Saturday, 8 March 2014

When not to move?

THE never ending question. Right?  From what I have picked up over the short time I have been blogging is that gardeners all have their own gardening regime - What works for some will not work for others.  When is the best time to move and when is the wrong time to move?  Can or should it be moved?  Some times the answer is with the gods!

As a general rule, I tend not too read too many gardening books, in fact very few.  I've often taken to the web for a wee bit of advice and find some of the terminology way too technical - I just can't get my head around it.  I'm more of a do first, ask question later kind girl!  I find I learn better that way.  It's all trial and error in my garden.

Here's a classic example of how I do things - imagine taking stock of the garden and how things have changed over the last 3 months.  Lots of my sun lovers are now stuck behind the shed getting no sun at all.  I took it in hand to remedy this in so far as one of my Clematis was concerned.  I had already move my Coral Bark Maple, a Sambucus Black Lace and one or two others.  None seemed to have suffered and are all budding up nicely, this gave me the confidence I needed.  Anyway, back to the Clematis - Clematis Ville de Lyon as far as I can remember.  It was planted way before I took an interest in the garden, 6 years ago this summer, therefore, label lost!

Old picture Clematis Ville de Lyon
Armed with 2 spades and 1 fork - I worked around the whole plant attempting to take as big a root ball as I could possibly manage.  What I didn't consider was just how big the root ball would turn out to be.  Had I had to foresight to take the camera up the garden with me - you'd have a similar idea.  You'll just have to trust me......it was huge!  Much time was spent head scratching as no one else, especially Big Strong Boy, was at home.  I needed to figure out this all on my own.  I have learned enough to know I couldn't afford to leave it out of the ground too long if it was to stand even the remotest chance of survival.  Luckily I had thought a wee bit ahead and dug the hole into which I was too offer, this is always best practice it but I did have to go back to make adjustments, serious adjustments.  I had way underestimated just how big it would be.  I also dug in lots of soil improver and some added bonemeal to help encourage the roots.  Once manoeuvred onto a large sheet of plastic, I began to haul it from one end of the garden to the other.  Stopping many times to catch my breath.   

The receiving hole was a good bit deeper by this time and once I struggled to hoist and drop the plant into the hole - it was by that time a good 5 or 6 inches deeper that it had previously been.  Isn't that always the planting instructions when planting Clematis when bought from a nursery/GC?  Not that it mattered.  There was no way I was getting it back out, so it had to stay there.  The root ball was moist enough, all those orangey noodle like roots were remained in a complete ball.  It had held together well despite all the huffing and heaving.  All was good, I said with my fingers crossed.  Back filled and given a thorough soaking - I finished of it's spring prune.  Did I mention it had just started breaking bud? 

Once this task was over, it was time to shower.  I had an appointment with the nurse, bloods etc - just as the doc ordered.  I think I'm reaching that age!  I hadn't long to wait until I was seen.  She had a selection of vials sitting on her desk - I don't mind having blood taken, especially if it's going to get to the root of my problem.  Enough said, no need in going into details here!

I'll just check your blood pressure she said - Have you ever had problems with it?  No, I replied.  I need perfect blood pressure to be able to drive airside at my work - it's checked yearly for our medical.  In so far as I can remember there has never been an issue.  Until now that is!!  My blood pressure was way too high!  I knew what was coming - take more exercise, loose weight, stop smoking (yes, I do smoke - don't give me that look, please).   I gave her the look after she told me about the ceasation classes - informed her that I do enjoy my cigarettes.  It was then she told me she wasn't going to lecture me.  I happened to mention what I had been doing just prior to me attending - she said she hoped I had just over exerted myself but I'd need to go back in a month to be rechecked and too lay of the heavy work before I go!

There you have it - the answer to my question.  When not to move a Clematis?  Certainly not 1 hour before you are due to attend a Doctor's appointment, knowing full well your blood pressure will be checked!  Both myself and the Clematis need to wait now for signs of recovery!

A friend has since sent me this from her Raymond Evison book Clematis for Everyone:

The replanting of an established garden clematis is always a challenge but with care and a bit of luck it may be achieved. The only time when success can reasonably be expected is during the months of very early Spring before bud break when the plant is in its dormant period, or at least just coming out of dormancy.
The plant should be planted 5cm deeper than in its previous position. The large-flowered cultivars are the safest plants to re-establish, the fibrous-rooted species the most difficult as their very fine roots drop away as they are being moved and with very little root being retained re-establishment is generally not possible.

