Hello. My name’s Graeme and I’m a compulsive shrub mover. It had been 9 weeks and 1 day since I’d last moved a shrub. I was doing well. But last Sunday I had a bit of a relapse.
I think long and hard about shrub placement. I consider how big a shrub will grow, how much space I should allow for said growth, whether it requires full sun, partial shade or full shade. I ponder whether its overall shape will be pleasing on the eye and whether it will fit in with the overall feng shuieyness of the garden. And after all this pondering I’ll plant the shrub, water it, take a few steps back, admire it… and then decide I really should have planted it slightly more to the right and dig it up again.
Sometimes I’ll leave a shrub in the same position for a year or two until I change the shape of a bed and all of a sudden the shrub will look out-of-place. Sometimes I’ll see a plant in a garden centre that I really must have but there’s only room for it if an existing shrub is repositioned elsewhere in the garden. And sometimes there are circumstances that necessitate the moving of a shrub that no one really could have predicted at the time it was planted. Here are 5ish shrubs and a tree that I moved or planted last weekend.
1. When my Compulsive Shrub Moving Disorder kicks in I usually laugh in the face of shrub moving lore. Autumn may be the best time to move a shrub but I can’t wait that long. If it’s in the wrong location it must be repositioned post-haste. Three years ago, during the height of summer, I was struggling to squeeze past the Lonicera fragrantissima (or winter honeysuckle) to get to the bags of compost I keep down the side of the blue shed. It was an annoyance. It had to move. Immediately.
So it was replanted close to the trellis-topped fence where I thought it would provide some privacy. It was watered a few times each day everyday for several weeks and has been growing there happily ever since. Unfortunately, the jasmine that grows along the fence and trellis has also been growing away happily during that time and now becomes almost hedge like by mid summer, swamping the winter honeysuckle and a number of other shrubs in that bed, despite being chopped back each year.
This year I waited until the autumn (more out of necessity than common sense – the clay soil was undiggable during the hot dry summer) and I moved it further way from the fence and nearer the back door where I’m hoping its scent can be better appreciated.
2. Unfortunately, this meant I had to dig up the Daphne odora, a plant that the gardening books tell you resents having its roots disturbed. And it really does. I’ve dug it up before and it took rather a long time to recover, losing a lot of its leaves (it still looks rather leggy). But needs must and the daphne has been moved to the other side of the garden next to the Viburnum carlesii ‘Compactum’ which has also been shifted to the left to the exact same spot that, three years ago, was occupied by the winter honeysuckle and, until last weekend, was occupied by the…
3. …Philadelphus ‘Belle Etoile‘. By June the orange blossom had grown too tall, leggy and aphiddy, and that’s right – made getting to the bags of compost stored down the side of the blue shed rather tricky. So the orange blossom has now been planted in the spot where the winter honeysuckle was situated until last weekend, though further away from the fence and the jasmine (I hope you’re keeping up). It’s not been looking too happy the past few evenings but it perks up overnight after it’s been watered.
4. To the right of the Philadephus is a Viburnum farreri. My wife grew this from a cutting she took from the garden of the first home we rented together. It started life in the back bed behind the garden bench and later moved to the bed with the jasmine. Last weekend it too was shifted further away from the fence.
5. There’s only one shrub in the garden that hasn’t been dug up after it was planted and that’s the Daphne x transatlantica ‘Pink Fragrance’. I finally committed to planting it last weekend after ‘trying it out’ for a month in its pot in the newly extended bed, near the back door. Measurements were taken, anticipating future growth based on its white cousin near the patio. It should be fine. It’s in the perfect spot. There should be absolutely no reason to move it. No reason at all.
6. And finally… Occasionally, a Compulsive Shrub Moving Disorder can lead to something more serious: a Compulsive Tree Moving Disorder. Sometimes you can get away with compulsive tree moving (the Prunus cerasifera ‘Hessei’ was transplanted successfully over six years ago). Other times it can have tragic consequences; the Prunus mume ‘Omoi-no-mama’ didn’t make it. However, the replacement tree has arrived. It’s a Prunus incisa ‘Kojo-no-mai’. It looks quite big in this photograph.
But now the tree has been planted it looks tiny (I don’t think the giant stake helps). Yet I’ll be patient and resist the urge to dig the poor thing up and move it. Once again careful thought has been given regarding its alleged predicted size 20 years from now. Hopefully it’ll start to put on a bit of new growth come the spring and in years to come will look perfect in the spot I’ve chosen.
Anyway, I’m not going to worry about it. Instead I’m going to gaze at some pretty flowers in the garden and relax.
And they were my Six on Saturday. For more Sixes on Saturday, from all around the world, take a look at the site of the chap who started it all over at https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com.