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Moving Day


There are so many garden chores that escaped me earlier this season since I was busy basically redoing our entire backyard (including this path and these walls) so one of the many things that needed attending to was some plant moving. Sadly it seems like the worst of the heat is behind us (90 degrees? I’ll take it. PLEASE.) so I thought it was safe to start moving things around. I never like to wait too long to move things because I worry they won’t have time to get established before the temps drop dramatically. I’d rather have to baby them a bit more in the beginning than take the risk of losing them later.
The target of most of the moving was the fringes of a garden I created four years ago or so that served as a holding bed for things that didn’t have another place.
As you can see, it wasn’t exactly stunning to look at. The first thing to get moved was the Nikko Blue hydrangea that you see in the middle, which was moved to that location before the house renovations last year. When I dug it out, it was actually two plants. I think a branch rooted itself awhile ago and actually that part of the plant is nicer than the mother plant. This hydrangea, which blooms on old wood (that often freezes out over winter), isn’t a great performer. But a couple years ago it gave me five gorgeous light blue blooms and I fell in love with them enough to keep trying.
I moved the two plants to the west side of the house where I’ve never really had anything great growing. I’m hoping that a protected spot by the house might help keep those buds safe. And in the front I planted a ‘Let’s Dance Moonlight’ hydrangea that I got through the Yahoo co-op a couple years ago and have been growing out in a container. (By the way, do you like how I can’t even manage to take the shovel out of the garden before I take a picture?)
The next thing that needed to happen was to get rid of a potentilla shrub I’ve been chasing around for NINE years. And what you’ll be interested to know is that I didn’t like it to begin with. My extremely sweet and well-intentioned mother-in-law took me plant shopping shortly after we bought our house. I didn’t have the faintest idea what was already growing in the yard nor did I have a clue what my gardening plans were, but I was reluctant to pass up free plants. So we went to a nursery and my mother-in-law asked an employee what was deer resistant and I came home with three potentillas. Two of them (thankfully) died (and that may or may not have something to do with how I “cared” for them) but one just kept on going. I moved it once, and still hated it, so I finally moved it to an empty space. It never bloomed again and got rangy and unattractive. But for some reason I had a hard time throwing away a plant I really didn’t like. Well, no more. It had to go. And I think a far more noble purpose for it will be serving as compost several years from now.
After I freed myself of that monkey on my back, it was time to move a couple of hosts that had also been relocated last fall before the renovation. I blogged about the process of moving them here, and I’m happy to report they handled the move wonderfully and looked great this year.
I divided both Blue Angel and Paradigm (just into two divisions) before moving them to the back yard where they are flanking the east-facing stairs off the deck. I didn’t cut the foliage off them, but I may if it starts looking shabby.
And then I filled in the newly cleaned out area with more hydrangeas I’ve been growing out in pots: two Incrediballs and one Invincibelle Spirit. I hope they do well and fill in that area that until now has been just a storage spot.

One Response

  1. I'm also back to moving plants, including shrubs, now that the temps have dropped to normal. I figure we've got a good month to play with plants before we have to worry about serious temp changes. Have to agree about potentillas; I didn't "care" for mine very well either. Your new garden with the blue and pink hydrangeas looks good. Personally, I like to leave a hose in the garden to photograph!

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