Meghan O'Connell2019/02/02

Working with What you Got

Although installing a garden with brand new plants is a joyful part of my work, I have to admit that I love repurposing plants even more. "Repurposing"-- better known in the gardening world as transplanting -- is simply digging up an existing plant in the garden and putting it in a different part of the garden. Easy peasy, right?

Not so fast... if you're moving little perennials (depending on the species), then transplanting isn't all that difficult. But if you're moving some shrubs (or trees) that have lived in the same spot for years, then get ready to break a sweat, and maybe ask your best friend for a hand. (You might want to bribe them with the promise of good food and drinks after).

Below is a series of photos in which two beautiful Amosonia hubrichtii "Blue Stars" had taken over a small garden, as well as three shrubby Caryopteris. You will see in the first couple photos these lovely soft Amsonias dominate the center of an urban front yard garden. I divided them into three smaller forms, moving two of them to flank the front steps, and the third to the backyard. I then moved a low growing Boxwood to the center, where it had previously been completely hidden behind the Amsonias. The following year, I moved two of the Caryopteris to either side of the Boxwood in order to fill in the gaps and allow these shrubs more room to grow.

Digging up all these shrubs was not an easy task, especially in the heat of a New England summer! As a general rule, it's best to transplant in spring and fall, when the weather is cooler and the rainfall is plenty. Thankfully, the client watered diligently and all the transplants thrived. Check out the transformation below!

And because I just love photos of flowers in full bloom so much... I'm including a few of those from this garden below, as well.

Meghan O'Connell2018/05/26

Major Milestone for Green Urb Gardens

This past Thursday, we tackled our biggest project, yet: installing 239 new plants in a client's garden! I ordered the plants from Cavicchio's green house and they sent a truck over with tall crates that had to be brought down with a "piggy back": a mini lift machine that the driver brought with him. We got to work unloading all the plants and then eventually staging them in the beds according to the design, which was beautifully created by Brian Burke of Post-Wild Landscapes.

It was the biggest project I've managed so far and it was definitely a challenge for me. The first struggle was trying to figure out if we had even received all the plants that I ordered... and we found out that, in fact, many of the plants were missing! So as my crew worked to lay out all the plants in their proper garden beds, I was on the phone with the greenhouse trying to figure out what had happened. Turns out they didn't carry three of the plants I had originally asked for and two of the plants were just not ready to sell, yet. So we planted what we had and decided to just get more plants later. 

My second challenge as manager was having a balance of giving direction to my crew and also trusting their capabilities. At the end of the day, everything got done so for a first big project, it was a major accomplishment! I am very happy and proud of the work we did that day. 

It's hard to believe that I'm only in my second year of business. I feel like I've been a business-owner and gardener forever! Surely a good sign that I am on the right path.

Enjoy the series of photos I took from start to finish of the planting project.