Flowerpot exchange is happening

I love it when a plan comes together.  

That is just what happened last July when my friend Lisa mentioned the idea of a flower pot rescue in Charleston. Yes, that’s right, a flowerpot rescue.

Bet you are wondering what the heck is a flower pot rescue. Well, it is a fabulous idea, and I am excited to share the news of Charleston’s first flower pot rescue station located at Capitol Market.

The conversation started simple enough; Lisa showed me a photo of a Pot Exchange located in the English countryside. It was charming, useful, and we both instantly wanted this idea for our hometown.

If you know Lisa McCracken, you know that this is all it took. A Pot Exchange was coming to Charleston. As a member of the opening team and serving as the first executive director of Capitol Market, Lisa felt that would be a good fit for the location, and approached the Market staff. They loved the idea.

Kristen Harrison, Chair of the Market’s Board of Directors, tells me, “We are thrilled to introduce the Flower Pot Exchange! I love the idea of gardening being accessible to everyone. You can take a pot or leave a pot. Or both!”

So, here is the way it works. The flower pots at the exchange are a collection of containers donated by gardeners. If your potting area is anything like mine, you have more than enough containers to share with others. I have already filled boxes and am ready to drop them off at the new exchange.

As new and experienced gardeners shop Capitol Market, they may have the need to transfer a plant to a larger container. The new Flower Pot Rescue Station will offer a selection of pots and also a potting table for easy on-the-spot plant transfers- a Make and Take station.

From here the possibilities are endless, growing classes, garden container workshops, classes on herbs, succulents, and more.

The Market has created a dedicated space in the outdoor market for the pot exchange. Tucked near the pine trees, the space is safe and convenient to the outdoor vendors. 

The plant containers are not the only thing being recycled. The station will be made from pallets and other existing resources from the Market. Onsite growers have donated potting soil. 

To add more community spirit and involvement, Girl Scouts of Black Diamond Council troops will rotate the weekly upkeep and tidiness of the exchange. Hopefully, this will awaken their inner gardeners and inspire a new generation of growers.

Of course, there will be guidelines. Donated containers must be empty and in good condition. Planters of all materials, such as plastic, terra cotta, and ceramic, will be accepted. There is no limit to the number of containers you may donate or take for your use. This is a station designed to recycle plant containers and provide easy gardening.

I agree with Evan Osborn, current Capitol Market executive director, when he says, “I love the satisfaction that comes with growing something myself. The gratification that comes with the time and care of something you’ve grown yourself, it can’t be beat! I’m thrilled that we can offer it to everyone in our community!”

The Flower Pot Exchange will open on May 1, just in time for Mother’s Day and the beginning of the growing season. Watch the Market’s Facebook page for ribbon-cutting information.