Create your own plant swap tables for your community!

We've recently created and given away a number of plant swap tables in the local area to help encourage people to spend time in theor gardens and discover the joy of growing, be that flowers or food!

There's a real link between gardening and being outside and improved mental and physical wellbeing and this is really important to us. The connection between nature and wellbeing as you will know, is key to our focuses here at Outside Lives and is a golden thread through many, if not all of the projects we run for the community.

We were able to create 5 pallet tables and starter packs (banner, labels, plants, seeds, pots, compost and money box) thanks to funding received from The Soil Association - Food For Life. We'd love to have developed more and have these across every village in Flintshire and Wrexham... the UK if we could, but that made us think... what if we have you the knowledge to simply go out and start your own!

Why start a Plant Swap in your community?

  • Encourage the benefits of 'growing your own' food at home
  • Create something positive in the community 
  • Raise money for a local cause or community garden project
  • Work together to keep the stand stocked 
  • Retain and encourage a strong sense of community

What you'll need to create your table

  • A plant swap table - you can either use a trestle table or make one like we did out of pallets / old wood
  • A collection tin for donations - we used some wonderful ceramic pigs from Spavens in Mold 
  • A plant swap poster for the table - maybe work together to create your own artwork (make sure it's weatherproof)
  • A little blackboard for your stock - we painted some old boards with blackboard paint!
  • Some compost
  • Small envelopes for your seeds
  • Some plant pots for people to take - and encourage people to donate their old plant pots too!
  • Chalk and plant labels - old lolly sticks or cut pieces of plastic from your recycling tub will work too!

A GREAT educational activity for schools!

Aside from watering the plants and taking care of them (no one wants to buy / swap for a sad plant!), there's so much to learn from running a plant table which could cover lots of core areas as detailed below...

  • Design posters and flyers to let the community know that it's there - ART
  • Decide who you'll fundraise for and manage the donations (remember to bring this in daily and count the donations) - MATHS
  • Be encouraged to stock the table by growing bits at home - the SCIENCE of growing
  • Let the community know its there! Perhaps write a news paper article? - MEDIA
  • Take photos that document your progress  - PHOTOGRAPHY
  • Write a story about why this is good for a community. What positive things have you observed? - CREATIVE WRITING
  • Interview the people that use it and gather community feedback - COMMUNITY WORK

It really is something for everyone, young and old and of all abilities!

Get inspired!

Listen to some feedback from last year's Dig In plant swap custodians and see if it inspires you to start your own table! Share your excess plants, swap for different ones, raise money for a charity, get children involved, share some gardening love in your community.

Why not have a go at creating your own Community Plant Swap event and don't forget to share some pictures with us!