Garden for Sale or How to Grow On

I returned home the other night from a 6-mile walk to find Maurice waiting for me on the porch. I’ve been avoiding him—living my busier and healthier life—and I’ve been trying really hard not to think about what I am going to have to do soon.
Since my health is of the utmost importance, I’ve decided it’s best to sell the house during the divorce process. This means that my garden will go too. When I first moved in, I always used to joke that the house just happened to be in my garden. I wish I could separate the two, but that’s not possible. The garden will go with me in other ways.
So now begins the difficult process of choosing what I cannot leave behind and it is so odd to pick what seem like favorites—but they really aren’t. It feels more like I am picking the plants that define my garden style, and I’m finding that quite interesting. Many of the plants I want to take with me in containers are not at all the showiest things. But maybe that’s because as a seed hoarder, I know the potential of little tiny seeds and something tells me that if I work hard enough I will have a larger blank canvas waiting for me in my future.
So let me know, what plant would you take with you and why? I am actually really curious, and to be honest, it would be nice to hear from others right now…
Damask rose. I will be taking one of these with me.

16 thoughts on “Garden for Sale or How to Grow On

  1. I had to do this when I left my home behind in Spokane. Granted that garden was only two and a half years old but I poured my heart into it. I took the rare or meaningful (hosta from my grandmothers garden) and anything I new would be a great starter for the “new” garden…I left things that were integral to the garden, I didn't want to create holes and hoped that future gardeners would appreciate it.


  2. I would take the plants that we've inherited from family. Peonies, dicentras, astilbes, anemones, rudbeckias, kolkwitzia, asters, horse radish, gooseberry, hepatica, iris, aquilegias, hostas, day lilies, goldenrods, all the memories; the flowers and plants that my husband and I grew up with and are now the custodians of. And maybe the three rhododendrons that my husband and I picked out together for his deck while he was expatriated and we lived apart – he returns for good this Friday.

    So I guess I too would take the plants that define my garden; the sentimental plants that carries with them good memories.

    -And were my husband and I ever to divorce I'd definitely take the plants that came from my side of the family, and perhaps one of our shared rhododendrons. After all, a marriage that is no longer right for either of you still began as “right”, and I think one should remember that. At one point there was love, and even love gone is worth remembering and celebrating. Even if later on it turned into crap!


  3. Like you I knew I could start a whole new garden from seeds. I loved my garden in Massachusetts, but there were also things I didn't like about it. I really looked forward to starting over with a new design and new garden. I made lots of mistakes with the old garden, and of course, with this one I fixed them, but made a whole set of new ones! I didn't actually bring anything from the old garden except seeds.


  4. Sigh…sounds like it's been a hard decision…but I hope it goes well for you…onward and upward! As for what I'd take…that's a toughie. It would be tempting to take everything, of course, but that's hardly realistic. I suppose I'd take the things (as Loree mentioned) with sentimental value (things my dad sent me) and the things that I had a hard time finding…although I don't tend to have too many super-unusual plants. Perhaps a grass or two that I don't see around much (yes, I'm a nerd), one of each Rodgersia, and lots and lots of cuttings…I've discovered almost everything in my garden can be propagated by cuttings 🙂


  5. Tough decisions. I filled my medicine jar with okra seeds when I came to Holland this trip.(We live half the year here and half in Texas) We can't get them here. Enno brought jalapena pepper seeds. They are growing much to our surprise. What will you miss the most when you leave? Take it with you. xo Jenny


  6. We moved from Camps Bay, rented for a year, then started this garden. My garden travelled with me in pots. LOTS of cuttings. I plant mainly indigenous and over 20 years of Kirstenbosch annual plant sales, we had collected what I loved, and learnt to love. Then the plants with a story … a cutting will keep that story unfolding for you.
    Finally, if you look around your garden with our/blog eyes what will go with you? Our removal van was half full of plants, which shocked me. I've just been trawling my archives for early garden pictures, and it amazes me how large plants have grown, which started only a few years ago, as cuttings in one litre yoghurt pots!


  7. good luck with your new space!
    I'd take my Coprosma 'Black Cloud' and some of my harder to find dicentras and corydalis, Crocosmia 'Culzean Pink' and just a few dozen other things 🙂


  8. Søren,
    I have so few inherited plants. The most special one is a lilac and it's from a cutting, of a cutting, of a cutting taken from my great-great grandmother's lilac she once had in Eastern Oregon over 100 years ago. It's already in a pot and it ready to go.

    And ohhh how this did turn into crap! I am seeing that more and more. Luckily I am feeling more and more like me again.


  9. I will miss many of the plants I grew from seed so I will take those with me. Some will come with me in pots, others will travel is glassine envelopes.

    I have to admit that Holland and Texas sound quite wonderful! It's great that you're able to take those seeds with you too.


  10. I'd have to take my tiny Saxifraga fortunei 'Silver velvet' it's survived moving all around my garden, never gets any bigger,but comes back every year.


  11. I find myself in the same position, and the process of deciding which plants I will take with me into my new life (and which have to stay, or find new homes) is almost more heartbreaking than everything else. Good luck with your new life!


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