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Digging up plants


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I have the plumbers working at the moment and they will need to dig a trench next to the house to lay a soil pipe. The proposed site for this pipe is currently a flower bed with several hydrangas, autumn crocus', some climbing roses and a large bush, which I don't know the name of but it currently has a lovely display of pink/red flowers and small dark green leaves will follow. I haven't been able to identify this bush as all my gardening books are still in a box somewhere but I know it's a quite common. I would like to dig up the hydrangeas and as many of the crocus' as possible and replace them once the pipe has been laid. The bush is really too big to move and the roses are close to the wall so I hope that they will be ok. As a very amateur gardener I would love someone to advise me how I should do this.
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If you are forced to dig a plant up, the worst that can happen is that it dies. Inevitably the roots will be damaged, so it is important to prune very hard before replanting, so that the damaged roots do not have to support too much folliage. Use the prunings to take as many cuttings as possible. After all, you only need one to take to replace the plant you've lost. As far as the digging up is concerned, try to dig it up with as large a root ball as possible. Try to have it out of the ground for the shortest time possible and don't let it dry out until the roots have had a chance to reestablish themselves. Then keep your fingers crossed.
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... and a
>large bush, which I don't
>know the name of but
>it currently has a lovely
>display of pink/red flowers and
>small dark green leaves will
>follow. I haven't been able
>to identify this bush as
>all my gardening books are
>still in a box somewhere
>but I know it's a
>quite common.

Sounds like Chaenomeles (Japonica/Japanese Quince/Cydonia) to me!

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The plumber is going to use a machine and I don't know if it will be able to lift the plants out but it's certainly worth looking at. I will definately take cuttings so hopefully I will have some new plants to replace any that don't make it.

Thank you both very much for your help.
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  • 1 month later...
Just wanted to say thanks to all of your for your help. The hydrageas and japonica are back in the ground and looking healtly (touch wood). I have taken loads of cuttings so hopefully I will have some more plants in the future.

When we finally managed to dig the old climbing rose out we discovered that the root was too large to put back once the pipe was in place and as the digger had damaged it quite badly so we decided not to replant it. Will probably buy a new climbing rose to replace it. Any suggestions for one with a nice smell?
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