Moving house

Posted: Wednesday 9 July 2014
by Kate Bradbury

I’m at my mum’s for a week, helping her move house. The packing of boxes and cleaning has largely been done – my job is to move the garden.

I’m at my mum’s for a week, helping her move house. She’s lived here for 18 years and tomorrow she moves into a tiny cottage with a garden half the size of the one she’s used to. The packing of boxes and cleaning has largely been done – my job is to move the garden.

The plants I have to move fit into three loose categories: plants that mum can eat or which produce fruit she can eat; plants which have a sentimental value (planted for the death of a friend or pet, or inherited from a relative), and plants my mum just really likes.

But July is probably the worst month to move large, established plants. They’re all in full growth and full leaf – some of them are fruiting. But move them I must, preferably without killing any.

I’m starting with the raspberries. These are ‘Granny’s raspberries’ (we have no idea of the variety, but the fruits are tiny and taste like sweets). My granny (mum’s mum) grew them in her garden and we have taken a few plants with us wherever we have moved to. I grew some at the BBC allotment outside our old magazine offices, and I’m taking some back to London with me (along with a million other things, I’m sure).

The raspberries have mostly finished fruiting, so I’ll just cut them down to ground level and dig up the roots before replanting them in mum’s new ‘fruit bed’. I’ll keep them in a tub trug with a little earth and some water; they should be fine for a few days.

The Jerusalem artichokes, strawberry plants and spring-flowering bulbs should all be relatively straightforward to move, but the gooseberries and blackcurrants will sulk. I’ve removed the half-ripe fruit and given the plants a trim, but I’ll unearth them tomorrow morning, keeping as much soil around the roots as possible. Again, I’ll pop them in a tub trug with a little water, which I will keep in the shade so they don’t dry out too much. I’ll replant these as soon as we get to the cottage.

Then there are the Japanese maples. I don’t know where to start with these – they won’t fit in the tub trugs, but all of them have sentimental value. These will get the same treatment as the gooseberries and raspberries I think, but will be planted in the new garden as soon as possible. It’s a good job I’m here for a week and there’s no hosepipe ban – my mum’s new garden is going to be like a plant A&E. Constant vigilance is my only hope of success.

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granma 01/08/2014 at 15:43

Do the people moving into the house mind you taking the garden too ?
It's just a thought as when we moved I dug up as much as possible of my plants and shrubs .I too , had sentimental and many memories with what I had in the garden.I had expensive taste of shrubs e t c always wanting something different.

When I saw my ex next door neighbour a short while after she mentioned that she had told the New neighbours they would have a beautiful garden all year round as we had spent a fortune on our much loved garden and we had a lot of different species of plants.
I didn't have the heart to tell her that no they wouldn't because it had or most of it moved with us !
Though I did leave the garden presentable I had thinned down some what.this was ten year ago hope they ate not still patiently waiting !

Fleurisa 01/08/2014 at 15:50

You have to make it clear when you are selling your house that the plants they see in the garden are going to be removed

philippa smith2 01/08/2014 at 16:06

Fleurisa is correct.............if you are intending to dig up and remove any plants actually growing in your garden when your property is viewed by any prospective purchaser, you will have to point this out.

Plants in containers are not a problem altho sometimes if it is a large container with a large plant in a strategic spot, it is also worth saying it isn't included in the sale.  Some people do tend to assume that you plan to leave everything and it never hurts to over clarify in this situation

granma 01/08/2014 at 16:06

That's alright then as we had already moved before we put it on the market .the house was empty .so we just kept popping back to cut the grass   e t c . We didn't actually tell the buyers ,,our estate agent did know though didn't make much of it.



granma 01/08/2014 at 16:21

Sorry touched submit reply by accident.

When the estate agent came round we had explained some of the gaps in the deep borders due to clearly moving shrubs  e t c . He didn't make anything of it , didn't think anymore about it until speaking to our ex neighbour.

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