I'm hoping luck is on my side.

I know technically this is really not a Garden Lessons Learned - but it's a lesson learned in the garden this winter none the less.  Therefore I hope Beth over at PlantPostings forgives me my take on gardening lessons learned this season. 

37 comments:

  1. Oh Angie a cautionary tale indeed :) All that physical exertion will have certainly raised your blood pressure! Good luck with getting it back down again and hopefully it was just all that strenuous activity. I 'm on medication for high blood pressure so have regular monitoring. You say that you were seen fairly quickly but you should have been sitting for at least ten minutes before a reading was taken. I 'm not giving you that look regarding smoking - as an ex smoker of over 25 years standing I still remember the pleasures! As for moving plants as long as you avoid extreme weather conditions, get them out and in again quickly, make sure they are well watered and keep a close eye on them I think that you can usually move them successfully whatever the books say. Well all is said and done the plants don't read the books :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Anna - I would probably have been sitting for more than 10 if you count the drive in the car to get there. I'm hopeful it was just the physical exertion.
      You are of course right! The plants don't read. Nothing too loose either way, it would never have thrived where it was.

      Delete
  2. I've never moved such a well-established Clematis, I hope it thrives in its new spot and is worth all the hard work. And I'm betting that the blood pressure thing was just a result of your over-exertion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alison - the first and last time I'll be trying it. Next time will be much easier to replace new!

      Delete
  3. A good gardening lesson! I have never moved an established clematis, sounds like a real challenge. I hope yours comes through OK!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As do I Jason! Watch this space.

      Delete
  4. Lol...sound advice indeed. It's a wonder that darned clematis didn't finish you off. Who would think they could be so dangerous. A lesson to all you kids out there...:-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A lesson many folks could take from Jane :)

      Delete
  5. Well, I hope the clematis thrives. I need to move a couple of mine that are in too much shade. I do the same as you - move things when I'm ready, not necessarily when the plant is! But I'll be sure not to move my clematis right before having my blood pressure taken! ;) But, seriously, I hope your pressure was up just due to exertion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good luck with moving yours Holley - yes, make sure you've plenty recovery time ;)

      Delete
  6. And here I thought gardening was good for lowering one's blood pressure...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. we all thought the same Kris ;)

      Delete
  7. Oh, I do hope luck is on your side, too. I'll look forward to hearing about the Clematis later in the season. I'll have to remember your lesson about exertion before dr. appointments. ;-) Thanks for joining in the meme!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And thanks for hostng Beth :) I'll remember to do a post either way!

      Delete
  8. It’s mostly trial and error in my garden too.
    I moved a 7 year old clematis from a large container to grow in the ground, I had no idea it actually filled the WHOLE container. Just like you I had a huge job, first digging a big enough hole and then getting it in the hole. I am happy to say the transplant was very successful, the clematis is ‘Niobe’, very similar to your ‘Ville de Lyon’ and it is much happier and MUCH bigger where it is now. I moved it in the late autumn though, didn’t know you weren’t supposed to do that – apparently my clematis didn’t know either!

    I hope your blood pressure is back to normal on your next doctor visit, gardening is supposed to be good for your health :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They are very similar Helene - flowering time on Niobe is earlier that Ville de Lyon that was what confirmed ID. Happy to read of your success - I hope it rubs off on me :)

      Delete
  9. Hi Angie, honestly I can't remember when I moved the last time a mature plant and I have to admit I truly dread it. Usually I think forever before I plant something that gets big (in my case mostly roses) and most of the time it works out where I initially put it. If not it is often not a wrong location that I planted the plant in, but the reason to take it out is a disease problem. In that case it goes to the garbage bin and I don't have to move it anyway. The other reason why I need to move a rose is that I don't like the rose as much as I thought or I am getting bored of it. In the latter case I dig it out (mostly with the help of my husband) and give it away to a gardening friend. Many of these roses survived the transplanting well and some didn't. God knows why!
    Hope your clematis will make it. It certainly is beautiful!
    Have a nice Sunday,
    Christina

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Christina - mature roses can have a heck of a rootball, I wouldn't fancy moving one! Thanks for the support, it's appreciated :)

      Delete
  10. I'm lucky in that the only clematis I'm moving this year is one out of a smaller pot to a bigger one, good luck for you next appointment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good luck with your move Joanne and thanks for sending me some luck :)

      Delete
  11. Congratulations on moving your clematis by yourself, will look forward to hearing how it gets on. I can sympathise re.blood pressure, mine always seems a bit high by the time I get to the nurse, after having sat for at least half an hour! Eventually they suggested I bought a little machine and took it at home before each appointment, then its fine!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A friend has one of those machines Pauline - as she too gets high readings at the docs surgery. All is fine when she uses her machine too. Odd!!

