PHOENIX — What started as a seed of an idea has sprouted into something pretty awesome. Think "Little Free Library," but with plants instead of books.
The idea is taking off like vines across Arizona. Most of the free plant stands are concentrated in the greater Phoenix area.
Danica Tuxbury is one of the founding members of the Little Free Garden stands of AZ on Facebook. Tuxbury's community stand is in Phoenix and is really easy to visit.
"People can come and leave a plant or take a plant," she said. "You don't have to bring one to leave one."
The idea behind the group is to share garden goodies and tips for cultivating a green thumb at home. The group is open to all levels of gardeners. No expertise is required.
The group has been blooming since Tuxbury helped start it in fall 2020. It's blowing past 4,600 members on Facebook, with nearly 50 stands from the Valley to Tucson. She shared the group with 12 News on NextDoor.
There are rules to follow in the Facebook group, like all items are free, no advertising, only take one or two items making sure to save for others, first come first serve and more.
Jershon Hancock and her family host a free little garden stand in Mesa.
"We are the Alpaca Place," Hancock said. The family alpacas are the theme behind their stand, and the little treasures the alpacas leave behind are becoming a fast favorite in the community of gardeners.
"If you see my garden, it's full of the alpaca manure," Hancock said. "It's one of the best you can get and not a lot of people have alpacas right here."
Nic VanWie also shares the Hancock alpaca manure at her stand, along with other goods a few streets down in Mesa.
"It's been a really fun way to try out new things," VanWie said. "There are so many stands around now that you can go and find something different at each one."
The community of growers and more, leaving Tuxbury to enjoy watching the free little plant stand roots spread across Arizona.
"This is a great way to have plants not go into the landfill, to share our bounty with other people," she said.
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