>Gardening is a social activity. Gardeners are about the friendliest people you will ever meet. They enjoy sharing. Here are some ideas to extend your gardening pleasure beyond your own back yard and to get out to meet other gardeners. I share these ideas based on personal experience in being actively involved in each of them.
1. Organize a neighborhood Garden Tour. All it takes is someone willing to coordinate, organize, and publicize it, and recruit garden hosts. Don’t make it a competition. The purpose is to get to know your neighborhood gardeners, share landscaping ideas and gardening experiences with each other as well as get to see the unique gardens created by others. This activity costs nothing other than a little time and willingness to organize it and/or open your garden to others and be present to talk about your gardening ideas on Tour Day. You can spice it up by inviting some horticultural experts to be present to talk about topics of interest (e.g. Master Gardeners), have a drawing for some door prizes (e.g. some plants), etc. Best time to have a Garden Tour is late spring, thru early fall..
2. Organize or participate in a plant swap. This is a periodic gathering of gardeners who bring their surplus plants to a designated location for swapping with others. The more informal it is, the more fun it is. It’s a great way to share and eliminate your surplus plants and/or get some new plants to try in your garden. Some plant swaps have a covered dish lunch and door prizes. A coordinator is necessary who arranges for the site, sends out notices to all who wish to be notified of when and where the next swap will be and any other details. Good times to have them are spring and fall.
Unless you are participating in an already organized event, it may take a few years for each of these to really catch on beyond the first year, but once the word gets out and gardeners know about them as recurring events, it becomes part of their gardening experience. Give it a try.