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Centerville couple brings plant sharing tradition to neighborhood

Brandi and Matt Szczurek are making their block a little greener with a community plant stand

CENTERVILLE, Ga. — While quarantining, many people have turned to hobbies like baking or puzzles to help pass the extra time at home.

For Brandi Szczurek in Centerville, much of her free time has been spent learning about and nurturing over 200 house plants while sheltering in place with her family.

Now, Szczurek and husband Matt are spreading good vibes and green thumbs with a community plant stand in their front yard.

Almost two weeks ago, the couple built their own wooden booth inviting neighbors and passersby to take or leave a plant.

"I just like to give out plants... I really find joy in giving them away," says Szczurek. "I just really enjoy it because they make me so happy and I hope they make other people just as happy."

Since creating the plant stand, the Szczureks say the plant sharing station has become a popular spot in the neighborhood.

"We've met a lot neighbors we didn't know we had," says Matt. "They stop by and it's all smiling faces and it's really nice."

The couple says that plants quickly ran out during the booth's first week, but not for long thanks to donations and additions from Brandi's personal plant collection.

For Brandi, taking care of house plants is a tradition that has run in her family for generations.

"My mother, my grandmother, my great-grandmother, we always have plants," says Brandi, "But I didn't really start getting into the scientific names and really learning about it until quarantine. It just became an obsession."

Brandi hopes that the plant sharing station will continue to bring the community together in the future.

"This was all to give everybody something to look forward to, a little happy," says Brandi. "It's kind of crappy right now in the world, so just a little bright spot to let people know that we are supporting them in our community."

The Szczureks plan to keep the plant stand up until winter, but will bring it back as an annual tradition once the weather warms back up.