Friday, June 26, 2015

Moving a Garden

The new garden in North Carolina.
In my last blog post, I mentioned that I would show you how to move a garden. I spent time studying both of my gardens and making plans on how I would tackle the problems of moving garden plants from Indiana to North Carolina. I cannot take everything in my current garden and there are some plants that I would not want to move. Over the 13 years of building my Indianapolis garden, there are some plants that I have got tired of, are thugs, volunteers or plants that are at a size making them difficult to move. My new garden is far smaller than my current garden and I can't use or need everything. I am very selective as what will be moved to the new garden. I also need to leave a garden with the house when it sells and hope that someone will enjoy it as much as I have.
I studied the weather of the new garden including rainfall, temperatures and temperature extremes. I also reviewed the plants in my current garden as to which plants could survive temperatures and sun in a much warmer zone and without always having water available to them. I do not have an irrigation system in the new garden. I also reviewed which plants can grow in my new plant zone. I can actually grow more different types of plants in my new garden than I could in my Indianapolis garden. Which makes the garden move worth it. 
Plants that have root systems that can hold water longer were moved first and they have been surviving in the new garden with only rainfall. I also moved aquatic plants that could live in containers of water to the new garden. I have not spent much time weeding or removing old leaves from the garden because the old leaves have helped retain soil moisture for the plants. Each time I leave the garden to return home, I make sure everything is watered heavy and hope for rain while I am gone.
The fountain repaired and filled with water.
My first plan for the new garden was cleaning it up, making repairs, starting the new fish pond and moving the plants. Some plans will take longer than others, but it all will slowly get completed.

I have a beautiful fountain in the garden, but it had a crack in the base and would not hold water. I spent several hours removing old paint, wire brushing and repairing the crack. I used silicone in the crack then sprayed a clear rubber sealant in the base. After it dried and cured, I filled it with water and it stopped leaking. I was very happy with the results. I was really happy that after four years of the fountain sitting in the snow and heat that the pump still worked. The fountain is beautiful in the garden.

 Digging a new pond for the garden.
My next project has been digging a new pond. I found a protected area and a site that would allow me to see the fish from the house. When I have the opportunity and need a break from painting inside the house, I go and dig. I dig early or late in the day when the temperatures are cooler. I hope to have the hole dug soon, the liner dropped and have the pond filled with water. If our house sells, I have a home for my fish and I can always do the stone work later. I hope to have this project finished soon.

Digging up a favorite daylily to move.
Back home in Indianapolis, I have been preparing the plants that I want to move. I am limited in the size of plants and age of plants that will be moved. Many small trees and shrubs that I wanted to keep were dug when they were dormant and transplanted into containers. They have been surviving in containers for several months. Many perennials that I want were dug up or I took a division of the plant, leaving the mother plant behind. I dug many plants early in the season or I have allowed them to flower. Flowering allowed me to make sure I have the correct plant since my memory of where I have planted things over 13 years isn't that good and many plant labels have disappeared over the years.
When I dig a perennial or take a division, I pot or bag the plant root ball. The hard part is cutting the plant back. The plant will be easier to move, transport, replant and reestablish as a smaller size. I label all the containers and bags with the plant name or flower color. 

Cutting the plant back in size is hard, but it will make the transition much easier for the plant. I can enjoy it again next year.

All bagged up, watered and labeled.

These plants are ready for their 8 hour trip to the new garden.

I keep the plants watered and the night before the trip, I load the plants in the truck. The truck area is enclosed to protect the plants from wind and heat damage on the trip to the new garden. Once I arrive to the new garden, I start the process of planting and watering. This process of moving plants will continue till all the plants arrive to the new garden.

I hope you have a great gardening season and please check back on my progress with the new garden. Have a question? Send me a comment!
Happy Gardening!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Beginnings of a New Garden

In my last blog post, I mentioned that a new garden was on the horizon. I am doing the one thing that I said I would never do - Move. After spending years starting a garden from scratch, the home that was to be the retirement home is now not going to be the retirement home. We decided to move from Indiana to a warmer climate. I did not want to go as far as Florida, because it is hot and I could not grow many of my favorite plants that I enjoy in my current zone. We decided on moving to a part of North Carolina that we had visited before and had enjoyed. We started looking for houses and found the house that was perfect for us. I didn't know if it had a garden or not and after some research on the Internet I found some information that said the house had an "English Garden". I was thrilled and when we went to see the house the first thing I did was to go looking for the garden. It was everything I could have wanted in maturity and variety of trees and shrubs. The bones for a great garden were there and I was happy.

