Lend a lily, recycle that rosemary

For people looking for a way to spend some time with like-minded people and not spend any money, there’s a free plant exchange this Sunday, May 17, at noon. The exchange will run until 3 or 4 p.m. and is designed to be a way for people to drop off any unwanted or extra plants and get some new, different ones in their place.

Coastal Point • Monica Fleming: Chelle Esham stands with some of the plants she’ll be throwing into the mix on Sunday, May 17, at her free plant exchange at her house on Swamp Road in Frankford.Coastal Point • Monica Fleming
Chelle Esham stands with some of the plants she’ll be throwing into the mix on Sunday, May 17, at her free plant exchange at her house on Swamp Road in Frankford.

“One of the reasons we are doing this is the economy is horrible and nobody has any money, so we wanted to do something to brighten people’s day that doesn’t cost a lot of money and still brings them enjoyment,” explained Chelle Esham, who is organizing the exchange.

The exchange will take place at Esham’s house on Swamp Road in Frankford. The property, a former junkyard, now boasts 11 acres of farmland stocked with gardens, newly planted trees, two ponds, chickens, goats, geese, a dog and even a pet turkey, Marvin. They sell eggs from their chickens and, last year, they had a U-pick vegetable garden they plan on expanding this summer.

“None of this was here when we moved in,” noted Esham. “When we moved in and cut all the grass, we found 19 cars. We built our house, and we wanted to make people think we lived here; so everything you see here, we planted.”

And once the plants were planted, they grew and grew...

Esham has been was working on her formal garden for five years and, after deciding it was time for a re-design, she realized the plants she’d put in had multiplied right before her eyes.

“When I started digging, I realized how much they multiplied, and instead of finding new places for all of them, I decided it was the perfect time. I have been exchanging plants with friends for years.”

The people that come to this Sunday’s plant exchange will be exchanging with each other and will also be able to take some of the excess that the Eshams have accumulated. That includes lilies, irises, mint, rosemary and lilacs. There will also be a snack table, and people who attend are being encouraged to bring snacks to share.

“The biggest thing is we are not selling,” Esham emphasized. “When I get a new plant, I know it feels like I’ve won the lottery; and if we can make other people feel the same way, then we’ve done something good.”

Swamp Road is located about a mile south of the Royal Farms in Dagsboro off Route 113. It is the first right-hand turn off the highway. Once on Swamp Road, go through the stop sign, and the Esham house is on the left, past the curve, and has an anchor out front. People who plan on bringing plants to exchange are being asked to label what they bring.

For more information, or to sign up to exchange in advance, e-mail eshamcovefarm@hotmail.com.