CREB®Now Archive

How to take pieces of your garden with you when you move

If you want to move your entire garden when you sell your home, think again. First, it’s illegal, and second, plants ripped out randomly in summer wilt and die unless pampered.

But what if you have a sentimental piece of grandma’s peony, a special perennial plant or a friend’s perfect poppy? Taking bits and pieces of your garden with you without changing the look of the yard is possible with these tips:

Collect Seeds
After a few moves, I still have a friend’s poppies, and I smile and remember him when they bloom each summer.

Poppies, columbines and herbs like chives are easy to move by seed. As the flower matures, the seeds ripen and literally fall out of the pods like salt from a shaker. Store seeds in a labelled envelope in a cool spot until reseeded in your new yard.

Take a Fleshy Piece
Plants like iris, peony and monkshood have fleshy roots like potatoes, and these are easily slivered off from the main plant with a spade. Take a generous slice off the mother plant, so you have a whole piece of fleshy root, plus a few fine roots. Retain the original shape of the main plant as much as possible and fill in the gap left with fresh soil.

Most plants wilt when lifted in summer, so cut leaves back by half and carefully plant root pieces into a pot of moist soil, then store them in shade and water as needed. Add a kelp solution once to stimulate rooting.

Divide and Conquer
Hosta, daylily and primula are easily separated into small divisions or individual, little plants from older, mature clumps. Again, keep potted divisions moist and shaded until established in pots to ease the transition from old to new garden.

If your house move is coming up this winter, dig prepared pots into a temporary spot in a friend’s yard before the end of September and move them to your new garden next spring.

Relax and Enjoy
The idea of moving favourite plants is not to save money or time. The idea is to take a little piece of your history with you while leaving the former garden in all its glory.

Consider what you love most and collect seeds, pieces or divisions now, removing only a sample and leaving the bigger garden behind.