How do you move a garden?

By Tom Seymour | Mar 13, 2020
Photo by: Tom Seymour An array of earth boxes.

Having lived on the same plot of ground for almost 40 years, the last thing on my mind up until several years ago was moving. However, change being inevitable, moving now seems my best option.

Moving stands as one of the more traumatic events in a person’s life. Well, not every person, but most of us, tend to follow the rule that states “an object at rest tends to stay at rest.”

All the same, situations sometimes dictate that we pull up roots and establish ourselves someplace else.

That is what I now face. The logistics of the thing weigh heavily upon my mind. That includes the problem of where to store my belongings during the in-between time when my place is sold and I move into another place, as well as how to say goodbye to my gardens and shrubs. My best and only choice is to rent a storage unit. Luckily, these places have become ubiquitous over the last few years.

Perennials, especially, are considered part of the package when selling or buying a property. However, to the best of my knowledge, a seller may divide long-established clumps of perennials. The perennials that were planted last year, though, will not have grown to a size where they can be divided. Also, spring-flowering bulbs must remain in place, so I must bid farewell to my daffodils, hyacinths, crocus and others.

Some of my daylilies may stand to be divided, since that doesn’t harm the plants at all and may serve as a form of cultivation. Just make certain that there are ample bulbs left to keep the stand going. It may be best in some cases to only take the newly formed bulblets rather than the older bulbs.

Shrubs, too, must remain in place when a property is sold. However, a few shrubs can stand dividing and that heirloom lilac most certainly can spare a few root clumps.

Fortunately, most shrubs don’t take more than a few years to become established, so it shouldn’t take much effort to get some shrubs growing on a new property.

Moveable Gardens

Over the years I have written a lot about container gardening, especially the commercially produced, EarthBox. These contain everything needed to grow most anything, from vegetables and herbs to flowers. After one early season application of granular fertilizer, all the gardener need do is water on a regular basis.

In addition to ease of use, EarthBoxes are moveable. Some even come with casters, which allow the boxes to be moved around on a deck or patio.

It’s a given, then, that my EarthBoxes, of which I have numerous, are going with me wherever I finally wind up. This will allow me to have something resembling an, “instant garden.”

My plan is to find a place with more direct sunlight. My present place is surrounded by trees, limiting morning and afternoon sunlight. With EarthBoxes, the only necessary requirement is sunlight. Whatever I finally decide upon for a place, it must have lots of direct sunlight.

The Bright Side

Despite all the worries, considerations and unanswered questions regarding moving, a bright side still remains. That is, most of us never get the opportunity to start over. The prospect excites me, filling my head with thoughts of new garden plans, new designs and new plants.

Also, starting over allows us to benefit from past experiences, both positive and negative. This ensures that we won’t repeat past mistakes. Besides that, designing new gardens can make even older gardeners feel young at heart.

New beginnings can bring out long-forgotten creative expressions. With older, established gardens, change, when it does take place, is usually minimal. But when facing a clean plate, possibilities seem endless.

When starting over, trips to the greenhouse and garden center become more frequent. This time, though, it’s not for one plant to fill in an empty space. Rather, it is for the components of a brand-new garden. Honestly, who doesn’t enjoy shopping for new plants?

In-Ground Gardens

Soil at my present location is primarily clay. Years of amending have made it into passable soil. Then I built raised beds and these held nutrients far better than in-ground gardens. Perhaps, though, my new place will have rich soil.

This next point doesn’t apply to everyone, but for amateur astronomers a clear view of the sky is an important point. A place surrounded by trees just won’t cut it.

Besides that, the same open space that promotes easy astronomy also affords us better growing conditions because of more direct sun.

These are the things that gardeners should consider when purchasing a new home.

Wish me luck in that.

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Comments (1)
Posted by: Martha Laitin | Mar 17, 2020 12:54

As a real estate broker for the past 30+ years I can tell you that you CAN dig up & pot perennials to take with you when you move.  As soon as the ground thaws, make the plants portable.  The listing in the MLS should also make full disclosure that perennials in a particular garden will not convey, and no photos of the plants should be used in advertising the property.  Your broker can also be asked to mention during showings that perennials will be removed. Buyers are understanding folk, but don't like surprises.

 



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