Sharing the wealth

Apr. 26—MOSES LAKE — The Moses Lake Garden Club held its annual plant swap Monday evening.

"We bring all kinds of plants ... and we gift our plants to each other," said club President Valerie Parrott, who hosted the event at her business, Pieces by Parrott. "We have a bunch of brand-new gardeners that are here this year, so we planted all kinds of seeds to do starter pack gardens for them."

This was the third year the club has held the plant swap, Parrott said. About 100 people turned out Monday to exchange plants, share tips and enjoy a potluck dinner.

On the grass were around a dozen tables laden with plants their owners were giving away. Jill Bross had aloe vera, chives, mint and lemon balm, among other things. She also sells them at the Moses Lake Farmers Market, she said.

"For a year and a half, two years, I've been raising succulents and selling them to raise scholarship funds for the Autism Support Group of Grant County," Bross said. "This summer I'm not going to be here, so I'm trying to get some of the stuff out of my plant house."

Shawnee Haderlie was one of the beneficiaries of the giveaway. She had a tray filled with lilacs, dahlias, peppers and an intimidating-looking snake plant, also called mother-in-law's tongue.

"We're just starting out," Haderlie said. "Our garden is quite large, but the previous owners didn't take care of it. So we've been tilling it and getting it ready, trying to get water out there."

Not far away, Jaih Troup, Stephanie Luther and Rose Williams offered tomatoes, houseplants and a willow tree.

"The willow tree was supposed to be a peach tree, and it was not," Luther said.

"She just loves to garden," Williams said. "So this doesn't even ..."

"It doesn't even tickle the surface," Luther finished.

Wayne Ratliff was named the Gardener of the Year, the first time the club has bestowed that honor, for being "a good steward of the earth, always lending a hand and being a great friend to all," according to the certificate.

"Valerie got me helping people," Ratcliff said. "I have a lot of people come down to (my home) in Cascade Valley. I teach them how to garden, I give them a lot of plants to get started, and then when somebody needs some help, I help them."

"He's always there," Parrott said. "First one to help, last one out the door, always giving a good hand, a smile and a joke. The garden club loves Wayne, and so we thought it is very well deserved."

Joel Martin may be reached via email at