January 9, 2010

'Tis The Season For Transplanting

Hardy hibiscus, 1st colorWhen the weather cooperates that is. And we have a lot I'd like to see transplanted!

When we first moved here last May, the yard was very neglected and overgrown. I did a lot of clearing around the house, and discovered some things I'd like to keep, even though it means relocating them. The dormant season is the best time to do that, so for the past couple of months, I've been working on transplanting as much as I can.

Hardy hibiscus, 2nd color

One thing I'm relocating is hardy hibiscus. I have a lot of them around the place, including several large bushes that someone must have planted years ago. Now however, saplings are coming up all over the place.

I didn't have to think long about where to move them to. My idea is to plant a row of them on the road side of the row of Leyland Cypresses we planted last July. I'm putting them in front of and in between the cypresses, in hopes that they'll give neighbors and passers-by some pretty color to enjoy with an evergreen background. This will also serve to as give us more privacy while the Leyland Cypresses grow large enough to do the job themselves.

The little hibiscus saplings are leafless now, so you can't see them very well in the photo below, but they are there surrounded by little piles of mulch in front of the evergreens...

Hopefully no one will notice how crooked this hedge is once the bushes start blooming.I'm not planting them in a very straight line am I! Obviously my eye-ball measurements aren't so good. :)

I've also been finding what looks like irises scattered around the property.

Irises???I'm gradually moving them closer to the house where I can enjoy them.

Also in the process of being moved are these azalea bushes...

Azaleas needing to be transplantedThey were hidden behind the house and are too close to the foundation. To move them I pruned them rather severely in hopes of keeping the above ground part of the plants about the same size as the root ball.

Azaleas being transplantedThey're being moved to the side of the house, behind the spot where we had our summer garden. In the photo above, you can see three that have already been moved, a hole for the fourth, and two bricks designating where the last two will be planted. Since we don't have a backyard behind the house, I'm hoping these will define the side yard under the big old oaks. This area will be recreational, and will serve as our back yard. The only downside to transplanting them is that I had to prune off the flower buds. That means I'll have to wait a whole year before they can blossom.

I also have some forsythias I'd like to relocate (I took this pic before they lost their leaves) ...

2 forsythia bushes, turning autumn colorsI'm just not sure where, yet. They offer nice color in both spring and fall but these are in the area being fenced in for the goats. That's one reason I'd like to move them, but also because I don't think they're getting as much sun as they like to bloom well.

Then I have this bucket of bulbs that I picked up when we first tilled next year's garden...

The bulbs we found in the new garden spotI'm hoping these are daffodils, so I've planted them to find out. Along with these are the daylilies I found blooming last summer ...

Dof daylilies in the overgrown field.I replanted some of these last summer, but there are tons more which are also in the goat field. I took both daylilies and mystery bulbs, and planted them in the roadside triangles of the zig zag fence...

Our new zig-zag fence.  Rustic looking, isn't it.On the garden side, I've already planted two elderberry bushes, and plan to plant more blueberries, some red raspberries, and a rugosa rose bush as well.

All this seems like a lot to do, but we do love being outdoors. I'm not sure how many plants we'll get moved before spring arrives. Rain was the deterrent in November and December, though we got quite a bit transplanted. Our forecast for the next several days promises nightly lows in the teens and daytime highs in the mid 30s, so if the ground freezes, digging will be out for awhile, for both transplants and fence posts!

'Tis The Season For Transplanting photos & text copyright 


  1. You sure are a busy beaver! I wish I had half your initiative!

  2. How nice that your property came with so many wonderful plants that just need some tlc.

    Happy gardening!

  3. Wow, Leigh, you have been working hard! Your work motivates me to get out there, too!! But our ground is too frozen - I wanted to move some bushes around, but cannot because of the weather. Last autumn I planted a bunch of daffodil and iris bulbs. At least I will be looking forward to them this year!!

  4. I should really transplant a few things myself - but apart from the weather (frost for 3 weeks, and snow on top) - I don't know where to transplant to:(( we've run out of space - even though I'd like to transplant the hydrangeas (what good are they, if I have to prune off the buds just to get past them to the tunnel?) and the forsythia, which hardly flowers, because it has to be pruned hard every year:(( gardeners greed is just as bad as the greed of fibreholics:))

  5. That's cool that you can transplant in the winter. I usually move everything in the spring....I always worry that things won't take hold enough in fall to survive the harsh winter.

    I think I can prune in the winter, and I should one of these days.


  6. Michelle, I admit we're motivated! Part of it is because we love being active out of doors, the other part is because I love to plant things.

    Renee, I do count that as a blessing. There's actually a lot more I'd like to do with them, but probably won't get to it this year.

    Lynn, I suspect our ground is too hard now too. We have had some beautifully sunny days, but we aren't getting out of the 30s. So neat you planted daffodils and irises too.

    Bettina, sounds like you need a bigger place!

    Sue, I'm hoping the plants won't notice during their winter rest and in spring, will just start growing as though nothing happened. :)

  7. Lucky you with such a mild climate to be playing outside all year! Totally Awesome! It will be months before we can even consider doing garden and yard work! The ground is frozen solid and has been for ages. Right now my gardening and outside fix is taken up by feeding the birds and getting my seed selections ready to order.

  8. Wow, you been busy!!!! I'm sure all your hard work will be worth it come spring. Can't wait to see photos!!!

  9. Nina, that's one of the advantages of living where we do, though now the ground is frozen here too. So like you, I'm feeding the birds and studying seed catalogues!

    Barb, yes, but both Dan and I love being outdoors. Some days I just have to get outside for while, no matter how cold it is. Transplanting makes a nice outdoor activity then, the digging definitely warms me up!

  10. Woah, now you really need to put up a post with a map of your property.

  11. Katrien, actually I have. It's here though it's actually outdated already. I really need to do another updated master plan. Hopefully soon!

  12. wow! your place has come a long way in such a short time. it's looking great. do you have any lilac? i adore lilac, especially white.

  13. Anonymous, nary a one. I grew up in Lombard, IL, known as "The Lilac Village." There were lilacs everywhere and I loved them too. I understand that they don't do so well in my part of the south. In fact, crepe myrtles are known as the "lilacs of the south" but to be honest, they just aren't the same to me. (We do have quite a few of those however.)


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