Saturday, December 22, 2012
Transplanting Plants and People -- Don't Forget to Pack the Garden!
Life's never the same place twice--nor is the garden.
The yard is never planted for one season, nor one "look" for that matter. The desire for a rolling backdrop is the difference between a landscaper and gardener. It's a play with several acts, from the flamboyant spring to the purist winter.
Thus the anticipation of a far away springtime in a northern village had us planting chilly bushels of bulbs while the winds of December blew the last leaves off our new hill. My kind and patient Bill, self dubbed the "garden slave" stood by, shovel in hand, ready to employ his patented "wedge" planting method.
In March, the daffodils at the end of the drive will be a welcome sight. It'll remind us of hard work done on a frigid afternoon as well as a cherished neighborhood left behind.
Many plants are readily available for purchase at the nursery, but it took years for the thick carpet of Shasta Daisies to proliferate at the south end of the patio. A carefully planned transplant can duplicate the look with less time and fewer pennies:
2. Move en masse: Carve out a large mass of plants, particularly in those areas that require thinning.
4. Prepare the new area: Loosen the entire bed. Work in some bone meal or organic material.
5. Transport: Use a tarp or drop cloth. The plants will retain water, so tip them up a bit to drain if it's rained. Otherwise bring a spare pair of boots.
7. Protect: Mine were transplanted in late fall, so some of the early bloomers like Hellebores got small boulders tucked up against the base to give them some shelter and warmth. Even on a cold winter day, stony surfaces retain the warmth of the sun. Hosta and Turtlehead got an extra layer of leaves.
The snow's starting to clear.
Might we still have time to get some grape hyacinths in the ground?
More Articles of Interest:
Planting Bulbs -- Paying It Forward
Layered Plantings -- Should I Cut Back Faded Bulbs?
Turtlehead and Other Fall Bloomers