 I will need to change my gardening practices some. The garden is on the side of a mountain ridge and it is up and down hill where my current garden is flat land. The zone is different and in a thermal belt which will give me a longer growing season that I don't have in Indiana. In Indiana, I only have squirrels for pest and now I have deer, bear and a few poisonous snakes. My soil in the new garden is also clay, rock and more for acid loving plants than my silt soil along the river in my current garden in Indiana. I now can grow plants that I could not grow in Indiana, but still grow many of my favorite plants in the new garden. Here are a few pictures of the new garden that were taken on the coldest record breaking day in North Carolina this year.

Steps down to the garden.

Some of the new plants that I will be growing and that are in this garden are camellias, azaleas,
crepe myrtles, summersweets, pieris, Oregon grape holly, mountain laurel, Carolina jasmine, rhododendrons, hollies and much more. Each time I see the new garden, I discover new
plants that I was not able to identify on previous visits.

I plan to add a stream bed and pond in the future on the slope going down to the garden and in the lower part of the garden as seen in the picture above. I also would like to add a stairway down the slope to the garden. It will all come with time.

 Did I mention the view from the garden? If you look at the picture above, that's the view.

The garden is now starting to show color.


I look forward to working in the new garden, but I realize that it could be sometime before I can move plants from Indiana to North Carolina. Due to temperature differences, weather and not being able to keep new plants watered, the garden plants will need to stay potted up and in Indiana. That will give me time to design, clean up and weed. Timing will be everything! I currently have multiple plans on how everything will play out and now, I just wait.

Check back for future updates on the move and the new garden. My next post will be on how you prepare to move garden plants for starting a new garden.

Happy Gardening!


Thursday, April 30, 2015

What's New in Water Features

One of my favorite additions to a garden is some type of a water feature. Water features bring in wildlife and they add a peaceful tranquil feel to a garden. I am always taking pictures of water features and here are some new ideas from this years Indianapolis Flower and Patio Show. Enjoy!

Yes, this is made of layers of stained glass. Love the colors!

I hope you enjoyed the photos and that you found an idea that you can use for your garden. Check back for future postings because lots of changes are going on and a new garden is on the horizon. More to come!

Happy Gardening!


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A Visit to the Indianapolis Flower and Patio Show

I made my annual trip to the Indianapolis Flower and Patio Show this past week. I really enjoyed the show and I found the gardens to be exceptional in design, color and ideas this year. Here are a few pictures of the show that I think you will enjoy.

This fountain was made of pieces of stained glass.

I love this table which was made with a tree stump and a piece of glass. The stump is upside down with the root system supporting the glass.

This was a really beautiful train garden!

A recycled pallet chair.

Lamps turned into a fountain.

I hope you enjoyed the pictures from the Indianapolis Flower and Patio Show.

Happy Gardening!


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Flowering Bridge

Recently, I had the opportunity to go down to Lake Lure, North Carolina for a few days of vacation. We had hoped to leave Indianapolis and go south for slightly warmer weather. Instead we arrived on one of the coldest days on record. Even as cold as it was, we still enjoyed ourselves and the beauty of the area with it's mountains.
While we were there, we took a walk across the Lake Lure Flowering Bridge. The gardens were down for the year, but as a gardener it was easy to identify what plants were planted there. The Lake Lure Flowering Bridge is a really cleaver idea. The bridge was built in 1925, but after years of service it was closed in 2011. A group was formed called the "Friends of the Lake Lure Flowering Bridge" and they created a garden on top of the old bridge for the public to enjoy. The garden was made by building raised beds along the length of the 155 foot bridge and planting with shrubs, trees, annuals and perennials.
All of the gardens on the bridge are maintained by volunteers. They have done a wonderful job in reusing a historical bridge, creating something beautiful and making a wonderful garden to visit and enjoy. If you ever go to North Carolina, stop in and smell the flowers on the Lake Lure Flowering Bridge.
Happy Gardening!
If you would like to learn more about the Lake Lure Flowering Bridge go to