I have Hollyhocks! Two years ago my Master Gardener friend Becky gave me some Hollyhock seeds. She told me it would take a little time. (You know gardeners work hard at patience!) Last fall I thought the "little"plants looked like they were growing...then after good spring rains I thought I saw buds. And now look what I've got! My neighbors say "You've got Hollyhocks! No one has Hollyhocks anymore!"
I love the whole pass-a-long idea. My Mother has told me stories about my Grandmother and her friends swapping seeds. I imagine it was not an organized "party", but rather a "I brought you some Zinnia seeds since I know you enjoy my flowers!" I read that now they actually make a party out of the swaps--everyone brings a plant to trade and a dish to share. What fun!
I've never gone to a plant swap, but I do have lots of pass-a-long plants that I love and cherish. I have a maiden hair fern from a dear family friend, iris from a neighbor (the start was from her 100 year old home in Charlottesville, Va), phlox from my Mother (who got hers from a now deceased neighbor), and a pretty little ground cover from a sweet lady I met on a garden tour. I commented on how I loved her ivy and she offered me some. She didn't know what it was, she just called it ground ivy. It just survived that first year, grew some the next year, then really took off last year. I had the opportunity to re-visit the sweet lady's garden this past summer. I told her how pretty the ivy was this 3rd year. She smiled and said, "Oh honey--the first year it sleeps, the second year it creeps, but the third year it leaps!"
How special to be able to share something you love with others!