The Moveable Garden

Our tree Peony keeps giving, year after year, and doesn't seem to mind living in a pot. Checkout the big lumps of pollen on the bee's back knees.

Our tree Peony keeps giving, year after year, and doesn't seem to mind living in a pot. Checkout the big lumps of pollen on the bee's back knees.

A Garden For All: The moveable garden

My brother looked at me sideways, “You’re going to take this with you?”

We were standing in my rented garden next to my rented house. Big brother Bill was visiting with his partner, Alex. Bill has been a weekend gardener for many years, and just moved into a new house in Toronto – so he knows what I’m up against when I replied, “Yep, or it’ll be a ‘You-Dig-Sale,’ but most of it will come with us when we move.”

This is not a new concept for me. I cottoned on to the idea when I lived in Vancouver, B.C., years ago, with my sister. Her neighbors were renters, too, and they landscaped the front lawn of the house into a beautiful bed of perennials that even included a small pond.

We asked them at one point if the landlord was paying them to do the garden. They sat there with a smug look on their face as if they had just eaten the Cheshire cat and said, “Nope, it’s coming with us and we’ll replant the lawn when were done too. It’ll be like we weren’t even here.” It was very inspiring.

Inspiring for two reasons: they weren’t afraid of moving the plants and they weren’t afraid of the work it took to do it.

As I sit and write this, I’m on my patio surrounded by my beloved trees that we’ve had for years now – all in pots, too. Our family of trees has grown to 10 now, all patiently waiting for their spot in our future garden bed. Oh, so patiently, as we now recover from “The Crash” where we lost our down payment and half of our investments – but you’ve already heard those stories…

Our “tree family” is still thriving. Our oldest, a Dogwood that was a present from a friend that I still haven’t identified; and our newest, the wee Charlie Brown Fig tree that’s just barely 2 feet tall.

Our champion, the Alpine Fir is looking as lovely as ever. There’s our Star Magnolia, the Coral Bark Maple and the avocado tree from seed. (Ciscoe says everyone has one of these!) Oh, and our baby, the Corkscrew Willow that we rooted from a branch seven years ago. Most have been in pots at least seven years, and some longer.

The moral of this story is that even if you don’t own your house or apartment, you can still have a wonderful garden – in-ground or in containers, indoors or out. With a little elbow grease and a trip to your local nursery, you can easily surround yourself with your own garden oasis and not just annuals and vegetables either. Find a nice little tree to keep you company for years to come.

Dig up some lawn and plant a perennial, or two, to enjoy this summer, and beyond – and you can always go back later for the grass seed….

And make it like you were never there…

Visit Janit’s Web site; Her online store is, 206-352-0494.


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