About Us

Hi! We’re Fay and Sarah.

We set up Sheffield PlantSwap in 2017 to exchange plants and to bring together plant loving people to talk about all things green and plant related.

We aren’t plant experts, we just like plants, and enjoy meeting new people.

Picture of Fay and Sarah, PlantSwap Sheffield founders
Sarah and Fay


Photo of Fay and a huge plant at PlantSwap 09!
Fay at PlantSwap 09 with an armful of day lilies

I’m such a cliche! I’m a nature-loving city-dweller who wishes she lived in the countryside. So to satisfy my need for nature I love finding ways to greenify the urban landscape around me and to bring nature into my home .

Rootling around in soil and looking after plants helps me stay sane. And I find a disproportionate amount of pleasure in seeing my plants grow and thrive.

My plant growing tendencies started with tomatoes in my yard. I quickly realised that British winters are brutal to plants and gardeners alike and that I could grow plants all year round indoors. One thing led to another and now plants outnumber people 10-1 in my house!

My life in plants….

  • The very first plant I didn’t kill successfully looked after was a purple wandering sailor (Transcendentia).
  • My favourite plant is probably my massive mama swiss cheese plant (Monstera deliciosa) that I bought for £5 off eBay. When I pruned it I went a bit crazy and propagated more than twenty babies from it.
  • Some of my most precious plants are some scented geraniums (Pelargonium graveolens) from my grandma’s house.
  • I am a dab hand at propagating plants and love plants making more plants! It’s free, it’s easy, you get to watch things grow. Magic!
  • Finally, ferns represent my personal nemesis, never quite dying but never quite happy….


Photo of Sarah and a Monsetra deliciousa at PlantSwap 06
Sarah at PlantSwap 06 with a Monstera deliciousa

I’ve been many things in my life so far – archaeologist, rollergirl, photographer, motorcyclist, secretary, zombie (don’t ask), bar manager, personal assistant….but gardener has never been on the list!

Don’t get me wrong, I love plants (especially house plants) but I certainly didn’t inherit my Mum’s green fingers (she was a passionate gardener).  This is probably due to the extreme hayfever I tend to get if I spend too much time in the garden, and also a symptom of my rebellion against my parents!

But I do love house plants, maybe it’s an age thing but it’s only in the last few years I’ve had any success with keeping them alive.

Since Fay and I started Sheffield PlantSwap in 2017 I’ve certainly learnt LOADS about being a houseplant mama – and I’m proud of the small forest of plants we now have at home.

I’m certainly not a gardener, but I do enjoy visiting other gardens – I guess it reminds me of Mum dragging me round gardens as a child.  I love to see verbena, daisies, alliums, cosmos and others. I’m also a big fan of kitchen gardens – I just don’t have the patience to plant my own!!

I love how Sheffield PlantSwap started as a Facebook discussion between a couple of ex-rollergirls, and has now grown into a wonderful community both online and at swaps.

Fay is still the one with the majority of the plant knowhow (although sometimes I surprise myself with some knowledge I didn’t know I had – Mum would be so proud!), but together we work well as a team on PlantSwap and I’m certainly excited to see where it will go next….

Btw, I’m the one at the PlantSwaps grabbing photos of everyone with their new plants, most of the photographs on this website are taken by me.

My life in plants….

My first plant was……actually it was a peace lily, called Fay – yes honestly!!  Given to me when I worked for Kodak Head office about 20 years ago. It lived in my bathroom happily for many years – despite the neglect from me!

My favourite houseplant is…… my Monstera Deliciosa – I know they’re in fashion now, but I’ve always loved them.  Mine was given to me by my step-daughter as a birthday present.

My least favourite plant is……a competition between two!  I loathe the smell of Euphorbia, to me it smells of cat pee!  The other plant I hate is buddleia. It’s invasive, can grow anywhere and attracts butterflies – I’m slightly scared of butterflies and very scared of moths (something I did inherit from my mum!).

The plant I’d most like to own….until recently this would have been pilea peperomioides, but thanks to PlantSwap I now have two!  What I’d really like is a Monstera Adansonii, and I gave my oxalis away so I’m looking to replace that!

PlantSwap Dog

Hi, I’m Tea. No, I’m not a chihuahua, I’m a Miniature Pinscher, King of Toy Dogs! Sarah is my human and I live with her (and Lola the Labradoodle).

Photo of Tea the PlantSwap dog, a Miniature Pinscher
Tea the PlantSwap Dog

I’ve only been to one PlantSwap but it was VERY exciting!  I got to shout at lots of people – some of them even gave me a bit of a cuddle. Sarah kept telling me to be quiet but I just couldn’t help myself – I had to say hello to EVERYONE!

At home there are lots of plants, some of them are much bigger than me – but really I’m not allowed near them – I think Sarah thinks I might do my business on them! Generally Lola and just ignore them.

My life in plants….I only came to live in Sheffield three years ago. Before that I lived in London and didn’t see that many plants – a bit of lawn and some trees in the distance.

My favourite plant is……I’m quite keen on a mouthful of grass – we’re lucky enough to live on the edge of the Peak District and so I get to try lots of different flavours.

My least favourite plant is……anything spiky and low – I’m only small and sometimes it’s hard to see where I’m going!  

The plant I’d most like to own….I do enjoy the Christmas tree every year – especially when I’m caught short and no one is around to let me out in the garden.