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|
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.