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The thing is....


I’m posting up photos and I’m trying to save Norman’s Garden (because it is truly beautiful if a little overgrown) and I absolutely need all the help, knowledge, advice etc I can gather from you all.

But these are the questions I need to ask /resolve

Can I save this plant?
Will it survive being moved?
What is the cost of replacing this plant?
Is the cost and time factor in trying to move this plant far greater than the cost of buying a new one?
Is this plant 10 a penny?

This is a little about cost for me as we don’t have pockets of gold unfortunately. I don’t want to waste my own time moving these plants if a) they won’t like it and are likely to die b) they are ten a penny and I could plant some new ones – basically if all the hard work isn’t worth it.

I can replace old for new to a degree, but my money won’t buy what I have in front of me now, so I’d far rather save what I can, but being sensible about it throughout.

The beds/soil is in a state too. Leaves have not been collected for years and so the soil resembles a compost rather than soil. Under the canopies of these plants it is total mess! From that perspective, it would be easier to completely take out what’s there and start afresh.

But then I would feel a bit like a murderer – I know that is silly, but I feel something. I feel it is wrong to just decimate it all and lose all of Norman’s hard work.

Am I being silly?

Or do you understand where I’m coming from?


Please advise me… Lucy xxx

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Hi Lubytuesday and welcome! What a lucky lady you are! Just looked at all your photos, it's such a shame that you will unfortunately lose some of this garden. I am sure it will be possible to save some of those lovely plants, but we are entering the warmer part of the season which is not the ideal time to start pruning and moving alot of plants.
Norman must have worked hard for many years to leave this. I don't think you are silly, you seem to have a passion for this garden, that has to be a good start!

Not being an expert, i see you live very close to Exbury Gardens, have you ever been? It might be a good idea to perhaps ask someone there for advice, as they are experts on all the plants in your garden and must have almost identical soil. Your garden is very similar albeit on a much smaller scale!!! I wonder if Exbury was Norman's inspiration?

Good luck with your project hope this will be some small help for you!!

27 Apr, 2010


Hi Luby and welcome to GOY having read your profile as well, my thoughts are wait and see? (most plants are better moved in the dormant season anyway). Norman being the man he was will almost certainly have planted a good garden and the soil will also be very good around the plantings. Plants can take years to establish and minutes to dig up and destroy. Why not start with some tidying up and take it step by step as the new growth appears it may become obvious why Norman planted each plant where he did. Gardening is not all about what we can afford? Its also about time and patience while things mature?

27 Apr, 2010


Thanks for your comments guys. My only problem is that time isn't really on my side! The bungalow is being demolished in July and they will probably put the driveway to the second house in then too. I hate to think of all the dust etc and disturbance for these lovely plants. I want to wait for them to, as you say, move into a more dormant time, but I may have to move them into containers at the start of July! If only I was on the ball with them earlier. Before Christmas though I was commuting all week back and forth to Cardiff and Norman's garden just didn't get a thought unfortunately. (I took redundancy at Christmas though so am home far more!!!)

27 Apr, 2010


By the looks of it the roots are going to be very big and theses shrubs seem to need Ericaceous Compost? so will pots be practicle? also I think you will loose a lot if moved to pots in July? If you have to move them I would think sooner rather than July? and into the ground not pots? I wonder what the others think?
Why dont you put all your relevant pics and the question of moving in the question section to see what the other members have to offer?

27 Apr, 2010


I understand how you feel but sometimes you have to be rutheless. However I hope you can save some of the plants. I'm no good at giving advice sorry but I wish you luck instead lol

27 Apr, 2010


It's not impossible to move these plants now. If we have a hot summer they will find it increasingly uncomfortable and will struggle. you will find yourself spending many hours just giving them water!! If you could find an empty plot you could at least give them a fighting chance rather than puting them into pots. To try and help some of them you could try to trim some of them back, but you will lose flowers next year. Reducing their size will help them from losing water through evaporation. Some of them look to be far too big to move, so sadly they will have to go but maybe you could take a number of cuttings.

27 Apr, 2010


Some great planting there,the azaleas are absolutely gorgeous.
Hope you can save some of the plants,but that's some job with the size of them&the summer coming.
That about Tiger1234 suggestion of taking cuttings? You can continue the life of Norma'n plant like that with the satisfaction of growing them yourself. On the other hand,I do hate thinking about all these wonderful plants just being ripped out and dumped.

28 Apr, 2010


Yes me too. Thanks for all your suggestions. So what about this cutting malarkey then Tiger1234? Talk me through it!

(Possibly not another bed I can transfer them in to ;-( )

Thanks for all the comments and suggestions

28 Apr, 2010


I wouldn't worry about the state of the soil either. If the leaves have stayed on the original soil for years, they're gradually turning into leaf mould, which is just what your woodland shrubs like the rhodos and azaleas like.

Unfortunately, as I've said elsewhere, I really think that some of those beautiful azaleas are far too big to move. I've never taken cuttings from them, as I have the 'wrong' soil to grow them, but post a question on that -and then at least you can carry the 'line' and spirit of Norman's garden on.

I know it's not what you wanted to hear - but if there are other shrubs or plants, then post their photos as questions and we'll try to ID them for you. It might help you decide whether to try to save them or not.

28 Apr, 2010


Hello once again Lubytuesday, sorry it took so long to get back. I think the best way forward is to try and take SOFTWOOD cuttings. These type of cuttings should root easier and quicker at this time of the year. Try to take the cuttings from the tips of newer growth. Strip back the lower leaves and shave off the bark at the end. You must dip these cuttings into rooting compound before inserting them into suitable compost. Hopefully you can take many cuttings from the plants you want to save, - at least the more of them, the greater the chance that one will root!

The above method will apply to most of your plants, but i'm sorry, i'm not sure how to save those lovely heathers, other than moving the whole plant!

Your next problem is finding somewhere to put all of these cuttings. As i understand you are demolishing the bungalow, you will need to keep the new cuttings under cover. do you have the use of a shed or greenhouse? Perhaps friends or family could help!!

You also said the budget will be tight,if you can save all of your 2- litre plastic bottles and tops, they make great little propogators and create the ideal rooting conditions.

I really do hope you can achieve the above for your's and Norman's sake!! As many members have said, it would be sad to just bin the lot. If just one cutting was to survive, it would be well, well worth the effort.

Wishing you lots and lots of luck, Tiger.

28 Apr, 2010


Tiger thanks so much for your response, and to everyone else's too. Thank you very much.

Tiger I'm a big drinker of water which comes in 1.5L bottles. I didn't understand what you meant about propagators so I had a look and I've just seen a video on youtube of someone propagating a vine. It wasn't quite the same as the guy tied the propagator to the vine and hung it off with a piece of string - he didn't cut the shoot from the original plant. See

So I take the very grow growth of the azaelea, I feed it through the top of a bottle that's had it's bottom cut off....can you talk me through it step by step if you wouldn't mind?

Either I will buy a greenhouse, or I'll use Guy's parent's greenhouse. Also what do I do with the rooting compound?

Thank you sooooooooooo much everyone. Really thank you. xxxx

29 Apr, 2010


Tiger1234 I've just seen that you are in my COUNTY!!!!! This is exciting news!!!! You don't fancy coming and giving me a masterclass in person do you!!! ;-)

29 Apr, 2010

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