Don’t blame the plants

I’m allowing myself four hours of gardening every morning this beautiful fall.    This is what I accomplished this morning:

There was a hellbore in that hole, Helleborus x hybridus ‘Blue Lady’ to be exact.  I had meant to move her for the last three years, as she morphed from 1 gallon perennial to a two and half by three foot garden bully,  shading out both the pieris on the left and the podocarpus on the right, consequently ruining the shapes of both and the  symetry of my entry garden.  It took me the entire morning to take her out.

I first went in with my favorite trusty perennial spade and broke it – admittedly mis-using it like a lever trying to pop the hellebore out of the ground.   While at Ace buying a new spade, I decided to also buy some potting soil so I could repot that lady and think later about where to put her rather than walking around the garden looking for a spot.  Back at home I went back in with the garden fork.  Not even a budge.  I finally decided to use the Mr’s big shovel but had to hunt around for it first since I hardly ever use it, but that did the trick.

The root ball was huge and I decided to divide her into four pots.  I tried the hori-hori, then the two garden forks back-to-back trick and finally resorted to the axe.  As my gardening hours ticked away, I grumbled about  why anyone would want such a difficult plant anyway – one that crowded out her neighbors and refused to be moved or divided?  And then I remembered those beautiful purple flowers in March.  And her evergreen leaves, hardiness, adaptability.

What do I plan to put in the empty spot?  Nothing.  It would have looked  fine with just the pieris and podocarpus, without me cramming one more plant in.  And I’m hopeful that both plants will fill back out into lovely shapes and touch each other ever so gently.   Also that the little Amemone nemerosa “Robinsoniana’ I planted under the hellebore is still alive and will make an appearance next spring.

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