New England

December, 2006
Regional Report

Clever Gardening Technique

Moving a Shrub
If you have a shrub that you'd like to move to a new location, you can do it now while it's dormant, providing the ground isn't frozen, of course. Even if the surface layer is frozen, the soil underneath may not be because of the warmer than normal weather. Dig in a large circle around the plant to get as large a rootball as possible (or reasonable). Pry one end of the rootball up and slide a tarp underneath. Then heft the rest of the rootball onto the tarp and drag it to the new location. Or use a hand truck to move the plant. Dig the new hole, making it three times as wide and the same depth as the rootball. Plant the shrub, gently firming the soil around the rootball, and water it in.

Favorite or New Plant

Nepeta 'Walker's Low'
Named Perennial Plant of the Year for 2007 by the Perennial Plant Association, Nepeta x faassnii 'Walker's Low' is a favorite in my garden. It's not really low-growing as the name suggests, but reaches about 3 feet high, with silvery green, aromatic foliage. The blue-purple flowers attract bees and butterflies, and with some clipping once the first flush of flowers fade, you can keep it in bloom all summer. It spreads to a wide patch so give it room and a place of prominence. For more about this plant and the Perennial Plant Association, visit: http://www.perennialplant.org/index.asp.

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