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Moving on


It has only been a couple of weeks since we put our house on the market – but we have a buyer, we have found our new garden with house attached, and everything appears to be motoring without a hitch (watch out for updates)

However I was rather shocked to find that everything in the garden automatically belongs to the new owners unless I specifically state that it doesn’t, but our buyers have been lovely and are happy for me to dig up the plants that I particularly want.

Which is rather a dilemma…….

How do you decide what to keep and what to leave behind? I nearly had a heart attack when I popped into a nursery the other day and began to tot up exactly how much my gardening habits have been costing us. My endless visits to Sheffield Park gardens, Nymans and Wakehurst have normally ended in a little detour via the nursery to pick up yet another plant to squeeze in.

And that, with a brand new mortgage, will have to stop!

The truly horrendous cost is that of the mature shrubs but there at least I am safe: the new garden is more than adequately stocked, though I shall take a few not least because many have been bespoke presents over the years.

No it is the details that are worrying me. I can see that the new garden has columbines, geraniums, bears breeches -in short all the cottage garden favourites that I shall be leaving behind. But are they the right ones?

As a result I have spent the afternoon dividing like mad. I know that the timing is all wrong – but then many plants are confused this winter anyway and I hope that some at least will survive the shock. I love gardening mathematics. One divided by two is inevitably three which sounds good both by me and the garden’s new owners.

There are a number of bare patches where I have taken something rather larger out, so for once in my gardening career there is actually the space to create a block of colour with my divisions. I wish I was going to be around next year to see it!

Just kidding – if I am still in the same garden this time next year I shall be bemoaning the fact like mad.

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Few things to think about
The new buyers might change their minds if you take too many plants?
Get it in writing exactly what you are taking?
Not everything you take will survive?
Can you plant what you do take straight away?
Everybody has to leave a garden and start again its part of the moving costs?
Work out what is more important to you the sale of your property or taking the plants as I would be really miffed if I had agreed to buy your house and garden and would probably go elsewhere! Sorry but you could loose the sale over issues like this after you have accepted an offer. I think morally the time to say what you are taking is before accepting an offer. Please dont take offense I just dont want you to loose a sale in a difficult market.

6 Dec, 2009


All of this is exactly the reason that I do not expect to move. I do not have the physical abilty to construct the new garden that I would like in me. So the existing plants will, one day, say bye, bye to me and the new owner will bring in a JCB!

6 Dec, 2009


My goodness! A buyer! That's really exciting. I knew about the plants from our move - but as you say, as long as you list anything you really want to keep, it's down to goodwill. It does sound as though you have very understanding people to take over your old garden!

Let us know when it's all happening - and don't forget the camera for 'before' shots, will you!

Good luck.

6 Dec, 2009


Please dont worry that I will take offence Drc76 - I know exactly where you are coming from. In fact the people hadnt seen the garden when they put in an offer as it was dark!

I walked the new people round the garden and had a good old heart to heart with them to ensure that we were on the same understanding. I had intended to leave everything intact till they said - no take what you want - we dont mind at all.

I fear for Bulbaholic's JCB..... This garden is ten years of my life. It is not as neat as the ones on this site and I am not a great gardener, but still it is mine and the plants all have memories for me. Leaving the house will be a doddle. Leaving the garden will be a wrench.

But what made my mind up was when the lady selling the new house mentioned the slow-worms and newts. It will feel like home from home.

6 Dec, 2009


Sorry - I should have said thank you to spritzhenry. What a great idea. I'm not good with a camera and must start remembering.

6 Dec, 2009


I think that is terrific for you. but do get it in writing. Also where you are moving to any possibility of doing some planting between exchange and completion?

6 Dec, 2009


if you were splitting then surely some of the original went back into the soil so they still get to keep some. on our last move i lifted all the plants i wanted before the house went on the market. then the new buyers kept offering me plants when they altered their new garden. we are still friends and share plants about too.

6 Dec, 2009


so glad you have sold your house and venturing to pastures new, how exciting, im sure they dont mind you taking some plants, most people change something anyway, and as a gardener im sure you will leave everything looking as good as possible, good luck and look forward to seeing your new place ;o)

6 Dec, 2009


Wow....Congratulations on selling your house so quickly. It is always a wrench to leave behind all your hard work in the garden. But think of the fun of making your new garden your own. You can always start perennials from seed. It's a lot cheaper and most perennials are as easy to grow from seed as annuals are. It just takes a little longer for your plants to reach maturity.
If I move I would be digging up a good portion of my roses to take with me. And maybe a lot of my perennials too. LOL

7 Dec, 2009


I dread leaving this garden !

I once left a place and the new owners removed the entire front garden planting and had it all laid to tarmac, i'm glad i couldn't see what they'd done in the back :-/

7 Dec, 2009


You have a difficult task there. I did it a few years ago. It took one day to move the furniture, and 3 days to move the plants. And I had already taken some to my father's garden to keep until I could bring them. Good luck I hope the move goes smoothly when it comes.

7 Dec, 2009


Thanks for all the sympathy. I share Louise1's experience. My last front garden was turned to paviers the second my back was turned : they even took the paviers right up to the house. I popped back to see if we had received any mail and the new owner commented on how neat it looked! The least said about that the better.

However, I have better hopes for the new owners this time round - they clearly enjoy the countryside. Perhaps though it will have to be a very different type of garden to accomodate four dogs? I have never been able to have one, as we both commute.

In terms of shrubs I have taken one red dogwood that was an off shoot from the main plant (I had hidden it in a hedge so that it could grow but not matter when I took it), one badly positioned buddleia where they plan to extend the garage to build a kennel, my orange blossom (wedding present from last year with no room to put it - has migrated round the garden and ended up in an overcrowded bed) and of course my baby viburnum.

I haven't touched any of the roses because they really make the garden what it is, but I will put some more into the new garden. Can anyone recommend a more restrained version of Kiftsgate? Think majestic, hipped and fragrant but closer to 3-4m than 7m high!

7 Dec, 2009


Good luck with your move and hope you enjoy your new house and new garden.

7 Dec, 2009


I would take things that were of a more sentimental nature - my dads roses (they've come to 5 houses so far and been fine!) mums plants (lillies etc) that i planted when she died - but just the thought of leaving my garden fills me with horror!! all that time and effort - but at least you will have some fun filling your new garden

7 Dec, 2009

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