Photo by Jacob Tyler Dunn | www.JacobTylerDunn.com
Hawk Salvage, located in the historic Grand Avenue arts district, is the place to find one-of-a-kind curios. The shop features a curated collection of vintage, industrial and antique oddities and, most recently, an extensive selection of rare and unique houseplants.
Founded by Greg Hawk, a retired Phoenix Fire Department captain, passionate “picker” and self-proclaimed “plant nerd,” Hawk Salvage is like a perfectly preserved history museum, its walls and display cases filled with ancient art, historical photos and other ephemera of yore. Even the space is a slice of history – it served as an automotive garage in the 1940s. The front of the store is home to a gaggle of greenery from small succulents to massive monsteras.
On October 17 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the shop will host its inaugural community plant swap, where plant parents can bring their plants or cuttings and trade them for new flora. The event will have soil and potting stations, plus plants and pots available for purchase.
Attendees can mingle with fellow plant lovers, learn tips and tricks from other green thumbs and enjoy live music, artist demos, food trucks and more. It will be a plant party for the ages, Hawk says, and something he hopes to make a recurring affair.
The idea stemmed from Hawk’s pent-up pandemic frustration. Because COVID put his regular picking trips on hold, he started propagating and preserving plants.
“I started looking at houseplants and it just opened up this huge can of worms of all the cool stuff that’s out there, from easy-to-grow, easy-to-propagate cactus, succulents and houseplants and now I find myself with more plants than I want to take care of,” he admits. Hosting an event where he could eliminate some of his inventory while reconnecting the community was the ultimate win-win, he says.
To participate in the plant swap, guests must bring at least one live and healthy plant or rooted cutting to trade with another of comparable size.
Hawk says he has noticed an increase in new plant owners amid the pandemic, and a close-knit community has sprung up on Instagram.
“It’s kind of like Pinterest for plants. I think people go there for inspiration, positive strokes, ideas, plant care and tips, new propagating ideas, what works and what doesn’t, what people are having good luck with, what’s funky, what’s the weirdest thing out there I can find?” he says.
In true Hawk fashion, he will be using an antique autopsy table to hold the soil. He hopes it will serve as a hub for community members to work in the soil together and swap stories.
Hawk says the event is open to everyone, regardless of their botanical expertise. His advice for new plant aficionados? “Be patient. Buy something simple to start with. Everything dies, so you’re gonna kill plants, it’s part of the process. You learn by experimenting,” he says. “I think the biggest tip that I would give is don’t be afraid to experiment with your plants.”
Hawk Salvage, 1109 NW Grand Ave, Phoenix, 602-790-8365, hawksalvage.com