Ladybug lunching at the “Peony Bud Cafe”.


It’s been a cool cloudy week.

Great weather for transplanting perennials.

So…here’s a bit about transplanting.

The need to move things around happens as a garden matures.

Or…you just move plants around to keep from buying more.

Not really.

In my garden several things go to seed and make babies all over the place.

Purple coneflower, gloriosa daisies, shasta daisies, tall garden phlox, all are a little rampant in my sun garden.

Hollyhocks and larkspur do the same but have more of a tap root so must be transplanted early when they are very small.

And I know the carpet of cockscomb is beginning to plot it’s annual takeover of my late summer and fall garden.

Now, don’t get the idea that I try to get everything in orderly little rows.

To find the “perfect” place.

I don’t.

Nor do I try to save every plant.

I used to, but gave that up some time ago.

But I do try to gather them in groups of 3, 5 or 7.

And I do move thing out of the middle of the path.

Or a really tall plant from the front edge of the garden. 

You can actually start this process in mid-March if you get around to it.

Here’s how.

If possible pick a cloudy day.

Or… if a plant is moving into the sunshine, transplant late in the day so it will not be in the sun right after you have yanked it out of the ground.

Make sure that the soil is moist – not too dry or too wet.

You want the soil to stick to the roots.

Before you start digging figure out the new home for your plant.

Dig the hole in the new place.

Now dig up the plant with as much root and soil as possible and move it to it’s new home. 

Tamp the soil in around it and give it a little drink.

Remember to give it a drink each day for the next few days – especially if it’s in the sunshine.

This same method works for shrubs as well as small plants. 

I have a Blushing Bride Hydrangea that needs to be transplanted.

I’ll add a little manure to the soil when I refill the hole.

That should help it settle in.

It may be a little late since my hydrangeas are starting to set flower buds.

But….that’s never stopped me before, unfortunately.

Tulips for the most part have come and gone – except for the greenery.

Now theoretically they are like daffodils – let the leaves die completely back.

But I consider tulips in my garden to be annuals.

They simply rot over the course of the summer.

So, I pull them up.

Sometimes the bulb comes with them and they can be dried and saved.

But mostly the leaves just kind of “pop” when you pull on them.

I pull them out to make room for the perennials that are coming out of the ground underneath them.

Then off to the composter they go!

This is always a bit of a slow bloom time.

The riot of spring color is subsiding being replaced with glossy leaves.

The last few tulips hang on.

Iris are opening up.


                                                                    White “field” German Bearded Iris

The first rose appears.

                  Rosa Katy Road Pink

Peony buds are swelling – eager to meet the world.

And columbine loves these days. 


                                                                                                         Columbine McKanna’s Giant

Remember the more you pick columbine the more it will bless you with blooms.

Strawberry plants – which I use for groundcover in sunny spots are blooming and beginning to set berries.

The lettuce in the bed by the garden gate is providing a luscious edge.

Both to look at and to eat!

It fills the space till the soil warms up enough for caladium bulbs.

Caladiums hate cool soils.

My friend Betty taught me to never plant them before May…and I don’t.

And speaking of lettuce – it’s getting to be Farmer’s Market season.

Most open by the first weekend of May.

Hope you’ll find one and support it all season long.

Bask in the season.


“I am a theologian and a college professor.  I like being both. 

But what I really love to do – what I get exquisite pleasure from doing – is to garden.”

                                                                                                          Vigen Guroian

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Filed under Farmer's Market, TRANSPLANTING

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