"We'll need to get that sumac out of the pot if it is going to survive" said the Hub.
(He says "we" all the time but we both knew he meant me.)
I went out and gave the sumac a bit of a tug to see how tightly wedged into the pot it was. It didn't budge. I reported back in.
The Hub opined "Yeah, I'm pretty sure you won't be able to get that out without breaking the planter to do it."
I'm not sure if he said this purposefully - we've been married over thirty years and the man knows me pretty durned well. Because he could have fallen on bended knee and begged me not to destroy this symbol of our undying love and that argument would not have gotten me any more dead set on removing the sumac tree without breaking the pot than simply telling me he was pretty sure it couldn't be done
I'll spare you the excruciating details - the scene of the extrication was startling enough the Hub came hauling into the house to ask me if I had seen....? Did I know what happened there?
I had. I did. The important point to focus on was that I by golly got that sumac OUT of the pot without breaking it and all that remained was to find a spot where I might be able to wrestle an opening out of the rocky ground out front and replant the little treelet where hopefully the roots would get some breathing room and it could return to its former glory.
Naturally we couldn't agree on a spot. We couldn't even agree which side of the house was best.
I was determined to plant the sumac out front to provide some screening between our front porch where I love to hang with a glass of wine evenings and the view across the way. My current vista consists of a monoculture zoysia lawn and a construction site.
The Hub felt just as strongly we (again with the "we") should plant the sumac out back. He's sure the deer will browse it to the ground. He says he remembers us moving the sumac out back after just such a deer assault years ago.
|Look carefully in the center of this shot and there she is - the Little Sumac That Could (or at least Has So Far!).|
But back to my lovely, rescued blue pot. It was tantalizingly empty. I spent several days with it sitting out front where I was pretty sure I wanted to position it, trying to decide what to place inside.
A lightbulb went off. I'd recently re-read an old "how I did it" post from Central Texas garden design star Pam Penick on her Digging blog that outlined how to make a necklace of sorts for a pot. I didn't have any shards or broken china to employ but I sure enough had a load of leftover glass beads from a different project abandoned years ago.
Borrowing a second idea from Margaret Roach, east coast garden blogger extraordinaire at A Way to Garden, I filled the bottom third of the pot with rolled bubble wrap (I kept it on its side to assure drainage) then filled the rest with soil. This keeps the pot light weight enough to move easily and saves on precious soil.
I transplanted in a struggling mealy blue sage (Salvia farinacea) that wasn't getting enough sunlight at ground level. I propped the whole shooting match up further on two limestone blocks to catch additional hours of sunlight, and et, voila! A new lease on life for the blue pot and the blue sage.
A lot of our work in the garden is all about hard labor spent in hopes of future outcomes. After a couple of weeks spent pushing back invasive ground covers and pulling out Bermuda grass, the immediate gratification of this little project was just the right antidote.