Saturday, December 29, 2007

Can't Leave Well Enough Alone

...the more a man loves his garden, the more he delights in constantly changing the arrangements...though I have many trees, shrubs, and other plants that have been in their present places for many years, there is not a single path or flower-bed that is the same now as it was thirty or even twenty years ago...

Canon Henry Ellacombe
In a Gloucestershire Garden (1896)

Twenty or thirty years? I've lived here for not quite three years and only a handful of my plants are still where I initially planted them. Doubtless this is a symptom of yet one more personality disorder under which I suffer, but it seems against my nature to plant something and leave it there.

I'm not talking about moving a sun-loving plant because a tree has grown so tall that the plant in question is now in full shade. I will buy a plant, set the pot in the space where I think it should go, and then leave it there for a few days to be sure I like the location before I actually dig the hole.

Then, two weeks later, it becomes clear that the placement of the plant is most unsatisfactory, and it must be moved without delay.

This fall, I started a Winter Garden, consisting of numerous evergreens, including three Wax Myrtles planted near the back of the bed. A month later, I bought a Nellie Stevens holly and found to my dismay that one of the Wax Myrtles was growing precisely where the holly needed to be, so there was nothing to do but dig it up and move it.

Some of my plants are living in their fourth location in three years. I just know they hate to see me carrying a shovel in their direction.

I resolve not to move another thing this year. This year being 2007, of course.


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Lisa at Greenbow said...

I can so relate to your penchant for moving plants about your garden. Have shovel will move is my motto. If they don't perform as I think they should...well, they are moved or removed.

Karen said...

Me too. Sometimes I move a plant because it looks unhappy; sometimes because I have redesigned that part of the garden. Yesterday, I moved an agapanthus because of a redesign. This started as one bulb, given to me by a neighbor about 4 years ago. It has turned into a humungous clump which I spent about half an hour wrestling out of the ground.

My husband spent yesterday chopping down a wax myrtle, which volunteered on the edge of a ditch. One trunk of it had fallen on the mailbox and the rest of it was choking out a Savannah holly. He warns me that he hasn't got rid of the roots and I'd better not let it get so big again because he is too old and decayed to wrestle with it again!

Christine said...

I, too, suffer from this particular personality disorder. I just bet it would get better if I just buy more plants, don't you think?

Carol said...

I agree with Christine, if we bought more plants, maybe we wouldn't have to move so many of the plants that we already have? Maybe we are addicted to digging?

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Mary said...

My neighbors move shrubs and trees on a whim all the time. Everything thrives. There's always a surprise when I look their way. Makes me laugh.

I have a mental picture of you rearranging your garden in fast motion, soil flying...

I'll think of you when I rearrange the flowers and shrubs around the pond this spring. Wish me luck.

Carolyn gail said...

Take a deep breath, Bobbyearl. It's completely normal to move stuff around 'til you get it the way you like it. I've had my garden every-which-a-way before I finally settled on a design I liked.

David in Greensboro, NC said...

I'm with you on that, Lisa!

Sounds like you and your husband have been fighting plants, Karen...who's winning?

I don't know, Christine--at any rate, I'm not buying enough.

I think it's the addiction, Carol.

I don't even want to know what my neighbors think, Mary. I'm sure they talk about me.

Whew! Glad I'm "normal," Carolyn! Are you sure you're "settled," or are your plants just in-between moves?