Plants on the Move

Ligularia, or “The Rocket”, is one of my favorite shade plants.  We have several in our yard, and I like to pair them with Hydrangeas.  They can be somewhat alarming when it is hot, as they droop in the day, but then they perk right up again after it cools in the evening. They come in different heights and leaf colors. I like the large ones with big green leaves.

I am an impatient gardener, and I plant things too close. I seem to forget just how big Hydrangeas get, and that they will muscle out anything next to them if it isn’t far enough away. This happened recently on the north side of the garage. I had planted Ligularia too close to the Hydrangeas, and the they became completely covered.  Ligularia can become quite large, as you can see in the header photo.  The ones in the north bed were puny, so last Saturday I decided to transplant them to a more open space in the fern bed. It is shady and they can predominate over the ferns. I was amazed to see how resourceful the Ligularia were, and that they had actually migrated from the middle of the Hydrangea bed to the very edge of it, as though to escape the larger shrubs. I initially planted them in a straight line with the Hydrangeas, and here they had moved at least a foot north to the edge of the bed. It is as though they tried to transplant themselves.

We have become more strategic landscapers in the past few years,  but our tendency is to plant where there is  room and to fill in empty spaces somewhat willy nilly. I suppose that is why we end up transplanting things a lot.

What is your landscaping strategy?  What have been your successful and not so successful outcomes?


26 thoughts on “Plants on the Move”

  1. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    Early on in my landscape career, my basic strategy was, can I get it for free? Usually that meant it was in my mother’s or sister’s garden. Now, I don’t think I have a conscious strategy, but I suppose you could say I plant for butterflies, bees and birds. The butterflies are visiting my zinnias, sunflowers, and Mexican sunflowers again, which is such a pleasure. It is cooler today, so they will be out in droves.

    I have to go now. Busy morning. More later.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I also plant things to close together. So like you a lot of transplanting. The next task up is to either thin out the orange lilies on the boulevard so that the pink Asiatic Lilly has room or to move the lily. I haven’t quite decided yet.

    I’m not much of a strategist except for the less grass, more flowers strategy. Although I will admit that I have clearly paid attention over the years to how tall different flowers will get and have them staged appropriately. I don’t really remember thinking about this but it can’t all be coincidence.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Morning-

    A few years ago we did landscaping around the house; added paver edging, cut out all the sod, added wood chips to some hills and river rock around the house. It looked great! The chickens however loved the wood chips. It was perfect for them to get into and dig and scratch and peck around it. And consequently scatter all over the yard. So that didn’t work.
    One area we had a retaining wall built and the other area we covered with rocks from the fields. Just limestone rocks, roughly about the size of dinner plates and only about 2″ thick. Looked really nice until the weeds and grass started coming up between. Kelly has gotten some nice spreading / flowering plants to put in there and we’re waiting for that to spread. Meanwhile, we keep weeding / spraying and the chickens still love to get in there between a few rocks and make a dust bath. It’s a never ending battle with them.

    In the garden, I always plant more than I have room for. Even if I add more bales and think ‘OK, THIS year it will be better!’ and then I plant more of something. Cucumbers and pumpkins vines taking over this year. Once I start to see some pumpkins on the vines I’ll pull other ones.

    I’m out to start cutting oats today. It’s that time of year. Wish me luck!

    Liked by 4 people

  4. My landscaping strategy is to NOT have land that needs scrapping or scaping. No strategery (Bushism).
    (Trying to remember how to navigate WordPress)

    Liked by 4 people

    1. That’s kind of the basic strategy behind my no grass more flowers. When I do cut the grass in the backyard it only takes about 10 minutes. And I only plant flowers that come up all by themselves year after year after year.


      1. Those are the names my daughter gave to my adopted budgie sons; her avian brothers. It is taken from the terrific movie Cohen Brothers movie, O Brother Where Art Thou. I think I’ll keep it. But I do need direction in submitting a topic Thanks

        Liked by 4 people

        1. Hey Wessew — you are still listed as a “User” in our WordPress account – under the address. Is that still your email? If not, then I think I’ll need to invite you using the new email. You can send it to me at shelikins at

          If it’s still your email, then you ought to be able to add a post yourself or you can just email to me (or renee) and we can post it for you….


        1. We were planning a visit in September to Columbus, Chillicothe, and North Canton to see Husbsnd’s cousins, but COVID looks pretty bad and one cousin has Lou Gehrig’s disease, so we are waiting until spring.


  5. My main strategy is “try to not kill anything”. I need to be more consistent paying attention to things I plant… And if something isn’t happy where it is, move it somewhere else (but wait till fall, mostly)!

    Strategies I’ve learned from other friend-gardeners, and will start doing any day now:
    – keep a dedicated garden notebook, and write down ANYTHING you don’t want to forget
    – find out ahead of time how tall and how big around something will get, much like VS’ hydrangeas. It seems like there is SO much room in the spring… Also how much sun they need (these things are obvious, I think, to “real” gardeners).
    – weed thoroughly and often in May, maybe June, and then the plants are big enough to shade most of them
    – lots of things will continuing blooming a lot longer if I deadhead them.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. And I will add that it is so nice to have the plants big enough NOT to have to weed unendingly. I have the biggest pepper plants ever this year and they are producing beautiful peppers. 🤗

      Liked by 4 people

  6. The previous owners of our house were even worse landscapers than we are. They planted three blue spruce trees far too close together in the front yard, and we had one removed years ago. The two remaining ones grow into each other since they are so close to one another, and are about 40 feet tall.
    We planted baptesia on two corners of the house to hide the window wells of the egress windows, and they have become enormous. I have to cut them back every spring since they cover the irises if I don’t.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. The 5 year old horticulturist next door came over tonight to help me pick roma tomatoes, and then he remembered to check on the “cantawopes” I showed him yesterday. (He has trouble with l’s and r’s). They are the size of tennis balls right now. We planted Minnesota Mini’s. He then checked on the fatness of the pea pods and the length of the green beans. I swear that child will be on the faculty of some land grant university horticulture department.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Years ago I planted a row of chinese elms that I got from a nursery catalog. They were sold as a hedge plant, but they had the growth habit of trees, and I could never keep them controlled. I finally had a tree service take them out.

    The other big mistake I made was not watching carefully for hitchhikers when I brought divisions into the yard. I ended up with several spots where green goutweed has taken hold. I’m forever trying to dig it out.

    I’ve had a number of successes, though. There’s a rhododendron on the boulevard that I transplanted when one of my gardening clients didn’t want it. It wasn’t blooming well for her. It looks fabulous in the spring, though.

    Liked by 5 people

  9. Portraying my current gardening as having a strategy would be a stretch. If I have planted it, and over the years it has somehow survived the efforts of my “gardener” to remove it, it stays.

    Some years ago, I decided that a packet of “wildflower” seeds would provide a temporary display of colorful flowers. And it was quite lovely, especially if you don’t insist that your plants stay in nice rows or other discernible patterns in your yard. Now I have Queen Ann’s Lace, Columbine’s, and other self-seeding wildflowers popping up here, there, and everywhere. Truth be told, I rather like it. It reminds me of this gem from Rosalie Sorrels’ Report from Grimes Creek, her description of the gardens of her two grandmothers:

    Liked by 3 people

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