Saturday, February 22, 2020

The Tree Relocation Project

A busy day in the garden yesterday, getting some problems sorted out.

First I walked Olga, and while wandering the neighborhood we passed a house with a rather spectacular Chinese lantern plant in the front garden. I've photographed this plant before -- it always bears a lot more lanterns than ours (which only produced one last year). What interested me is the way the lanterns have decomposed over the winter to reveal a small berry inside -- and no doubt a seed inside that. So I picked up two of them, thinking maybe I could plant them. We'll see.

Home again, Dave and I tackled the Problem of the Misplaced Tree.

Several years ago one of our neighbors emptied out a flower pot and discarded the entire root ball of plants. I picked it up -- it included some large clusters of bulbs and a twiggy thing, and I planted it all in the ground. I mainly wanted the bulbs (which turned out to be bluebells) and never knew what the twiggy thing was or what it would become.

Well, in the years since, it's become apparent that the twiggy thing is some kind of tree. It has red-bronze leaves in the summer, and this year, for the first time, it produced a flower (above). I'm thinking it's some kind of ornamental fruit tree. Unfortunately I planted it near the bird bath, right at the front of the garden, which is a terrible place for a tree. It would eventually shade the roses and block our view of much of the garden from the house.

So yesterday, Dave and I dug up the tree and moved it to the back of the garden, where it can live and grow in perpetuity. I didn't take the task lightly, knowing that it might kill the tree, but I think it had to be done. I wish we'd done it just a few weeks earlier, because now the tree is already budding, but who knew spring would come so quickly this year?!

This is the little tree in its new location, near the wildflower garden. Fingers crossed!

While transplanting the tree, I found this little piece of pottery in the root ball. It looks like the top of a pagoda or teapot, or maybe a drawer pull. I added it to my collection of little pottery bits.

After moving the tree, Dave and I filled the hole with some valerian and some daffodils. (All growing in the blue pot that used to house our horseradish, but the horseradish was barely hanging on at this point.) Now we have a big empty pot, and Dave plans to put a hydrangea in it.

Olga watched all this activity from the couch.


  1. Olga is thinking " I will stay put here or I might be asked to help!"
    That pottery piece is lovely. Enjoy your weekend.....raining here at the moment. Yuk.

  2. Olga knows the right place to be when there is work involved!

  3. Twitching curtains.
    "Sidney! Sidney!"
    "What is it Agatha?"
    "It's that American chap again. He's taking pictures of our Chinese lantern plant. Oh! Oh! I don't believe it. He's stealing a lantern. Go outside and challenge him Sidney!"
    "I don't think so Agatha. He looks like a nasty piece of work to me. Besides, Americans tend to carry hand guns. I don't want to die for a Chinese lantern."
    "Guilty your honour! Now let me get back to my crossword."

  4. It looks like you've had another interesting break. Olga is a smart dog, watching you from the couch. What will you do with the pieces of pottery you have found?

  5. I'm with Olga. But kudos to you and Dave for tackling the tree and garden work.

  6. My whole comment just disappeared. Ah well, I was just saying that your garden is going to be really lovely. That blue piece of pottery is very pretty. You have a wonderful day, hugs, Edna B.

  7. I'm going to start looking for a pair of overalls for you, Steve! You are becoming Mr. Green Jeans!
    Would that make Dave Captain Kangaroo? Olga can be Bunny Rabbit. Or Grandfather Clock.
    All kidding aside, I love seeing how you and Dave are becoming gardeners. And that shot of the Chinese Lanterns are just beautiful.

  8. Considering how hard Olga works on her walks, she deserves some down time on the couch. Chinese lanterns are one of my absolute favorite plants. Don't they also have a pretty flower? I've never seen that filigree shell - it's even more fascinating than the lanterns.

  9. Olga had the right idea. It’s fun watching others work.

  10. love those lanterns with their red seed. hard to tell what size that pretty little piece of pottery is, if it's small, could be the top to a child's miniature tea pot.

  11. I'm sure your tree will do well.

  12. I love that Chinese Lantern photo, the decomposed leaf and berry inside. So beautiful. You and Dave had quite a buy day there. Olga had the best spot for observing.

  13. Nature does such a wonderful job, you couldn't make anything as beautiful as those seed pods.

  14. The tree should do well, you have just caught the bare root planting time. It looks like a plum of some variety, at least a Prunus family member..are those large thorns I see? Could be plum, but there again wild apple has thorns too. On balance, flowering this early I would say plum....have fun finding out!

  15. Those Chinese lantern seed post are amazing to see. So wonderfully unique. I hope you are successful in the transplant project. I'm betting you will be. Olga looks like she's thinking "what good could possibly come from all this digging and planting business."

  16. Maybe Olga thought you were digging that hole for HER :) I love that photo of her - she looks like a worried little person sitting there all neat and white and pink.

    I hope your tree does well. Looks like a good spot there; it will be so pretty against the trees and make a nice background for the lower plants. How big was the root ball? I would guess a fairly good size, judging from the branch spread.

  17. Olga is wondering why you think digging in the garden is more fun than a long walk with squirrel chasing and kong.
    The little China lid is interesting. I wonder what the story is behind found objects like that. Perhaps you should write a short story for each object you keep?
    The Chinese lantern is a wonderful photo.