For Galion resident Kennedy Gifford, her unexpected love of plants all started with the gift of a simple Boston fern from her landlord.
“I’ve been joking with him that he can’t complain about the growing ‘plant jungle’ on my front porch because he is the one who started it all,” Gifford said with a laugh. The Boston fern she was given as a gift is now affectionately named “Lafern” and has been brought inside to be safe for the winter months ahead alongside the many other plants Gifford has accumulated since.
“Plants weren’t anything I knew anything about or had any interest in before this,” said Gifford. But one plant was all it took to peak her interest and before she knew it, Gifford was bringing home another one, and then another one.
Her expanded plant collection and increased knowledge led her to create a Facebook page called the “Crazy Plant Lady.” It is a public group with nearly 200 members who share a love for plants and exchange plant tips to help one another. Gifford loves the interaction with other plant lovers and the continued opportunity to learn more and connect with others.
“I started a little plant stand out in front of my house this summer when I had some new plant starts that I could share. I posted them free for anyone to come and pick up, and they were gone in a couple hours,” Gifford said. “I have people now who message me and want to know if I have anything else I want to share from time to time. I would love for others to do the same thing so we could all help each other out the same way.”
Gifford’s love of plants isn’t something she plans to limit to just house plants either. Looking ahead to next summer, she would love to expand her plant love to a greenhouse she could maintain at her home and continue to expand her knowledge.
“I have access to plenty of soil I could use at my dad’s property, but I would need help making the structure of the greenhouse happen,” said Gifford. Her hope is that by getting a greenhouse she would be better able to help others who would need a place to locally “winter” a plant for a few months or help another local who might want to learn more about growing just as she does.
Gifford has been amazed by the local plant community she never knew existed until “Lafern” came into her life.
“People have been so much fun and so nice,” Gifford said. “I’ve had many people ask if I need any donations of any kind or what they can do to help out. I’m always looking for milk jugs I can use.”
If interested in making a donation or to ask Gifford any questions, she can be reached on her Facebook page “Crazy Plant Lady.”
Contact Erin Miller at 419-512-2662.