3 Ways to "Move your Garden" when Moving House

05 Jun 2013

3 Ways to "Move your Garden" when Moving House

British summer time is here - or at least for this week - and with temperatures hitting the 20s, many of us our outside and enjoying our gardens. But what happens to your beloved garden when you move house?

Here are 3 ways that you can legally "move your garden" to your new home:

1. Digging Up & Transplanting

Small Plants & Shrubs
Clump-forming shrubs, such as periwinkles, can be dug up and cut into several rooted sections. Whilst sucker-growing plants, such as lilacs, can simply have their new shoots sliced off (with root). Rooted specimens of both these types of plants can then be potted ready for moving. Simply slice a couple of small sections off, and re-plant the main plant.

Hellebores and foxgloves drop seeds which grow into young plants. These small, young plants can be quickly dug up and potted, ready for transfer to their new home. Remember to leave the more established plants in the garden to continue to thrive.

Large Trees or Specimens
However sentimentally attached you are to larger plants, these are better left where they are as they get very established within a couple of years. Attempting to move them may do more harm than good, plus the removal would have to be negotiated with the vendor of your home.

If you do decide that a large tree is too valuable to leave behind, then you need to dig up a large amount of soil with it to keep it alive - this can make the plant extremely heavy to move and may need special lifting equipment.

2. Splitting

Flowers that form clumps and grow from bulbs (snowdrops or Michaelmas daisies) can be split quite easily. Autumn and spring are the best times to do this. Simply dig the whole plant up, pull off a handful of bulbs, pop them in a pot with some soil and return the rest to the ground.

Whilst perennial plants can be split by slicing off shoots and a piece of root from the edge of the main plant. Pot them up immediately until you are ready to re-plant them.

3. Cuttings

A huge range of plants, including trees, shrubs, and climbers, can be propagated from cuttings - including fruit trees and roses. This is probably one of the easiest methods of moving your favourite plants without disturbing the existing garden.

  • The ideal length for a cutting varies from plant to plant but most shrubs, etc, will root from 7cm-10cm (3in-4in) cuttings.
  • Simply prune a healthy shoot from the shrub, cut immediately underneath a leaf joint and also cut off the tip. Then remove all other leaves except the top pair.
  • Take several cuttings and insert them in a pot of cutting compost where they will start to root before you move. 
  • Dipping the end of each cutting in hormone rooting powder will assist rooting.

These 3 ways of "moving your garden" are all completely legal methods of transplanting elements of your garden to your new home. However, remember to moderate your takings so to not offend the new owner. You will also need to take into consideration your new location and soil type before attempting to move any of your plants as a shrub that likes clay will not do well in chalkier conditions.

From a legal point of view, it is wise to make sure that you secure your rights to anything from the garden so that you avoid any misunderstanding. List the plants, containers, garden ornaments, bird tables, etc, that you are taking with you, as you would with the fixtures and fittings in the house, as once contracts are exchanged, both parties are legally bound in agreement.