Planting Joy: Milwaukee Habitat’s Annual Plant Share

Planting Joy: Milwaukee Habitat’s Annual Plant Share

On June 1st, the Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity parking lot transformed into a garden full of an array of plants. Dozens of plant and vegetable varieties crowded one side of the parking lot, waiting to be replanted outside a Habitat home.

Habitat homeowners lined up around the block waiting for the doors to open for the 19th annual Plant Share.

The annual Plant Share is hosted by the Milwaukee District Garden Clubs group alongside Milwaukee Habitat. It is an exclusive event for Habitat homeowners where they can pick out plants and learn gardening techniques for free. 

Carolyn, who moved into her Milwaukee Habitat home in 2006, was in line an hour before the doors opened.

“I’ve been coming since I built my house,” Carolyn said. “I haven’t missed a year.”

This year, she hoped to get hostas, among other plants, for her yard and gazebo. She had recently decorated her home for Juneteenth and shared that all of the plants in her yard and in the display were from past Habitat Plant Shares. Carolyn is passionate about gardening and decorating and wants to pass that passion on to her grandchildren. 

“It is something I started doing and never stopped,” Carolyn said. “I have seven granddaughters and am inspiring them to decorate. I decorate every holiday.”

Carolyn’s home decorated for Juneteenth

The vegetables, flowers, and other plants are donated from the Milwaukee District Garden Clubs group and local shops and groups. Volunteers from these organizations come to help homeowners pick out their plants and provide expert gardening advice.

Susan from the Milwaukee District Garden Clubs group was asked to lead the donations and volunteering for the event this year. Judy Newman led this in recent years, but passed away earlier this year. Susan knew she had large shoes to fill, but enjoyed the process of leading the event.

“I’m excited,” Susan said. “I want to continue in her honor.”

Susan loves seeing people learn about gardening and wants Habitat homeowners to leave the event with the knowledge on how to be successful in their gardening journey.

“It’s an education,” Susan said. “We want them to go home and be able to plant and be successful and realize the joy of having plants. The homeowners aren’t just grabbing plants; they’re talking and learning. That to me is wonderful.”

When asked what it means to partner with Milwaukee Habitat, Susan replied,

“That makes my heart jump. You see someone who takes receiving these plants seriously. They are nurturing and celebrating plants… I want [the homeowners] to be excited to make their home pretty.” 

Year after year, Habitat homeowners like Carolyn are excited to decorate their homes with plants from the Plant Share. Carolyn has been an active member of the Milwaukee Habitat community since she built her home with us in 2006. She hasn’t missed a Plant Share and is grateful for the continued partnership she has with the organization. She expressed her appreciation, stating:

“It’s beautiful,” Carolyn said. “I don’t need to buy [plants] because I come to Habitat. I stick with Habitat. My house [came from them]. I’m glad I’m where I’m at. One day I woke up and hit the jackpot.”

Thank you to the following groups for your donations and support:

Milwaukee District Garden Clubs
Green Tree Garden Club

Garden Club of Greater Milwaukee   
Brookfield Congregational Church
Fred’s Garden Center
Holtz Landscaping and Gardening Center
Home Depot-West Allis
Johnson’s Nursery, Inc.
Lamb’s Nursery
Milwaukee County Master Gardeners
Ozaukee Master Gardeners
Plant Land
Schuler Gardens
Shady Lane Greenhouses Inc 
St. Matthias Girl Scout Troop
Tehan Greenhouses, Inc.
W & E Radtke

Help break down the barriers to first-time homeownership for more local families.
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