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My brother was a total sweetheart. Remember I got the hedge down but we had this stumps sitting in the way? With no chainsaw at hand I didn’t know how to get them out other than let them rot out (takes about six years) or maybe use an ax (uh no) … this was strongly discouraged by my mom-in-law who said that was bear of a method. Anyways, my brother says “sure, I’ll lend a hand” so I am indebted to him for his kindness. I’ve told him when he’s ready for hostas to come and get the ones he wants. 🙂
The two boys (after hearing gramma says “I’m going to get changed and move those logs”, got grins on their faces and hurried to beat her to the punch. You should have heard them chortle when gramma came out to them all mow. “YOU BOYS! I needed something to do!” Honestly, I laughed to… the look on her face was priceless and the boys… Just fun!
BUT gramma needed a job so I set her and the boys to digging holes for me. I marked them off with a big X and gave them general dimensions. My son learned accuracy with an axe (needed for cutting through roots), and continued community with a non-native English speaker. My visiting son learned new words like hole, bush, axe, “x marks the spot”, pruner, shovel and more. Gramma learned to ASK for the best shovel and to accept help from two eager boys (this is hard for her).
The lad asked questions like “Why are the holes so far apart? Why do they need to be so deep? How do you know how much to prune them back?” and other such questions. It was good to take the time to help him learn. It’s fun you know? The holes were 5-6 feet apart so they have room to grow and I can mow around them. They needed to be bigger and wider then the rootball of the plant you were putting in so the plants roots have soft soil to grow in so they can reestablish themselves. And see below for how I knew how much to cut them back. 🙂
I headed off to trim my gooseberry bush. When my brother was here he walked me around our property and said “cut this one down to here, cut this one here, cut this one back hard, and so forth”. I listened intently and cut the bushes after he left. He’s more brutal than I am comfortable with but… I did way more than I normally would. I still have some trepidation about it all though. 🙂
Look at the piles of stuff though eh?
In between our work done we had our thanksgiving meal. It was very good. Mashed potatoes, chicken, biscuits, cranberry sauce, rhubarb sauce, beets, and peas. Gramma brought dessert of pumpkin pie and orea dessert.
Even though everyone just wanted to rest I had a burn inside me to get those bushes moved so I left the gang in the house, watching TV and chatting, while I disappeared to the backyard. My 13 year old attempted to say “Mom, you don’t have to do this” but I put him off saying “I want to be out here working, I want to muck about in dirt and with shovels”. Appeased he headed back in the house saying “Call me if you need me for anything”.
Lessons I learned. Goji bushes are SUPER easy to move! OH MY! Gramma said it was super easy to prune back too! (I told her how much to cut off). Gooseberry bushes prolificate (we have two babies to find homes for) and very hard to prune with all the thorns they possess. They come out easily enough once you get past the roots. Black currants have spindly roots, which you just have to follow (wet soil is a huge boon in this).
I trimmed back the Rose of Sharon and moved it to a spot where I could mow all around it. I really like this bush as it’s white with red centres in the flowers. Very striking. I discovered it was growing on a slant so when I replanted it I tilted it before I tamped down the dirt. The lad held it steady for me.
Once I had them all in, I gave them all very thorough watering. Plants love water and it helps them not to be stressed if they get a good watering after they are moved around. I remember as a child watching my dad (who loved planting trees) carry out buckets of rinse water from the milking machines to pour over the trees he’d planted.