I’ve spent the best part of seven years cultivating my crop circles and the surrounding herb and veggie garden. It is the birthplace of farewell my manicure, the resting place of many well loved chicken friends, the five o’clock chardonnay quaffing spot, and the place of many hours of toil, tilling, harvesting and joy. So for me to just walk away from this place with all the hard work done is very bitter sweet.
Take the newly planted Mulberry tree that I received as a Christmas present from my in-laws. An expensive gift as they bought a mature tree to ensure that I saw it fruit in the new year. I am torn between digging it up and leaving it behind for the next home owner to enjoy its bounty, and believe me a full grown Mulberry tree provides buckets of fruit and loads of beautiful filtered shade.
Similarly leaving THE BEST ROSEMARY BUSH EVER is going to be sad. This bush has allowed me to make skewers for kebabs, brushes for BBQ basting, bouquets for family and friends and toasty fragrant toppings for roast veggies and lamb.
And what about my third generation pineapple plant? In its first season of 2.5 years it taught me patience, in its next incarnation the process sped along to one year and now in its third yield I am wondering if the gestation period is halved again! Is it possible to get a pineapple in six months? I guess for this particular plant I’ll never know.
So now the house is on the market, what are the rules regarding what one can take and what one must leave behind?
Before photos are taken and the listing published it’s open slather. Uproot, repot, trim limbs, and take cuttings at will. The agent will even allow you to write a list of exclusions from your contract of sale which can include certain plants that you wish to take with you. To avoid confusion during open for inspection its smart to mark them with ribbon so that they stand out. All potted plants are deemed transportable so it is widely assumed that they will leave with you but be very clear when it comes to big pots and planter boxes to stipulate if you are excluding them from the sale.
But if I may add a small word for your consideration…before you remove any plant that is happily living and growing in your garden, ask yourself two questions:
1 – will the removal of this plant take away some of the ambience of the garden that may help with the sale? If you love the garden just the way it is, chances are it will be appealing to a prospective buyer.
2 – will the plant survive the transplant anyway? Is it worth the risk?
Once it’s listed? What then?
Once the house is listed and open homes have begun you are not legally allowed to remove plants, chop down trees or make any major alterations to the garden.
So in my case I am going to leave the mature plants in place to be enjoyed by the new occupants, remove the veggie pod from Urban Food Garden which will be great for a rental, and take cuttings and seed on my journey to the next destination.
One thing I know for sure is that I will share this blog with the new owners so they can read the stories of the origins of the crop circles, each precious plant and chicken friend planted there and each joyous moment. It may not dissuade them from pulling it all down to make an extension to the house, reorient the pool deck or create a children’s playground but it may encourage them to treat the space with love and dignity whatever the future may hold.