Moving Tips: Transplant yourself with love

On the move? Here's a strategy that minimizes the stress to our systems so that we don’t go into transplant shock.

Garden Lantern - Moving Tips by Eve

Moving Tips by EveI have a friend who still can’t find her earrings. Another who never did locate the essential first-night-in-the-new-house box labeled “OPEN THIS FIRST.”

A lot of people are on the move these days. For many of us, relocating feels like pulling up deep roots. Could there be a strategy that minimizes the stress to our systems so that we don’t go into transplant shock?

As with roses or peonies, there are ideal conditions for transplanting your people. Each step of the process of transplanting your prized blooms can be perfectly adapted to your own move. Transplant your beloved self in the same way you’d transplant your cherished roses.

  • First, plan the new location. Prepare the new spot, making sure it’s big enough to accommodate the roots. (Take your time to find a home with room enough for your lifestyle.)
  • Get a wheelbarrow to move your rose and ask a friend to lend a hand. (Hire the movers and ask for plenty of help.)
  • Prune back by getting rid of old growth. (Rid yourself of excess stuff.)
  • For roses, hyper-water the day before the move. (Make sure you are well rested and well nourished.)
  • When you dig out the rose bush, retain the root system. (Determine what’s essential and take it with you.)
  • When you lift the plant, most of the soil drops off the roots. (It’s time to let go.)
  • In the new spot, spread out the roots and add generous amounts of amendment. (Stretch out in your new home, be fully yourself, and add healthy activities to your new life so it can grow.)
  • Honor the recovery period. (It takes time to settle into a new home, a new neighborhood, a new community.)
  • Resume regular care after the end of the growing season. (Soon you will be able to return to your routines.)

Just as humans can live for decades in the same home, peonies can be left undisturbed in the garden for many years.

Occasionally, however, it becomes just as essential for us to change and move to new homes as it is necessary to move established plants. Keep in mind that transplanted peonies may not bloom well the first spring. However, flower numbers should increase rapidly by the third or fourth year. As you move, be gentle with yourself. Give yourself time to adjust. Tend to your personal needs; settle in; and before long you too will flourish in your new surroundings.

[Photo: Simon Steiner]

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