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Geranium move


Finally decided to cut back, lift, split and replant one of the geraniums. Chose the one by the shed – I wanted to burn some of the wood I’d cut or collected, and this one hung over the paving, restricting access to the mini-barbie that I use as a fire-bowl.

(the barbie is under that inverted white tub; I use that to keep it dry when I’ve laid a fire ready to be lit – the heap of foliage in between is what I’d cut previously, drying out to be burned in turn.)

Started by cutting back – amazing how much there was to be cut back –

I spread the cut stems on the lawn to give the bees a chance to take whatever nectar was left

Immediately gave me a lot more space on the paving; I hadn’t realised how much room that geranium took up until it suddenly didn’t.

(the cut wood is now at the bottom left of the pic. The table is there to give cover to my “wood-stock” collected on previous walks; the wood on top had got wet so I was trying to dry it between rain showers)

The geranium did not want to come out! Put the fork round it from as many angles as I could reach, and got it up eventually. Given how much trouble I’d had splitting the Carex, I expected a bigger struggle with the geranium, but it broke naturally into small clumps, as I eased them apart each clump fell into yet smaller clumps – ended up with about 20 of them (and this from the smallest of the four geraniums!)

Each had good roots, so decided to spread them around the front beds – which called for me to dig them first and get out the layers of dead-shrub-roots still in the ground, and pull up more dead heather – if I could pull it out one-handed with a small tug then it was well dead! The ones that didn’t come out with a gentle tug I left in, hoping they still had some life in them.

This was around noon or 1pm, the sun was blazing and there wasn’t a breath of wind – I very soon wished I hadn’t started, but once started, I had to continue, didn’t think that the plants would survive long out of the ground.

Had to work in short sessions – apart from my back and knees, every few minutes I had to take off the rubber gloves, then take off my specs so I could wipe off the trickling sweat!

I put 6 in the side bed, as it’s wide enough to have staggered plantings, and 4 each in the narrower front and back beds – I spread them fairly widely, to give them room to grow, and also I thought about planting split Welsh Poppies between them, giving blue-and-yellow strips.

Put bark around each and watered it in; rather than “bark” the whole bed I thought I’d just do each plant; it would give it some protection and also let me know where I’d already put stuff. (There was already bark on the side bed that I’d dug previously, but I cleared space, put the baby in and put the bark back, then added a bit more.) I had meant to water everything that evening but fell asleep instead.

There were a few babies left over, so I put one back in the space I’d taken the full plant from – I might have left bits in there that’d grow back anyway.

Still left me maybe half a dozen babies which I intended to put into pots, but forgot; I covered the roots with an old tea-towel and damped it to try to help them along, but that was two days ago and I don’t suppose they’ll have survived now.

Anyway, got at least 15 bits out of that one plant, so if even half survive I’ll reckon that a good deal.

And still got three bigger ones to sort!!

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Good work, Fran ...
I hope the small plants grow in their new locations.

15 Jun, 2014


fingers crossed, TT. It just occurs to me that I could have potted them all and only planted them out when-if they started growing. ah well, maybe next time - if these do take, won't be room to split the other geraniums

15 Jun, 2014


Sorry- silly question but in picture no. 3 have you got two snakes, one on the bucket and one on a black frame?? Had my sons look at picture as well and they think they are snakes - real or plastic??

15 Jun, 2014


Your blue petals look a bit like my borders and path Fran after 'the nasty black and white cat' murdered the newly minted wood pigeon. I nearly got him with my new water gun...but only nearly.That cat is far too crafty. Hope the torn assunder geraniums survive.....water water and more water. They are pretty tough cookies. I ripped up the old aubretias the same way the other day. Buried bits of them and the baby sparrows were dust bathing in between. So I was forced to keep the soil moist. Best time to do these tasks I tell myself, is a cool autumn day, not in a heatwave!

15 Jun, 2014


hi Amsterdam. Yes, those are snakes, rubber ones - my last place was infested iwth squirrels and I was trying to scare them off, not with noticeable success! got to find homes for them here, where they look like they belong - turn a corner on the path and suddenly see a snake hanging from a tree nearbt ...

@ Dorjac, fingers crossed they take, if they don't , got three more larger shrubs to split and distribute! I think these are windblown, though at first i did wonder if one of the visiting cats had made a nest in them.

it rained again today or late last night, but I'll try to remember to wheel the hose out and connect it up for the first time and give everything a jolly good spray

lol if I'd realised what else was involved in taking that plant up, I'd have left it!

15 Jun, 2014


Nice work Fran! Glad you're getting sunshine, it's been miserable here all week. I can't complain though, as I haven't had to water in my new plants, and the turf was easier to lift when wet. I finally got it all done today! Yippee! You'll enjoy these geraniums in the front next year...all for free too! :))

15 Jun, 2014


Wow no wonder you fell asleep. You have been so busy Fran, great job well done on gaining so many plants, they will be enjoying a bit of room now to spread their roots. Hope you got the bonfire going well. :O)

15 Jun, 2014


@ Karen, I would have swopped you some sunshine for rain or even drizzle that day!

You've lifted your turf? was it difficult? thinking of doing that here, for the centres of the lawns at least (leave a grass walking strip round the edges) for gravel and raised beds.

@ Olive, thank you! I want to lift and split a couple of Welsh Poppies before I lose the momentum. both front and back beds of the front garden are stuffed with bulbs, so that should be all that's neded for year-long displays.

I did get the fire going, thanks; seemed to burn a lot but not as much as I'd got ready for burning! but kept it oging for about two hours - I don't start till dusk, cos it's not fair on neighbours otherwise - and I was getting a bit stiff and chilly, well the back of me was, the front was warm enough! I must get a bigger "hearth" - this is only about a foot across so wood has to be broken small enough to fit without risk of it tipping out as the inner bit burns - some bits did fall out, but I always have water on standby

15 Jun, 2014


Goodness me, once again you don't do things by half Fran. The geranium is/was a lovely colour so I do hope all your hard work pays off and they all take, then you should have a stunning display next year.

17 Jun, 2014


thanks Waddy, with any luck I'll have rows of them before long

18 Jun, 2014

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