      Delete
  12. Fingers crossed for your clematis!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Keep them tightly crossed Marian :)

      Delete
  13. Hi Angie,

    I've had mixed experience with moving Clematis, some fine others gone. I hope yours is OK though.

    Like you, I don't often read gardening books. I just don't believe in rules. It's the same with cooking, art etc. I like to try my own thing, do what I like and get on with it. This of course means I don't have a 'show' garden, but then I've never aspired to have one.

    Btw, exercise isn't good for you either! After cycling once, I was getting into the shower and knocked my knee on the tap (shower in a bath situation). It made a small cut on the top of my knee but nothing serious.
    It took a year before my knee was finally better and I had to wear one of those Velcro strappy supports on my knee for about a month or more because things were moving which really shouldn't move.
    There we go. No more exercise. heehee.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's often silly accidents that cause the worse damage - strange how that works, eh? I'm hoping the Clematis will be good too. Nothing to loose if I hadn't, I'd have only ended up digging it out and binning it anyway.

      Delete
  14. I'm like you, I do things when the fancy strikes me. May not be the best time for the plant, but is the best time for me and I hope for the best.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've had mostly success in moving plants and yes, always when it suits me not the plant. I had to move a Camellia yesterday, it was I the way of a fence post - full off buds but it's only been in the ground 2 years, therefore should be just fine- it might drop its buds though.

      Delete
  15. I've never moved a clematis, but I'm moving roses at the moment so I'm hoping for some luck, too! I'm very much trial and error here as well. I hope all is well with your blood pressure next time. It doesn't seem very fair that all that exercise, in the fresh air, should be bad for your health!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Precisely Wendy! Good luck with your rose moving - we can bring each other luck :)

      Delete
  16. I must say, I identify with your post on so many different counts! The lump of concrete where you want to place your post? Yes! The lecture that goes with raised B.P. even though you've rushed there, and you tell them you have "white coat" hypertension? Yes! And as for the right time to move plants? Yes! I may have found out when they should or shouldn't be moved, but impatience gets the better of me and I think "Oh well! I'll take the chance!" And often you have to take a chance, if it's going to struggle where it is. Usually I'm lucky and it does pay off. I'm sure your clematis will be fine - as will your B.P.!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I hope it survives the move - I have a largish camellia that I would like to move - if only I dare!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Trial and error is by far the best teacher, in my experience...much better than the studious approach. I will take to heart your "lesson learned" and eschew gardening projects prior to doctor appointments.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I have always been pleasantly surprised at how readily most plants move, actually, so I am sure your clematis will be fine - and hopefully your blood pressure too, though perhaps not moving another big plant immediately before the re-check would be good!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Interesting question Angie, in truth most plants can be moved at any time, there are of course better times such as when they are dormant. I remember as a young teenager, with new found knowledge, telling my elderly and somewhat formidable next door neighbour that she should only transplant roses in their dormant period. I was thoroughly chastised as she told me they could be transplanted in full flower as long as they were given plenty of water. I have proved her right several times since but I have actually cut them back a bit first which she never did!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hello Angie, flower buds all so ready to open... I am glad for you. I am sure when Spring comes, your garden will be filled with lots of clematis flowers :-D Btw, I like your spring countdown meter ;-) Fyi, the flight is still missing!

    ReplyDelete
  22. I am giving you that look :-P...hehehehe...for writing such a hilarious piece. Ah! I was imagining you huffing and puffing and pulling that clematis across the garden.

    I hope your health remains good and strong and you get all the good records.

    ReplyDelete

Your comments are appreciated. My blog is currently experiencing issues with some readers reporting problems when posting their comments. Please bear with me whilst I try to rectify the problem.
I have temporarily switched on word verification. I apologise for this, personally, I don't like it either, I am hoping this may help.