The idea that plants must stay planted is limited thinking. An older-than-dirt nurseryman told me once that you just have to move the earth it’s in, not the plant. That can be hard with big plants, like trees. But my Mr. O has a tractor. Two really. Because he tends to over-accumulate. (He also has two pianos, but at least he knows how to play them. I play the radio.) And he has lots of farm equipment and old vehicle motors carefully stored beneath blackberry vines. (I can identify a teeny bit with Buggy Crazy, someone you might have met in the garden ether.)
So the other day I decided, after twenty years, to move a whole rose garden. Nobody told me back at the beginning that the terribly romantic old roses were power-mad colonizers who would overwhelm the garden, my yard, the Earth… Eventually this area evolved to a kind of big square of rose soup, with everyone fighting it out for space while the oaks and maples closed overhead so there was more shade than sun. It became, in short, a rose impossibility, and moving out the whole mess was a simple decision, except for George’s grave.
George was a cat. He could multi-task. He kept the mice out of my really really really old house while simultaneously raising four children, two of mine and two of Mr. O’s but all, apparently, George’s responsibility. For 18 actual human years George took care of all of us until he died one rainy day. Then he was buried in the heart of the rose garden. Today, as I type and you, kind reader, feel my sorrow, our beloved George’s grave is of course carefully preserved, and it is my job to make a new garden around it. Which I will do as soon as the rest of the rose shoots are out of the way. Because the tractor made interesting ruts and did remove some huge bushes but didn’t quite get all the rose bits, as you can see in the lovely photo below. (The stately column marks George’s location.)
Then Mr. O tried the amazing Mantis rototiller, but it has in the at least ten years we’ve had it never run for more than four consecutive minutes without stopping for the day, so its help wasn’t actually noticeable. (If you know the trick to make a Mantis tiller function please tell me and the repair shops and Mr. O right away!)