she can buy the plants and the money goes to the SFTGS kitty. The whole idea is to be informal and support the GREEN message.

A circular is sent ahead of time for members/guests to bring some plants to share . That morning, happy faces hugged plants and plonked them with the rest. Needless to say, they got instant attention and were greeted eagerly with 'Hey! What have you got?' Believe me, there's always something , a 'gem' that makes its appearance. You should hear the whoops of delight when that one is there!

My pots of herbs

Red is always auspicious. The canopy overhead gave us a rosy glow!

I came prepared with 7 pots of herbs . And I went home with a pot of caladiums, a cutting of pink hoya, a passionfruit plant, a sample of wild orchid, some miniature cannas and a bunch of orchids.

The plant exchange was like a mini plant fair. Call it 'lelong', if you like 'coz a little bargaining didn't hurt at all! Just think how a simple get -together such as this can engender such liveliness between plants and humans for those brief hours.

The generosity of gardeners is legendary too. Talking to gardeners, most are willing to share on plants, cuttings, seeds, flowers and even produce. Our ex- president, Eric Simon, himself an author and true blue horticulturist, donated orchids, bananas and caladiums from his farm. All sales were donated to the SFTGS.

Plump produce from Eric Simon's farm

Unknown to many, the SFTGS is a great society to join and enjoy the countless green activities. Monthly talks by specialists in the different fields of horticulture are conducted. The SFTGS does a fine job of reaching out to gardening clubs in schools whenever the opportunity arises. I laugh my head off when I hear remarks that refer to gardening as a 'retiree's hobby'!! Personally I would like warped notions such as this erased forever .

Greening the earth concerns every child and adult. If love for gardening can be nurtured, Mother Earth can smile and breathe easy. Children that respect plants will naturally respect nature. As members, we are always delighted to see young faces.

Try to introduce the fun element when gardening with kids. Children love to see flowers bloom. Try some hardier versions of flowers like marigolds. They are quick to grow and hard to kill! Do not have many rules. After all, a little play with earth is alright as long as the hands are properly washed after it is all over.

I would like to suggest to our radio stations to have a radio programme on plants. The incredible wealth of horticulture we possess can be tapped into. Anyone can garden, even be a balcony gardener. For starters, how about gardening tips 'coz everybody loves tips, more so when they come free!

It was a fun and gregarious event. From the plant exchange, I got more than I gave. Certainly there's enough to stir the ground as soon as I got home. My garden awaits...


  1. This is the first time I hear of SFTGS.
    Every visit to your blog is a learning experience for me, Keats!! Thanks!!

  2. Admire those with green hands. The saying goes "exchange is not robbery". Hope you had an even switch of greens, red or yellow. Thanks

  3. What a great idea!
    I'm going to post this link to my Finnish blog.
    I'm sure there're people who like this idea.
    Thanks for sharing!

  4. This event sounds so exciting and interesting. Can I join SFTGS? It's the first time I heard about it too. I'll look up the link. Well done, Sunshine Girl and Cheers! I'm voting and giving you a 10.

  5. Hi

    Veronica Lee,great, SFTGS needs more members and the committee does a very good job even tho the membership is low. We've been around since pre- merdeka!!!

    CheaHS@n, do join sftgs or spread the word to friends.i love the plant exchange event and tan sri chong hon nyan is dedicated to it too.

    BLOGitse, thanks so much! let's make our gardening society go round the world:)))

    Autumn Belle, Yes, please join us and I know you have such wonderful green fingers too. You do an excelletn job on your blog GREENING the earth too. Well done!!! Thanks for your genrous 10 - love them all:)))

  6. I gave you ten stars, Keats! What fun! A plant exchange! I don't know what I would have brought to swap. I am trying to grow petola for loofah but that hardy old thing won't dry up. It's green and hard as concrete and sitting on my porch like a statue! Perhaps joining SFTGS in Jan 2010 could help me learn useful tips! Are those your Misai Kucing for 'adoption', Keats? They are gorgeous! To think the nursery taukeh almost threw them out! And those bananas look irresistible. Must sign my parents up soon.

  7. Oh Keats, I wish I could have been there!!! I am crazy about plants. Simply fantastic!

  8. What a lovely idea
    I wish It was in our country
    I have soooooooo many plants

  9. Hi
    ~Covert_Operations'78~, great! one more member for sftgs:)) tahnsk for the stars. i haven't the correct spelling for the herbs yet. will pass on to you. they are not the misai kuching which are doing well in my garden. Just cut and plant!

    Lucy,aren't we all when we talk about plants! hope you 're keeping well.

    Anya, got to pay you a visit one of these days!! on my wish list:)))

  10. What a great program! I wish we have one in our area like this!

  11. Hi Icy BC,it sure is a great way to know more about plants and make more friends too. have a good day!

  12. Seriously Keats...I would love to be there, give a holler will ya the next time :)

  13. Hi
    M. Kate, definitely will keep you in mind. I know you will enjoy as you love plants and they love you too:))


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