After a great deal of time we finally moved house. The amount of work required to pack up a home after sixteen years is difficult to estimate but let me assure you it is shed loads of work. The seemingly endless trips to the charity shops, the dump and the recycling centre were worth it as it really is quite cleansing to get rid of so much “stuff”. Carboot sales, ebay and the rest were useful too, but it is fair to say that I really would be quite happy to never see another cardboard box or roll of brown sticky tape, again, EVER.
Then the garden. It was hard to really picture leaving the garden behind and yet as it was quite small a great deal of my favourite plants were in large containers, some of which had been for nearly twenty years, Therein was the first problem, how to move them? It took several months of careful planning; who am I kidding, it took several months of ad hoc shuffling plants out of their comfortable terracotta containers and plonking them into large black plastic buckets and pots with the notion that if they survive all well and good , and if not well then so be it. I knew that without transferring them they would be too heavy to shift. So the process started and when the time came, when it looked like we were really going to shift, I asked for a separate quote for the plants. Heavens above was it really going to be £hundreds to move them. Excuse me but no. I will do it.
I asked my colleague, boss man Dave, very nicely, if I might be allowed to store my plants and borrow the truck to transport them; as ever with Dave, nothing is too much trouble and so I was given the nod. Then the work really began. Gardening chum Liz offered to help, bless her, and together we took apart my precious Gabriel Ash upright cold frame. This was a birthday present some years ago and it had to come too. What an effort that was, unscrewing all the parts, climbing inside the structure to get to the screws on a hot sunny day. Thankfully Liz had thought to get herself a tool for the job in the form of an electric screwdriver. Hallelullah. the screws were popped into carefully labelled envelopes so that we could rebuild the thing at a later date, how organised. Sweltering we gingerly moved the sections together with their glass into the back of the truck, wrapped in an old fitted sheet. sweat on our brow we slowly transferred them to their temporary home.
There were trees to move, including Eucalyptus, Olives, Fig, Forest pansy, Acers, large specimens of Hosta, Ferns came too as well as numerous cuttings of garden staples: pulmonaria, Alchemilla, hardy Geraniums, Solomons seal, Euphorbia and some pretties including self sown Verbena bonariensis, Knautia macedonica, Sanguisorba. Boy it took a lot of moving. Liz helped with the first load before having to dash off to do the school run, bet the other Mums wondered what she had been up to, given the state she must have been in, after our sweltering day. Boss man Dave took pity and offered to assist on the second load and so together we shuffled them on and then off the truck. The residual, heavier and larger plants were saved for me and Mr Dorris to wrestle with as well as a rather surprising number of other garden stuff namely the clay pots and ornaments, the next evening. And there they stayed for nearly two weeks, my dear little portable garden.
The strange thing was that I thought I would have dashed straight back up there to collect them and get them brought to the new home, yet I was too darn tired to face the job. The prospect of all that collecting picking up, lifting dragging well you know, you get the picture, was too much effort. So there they stayed against the garage wall in the shade. Then That Norman, my other colleague, took on the tedious task of watering the plants on the (most) days when I was not.there. Thank you, That Norman, you kept them alive in their time of need.
Finally it had to be done, those babies had to be brought home. So I managed the small stuff on my own, then That Norman helped me load the plants onto the truck and I wrestled them off with a last effort from Mr Dorris to get the glasshouse parts and residual plants loaded and unloaded. We did get some looks as we drove through the High street at 25 miles an hour, slowly creeping through so as to do as little damage to the cargo as possible.
Then they were here, their new home. Dumped in a corner maybe, but Phew, what a relief to see some foliage, a few flowers, soft fronds of ferns, clay pots, dolly tubs and all that other stuff that makes up my portable garden. Next job will be to find them a place to grow, a place to finally put down roots.
At this point I need to say a big thankyou to Gardening chum Liz, boss man Dave, That Norman and last but by no means least, Mr Dorris. There is no way I could have done that move on my own, so Thanks!