I tend to fall in love with pretty much all my plants — even the borderline invasive ones. They all seem to have their own quirks that makes parting with them a bit too difficult.
So every time in life that I have ever moved, which has been around a half dozen times, I always find a way to take my plants with me.
I even had a stipulation on a house I once sold that stated the landscape would be ever changing and that plants may be removed up until the point of sale of the house. Which was a good thing, because the woman that bought it had the entire yard Rototilled shortly after purchasing it because she thought the park-like borders of perennials would be too much work to maintain. In reality, they wouldn’t have been much work at all because I spent a lot of time placing low maintenance replacements into the yard every time I took out one of my beloved plants to move to my new house.
If you have a house for sale now or plan to in the future, be sure that you have it added to your property sales agreement with the new owner that specifies which plants you plan to be removing — before actually taking them.
Be sure that you care for your plants properly before you move them. This means giving them a good drink of water in the days prior. Once you decide which plants you plan to move, you are going to want to dig them up and repot them into garden pots. Unless you already have access to the property that you intend to move to. In that case you can drive them there and transplant them directly into your new yard.
Be sure to check regulations if you plan to be taking your plants across state lines. Some plants are prohibited in certain states due to their likeliness of becoming invasive. Usually the State Department of Agriculture of the state you are moving to can help you figure that out.
Don’t take every single plant out of your yard when you are able to divide a piece off and still be able to leave some landscaping for the new owners. This is also a good plan if you are moving to a place with a smaller yard and want to take a piece of all your plants without having to fit the entire plant into the garden. Be sure to water them and keep them hydrated anytime you remove any part of a plant that has roots. That goes for divisions as well as when you dig up an entire plant to move.
Be sure to make a plan beforehand of where you are going to put your plants before you dig everything up and end up having an entire nursery that you are going to have to water until you have a chance to plant them into the ground. It is very easy to get carried away only to realize that you will quickly run out of room. This will also help you plan your landscape at the new place better than if you just throw everything into the ground in a hurry and end up with a hodge podge design that looks like chaos exploded in your yard.
Finally keep in mind the temperatures. Try not to move plants when it is brutally hot out or freezing cold. If possible, go ahead and wait until weather conditions improve. It also is helpful to remember not to leave them in a car when the weather is either too hot or too cold. There is no reason that you have to leave your planted memories behind, and if it happens that you are not allowed to move your plants, go out there and take all the pictures you want and then head to the plant nursery in the spring and replicate that beauty all over again.
So while other people are making checklists of what to do before moving, be sure not to forget about tending to your landscape as well.
Sacha Burns is an organic gardener and owner of Sunkissed Organics in Pinola. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.