by Candi Venni 

In May we put our house up for sale. It had been a difficult decision, but in the end we just didn’t need all the space; inside that is, outside was another matter completely. More discussions were had about which plants were our favourites than what kind of kitchen flooring to install. The yard suddenly became a playground full of little friends and we now had to choose which ones to take with us into the next chapter of our lives. Dramatic, right?

As it was early spring we were fortunate that not every perennial was visible, therefore, literally, not up for consideration. Some favourites were just too big to move. ‘The President’ as well as ‘Sweet Autumn’ clematis’, which covers an entire arbour and the enormous Oakleaf Hydrangea, come to mind. A few very easy favourites, that were replanted at their new home the same day, are ‘Jack Frost’ Brunnera and several heritage Hostas who’s big fragrant flowers are perfect for cutting. Plants still on my list, are fairly common but are slow to establish. Now that we have a shadier garden I’m leaning towards plants that take longer to grow such as; Sweet Woodruff, Trillium, Waterleaf, Epimedium & Annabelle Hydrangeas.  Other plants I’d love to take, but are unlikely to transplant well, are the Tree Peony (a magical plant if ever there was one) and a well established Actea racemosa. One of my favourite plants for every gardener, it’s also called ‘Snakeroot’ & ‘Black Cohosh’. The fuzzy elongated flowers smell heavenly and entice bees into fancy, acrobatic maneuvers.

I won’t be able to take the bulbs we have planted over the last 6 years, except the very largest. ‘Fritillaria imperialis’ is a showstopper (people literally pull over) and they should transplant easily. Seeds from our Eranthis (Winter aconite bulbs) have already been collected and sown in our new ‘digs’. Every garden needs these cheerful little buttercup faces poking through the snow.

My hope is that the new owners will be curious and interested in the garden we created; that they will add to it and make it their own, while enjoying the fragrant Lilac, the Climbing hydrangea, the Hellebores and the thousands of blooms on two different Clematis. On the flipside, my fear is that they will rip everything out, including the beautiful old flagstones, and roll out sod in all directions. These are the things we let go of when we move, and the new owners have every right to do as they please.

They say you should never look back and to be honest, I already feel the pull towards uncharted garden territory. Today I’m listening to the chainsaw and stump grinder outside my new window, doing away with a cedar planted too close to this old house. Soon we’ll plant a large flowering Dogwood or maybe a Magnolia, a Redbud or a Serviceberry….but more on the new garden in another article J

Candy Venni is Owner/Operator of Venni Gardens