Is it safe to move plants?

Talk­ing a LAT; dis­cour­ag­ing goutweed mi­gra­tion

The Telegram (St. John’s) - - WEEKEND LIFE - Jan­ice Wells Jan­ice Wells lives in St. John’s. She can be reached at jan­icew@nf.sym­pa­tico.ca .

Some­times you just don’t know what you don’t know. Un­til I wrote last week’s ar­ti­cle I didn’t know that I didn’t know any­thing about Apart­ners. I thought I was be­ing very avant-garde (i.e. trend set­ting for non-boomers) to have found out about LAT (Liv­ing Apart To­gether) and to share it with all of you who I as­sumed knew as lit­tle as I did about the fact that it is a rec­og­nized and in­creas­ing so­cial phe­nom­e­non. I do apol­o­gize for that.

I also thank the peo­ple who wrote that the ar­ti­cle was “oh so true” and “right on” etc. and shall re­main anony­mous to pre­vent any pos­si­ble ruf­fling of feath­ers.

This next email leads to some more il­lu­mi­nat­ing read­ing; “I re­ally en­joyed your piece about LAT — I am a Cana­dian film­maker cur­rently di­rect­ing a doc­u­men­tary about this very topic! I my­self have been what I call an Apart­ner for twenty years. All the best, Sharon Hy­man”. http://apart­ner­s­the­movie.com

I’ll go on to some­thing else I don’t know if I know; is it ever safe to move plants from a gar­den with goutweed to an­other gar­den? Ok, I do know that it isn’t ever com­pletely safe but what I’ve been strug­gling over is will I try it and when and how is the safest.

Sharon writes, in an ar­ti­cle reprinted in Phys­i­ol­ogy To­day, “For the record, I am not an ad­vo­cate for cou­ples liv­ing apart. What I am an ad­vo­cate for is hav­ing op­tions. I just do not be­lieve that there is only one way to love, no one-sized-fit­sall, cookie-cut­ter way to have a re­la­tion­ship. (And cook­ing is not my strong suit, ei­ther). It is all about what works best for you and your mate.” I knew a cou­ple in Stephenville who did just that. A wi­dow and a wid­ower, they both pre­ferred liv­ing alone but were a com­mit­ted cou­ple that en­joyed each other’s com­pany for decades. Now that I’ve caused enough trou­ble for an­other week, I’ll go on to some­thing else I don’t know if I know; is it ever safe to move plants from a gar­den with goutweed to an­other gar­den? Ok, I do know that it isn’t ever com­pletely safe but what I’ve been strug­gling over is will I try it and when and how is the safest.

The St. John’s gar­den has masses of sweet (or dame’s) rock­ets, old-fash­ioned columbine, and corn­flow­ers that have

sim­ply re­seeded them­selves over the years and taken over wher­ever they felt like it.

I would love to have them do­ing just that in the land by the grave­yard in Heart’s Con­tent. I could dig up 50 plants, no prob­lem, but even though some of the neigh­bours there are well over 300 years old, I’d still feel guilty about in­tro­duc­ing them to goutweed. One so­lu­tion would be to col­lect seeds from the plants I want and scat­ter them in Heart’s Con­tent. Well, I’ve never had much luck at scat­ter­ing seeds and ma­ture roots com­pete bet­ter with ex­ist­ing plant ma­te­rial and give quicker re­sults.

The corn­flow­ers are al­most fin­ished bloom­ing. The rocket and the columbine have a lit­tle while yet. My idea is to dig them up, thor­oughly wash the roots with the hose, pot them up in clean soil and leave them over the win­ter. Any mis­cre­ant piece of goutweed will show it­self in the spring and I can get rid of that pot all to­gether.

What if ev­ery pot has gout weed? It sounds like an aw­ful lot of work for some­thing that may not work at all if you know what I mean. Even so, to­day it sounds worth do­ing but at the same time sounds like some­thing I doubt I will ever do all by my­self.

(How did I end up at this stage in my life never once hav­ing had enough sense to get tan­gled up with a gar­dener?) An apart­ner might of­fer to help, just as I might of­fer to help him mow the lawn. Ha ha. As I un­der­stand it, one of the at­trac­tions of apart­ner­ing is not feel­ing guilty or re­sent­ful about do­ing or not do­ing do­mes­tic chores, which I sup­pose in­cludes out­doors.

But what do I know?

CON­TRIBUTED PHO­TOS

Sweet rock­ets

Columbine

Corn­flow­ers

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