One of the biggest mistakes I’ve made as a gardener is not knowing what the properties of the plant was that I was putting in the ground.  This is the case of my mockorange shrubs also known as the English Dogwood.  I’m not sorry I planted them, I’m sorry I didn’t know what I was planting as I planted them in the wrong location.

Some friends of mine at work went walking during their lunch break and came back with a limb with some flowers similar to dogwood blooms asking what it was.  I didn’t know what it was and brought it home and cut off several of the smaller shoots and potted it.  I landed up with five little plants, and still not knowing what I had, I planted it on the east side of the garden where it would get afternoon shade.  They bloomed the first year after planting and were just gorgeous, but they just kept growing taller and taller and leaning toward the east toward the morning sun.  Now they only flower on the side getting morning sun and not on the west side which is shaded.  I find myself in a position that I need to move them to a proper spot receiving sun all day.  They have over taken some of the daylilies in front and are about to engulf a Wolfeyes variegated dogwood which used to be a proper distance from them. Birds like to roost in them and the dogs are constantly running around and through them chasing the birds and have scattered and destroyed plant tags of the surround daylilies, hosta and are breaking down some of my azaleas.

mock orange 2009

With my three hooligans I started an excel spreadsheet years ago of each bed with the names and position of each plant in the bed.  When Patches was a puppy, she liked to chew on and relocate my metal markers.  As I add or move plants, it gets updated as needed.  The metal tags also don’t last very long if you get too close to them with a weed whacker.  Since then I’ve discovered a cheaper source of plant tags that last a little longer around the kids.  I’ll show them in a new post soon.

I spent the day between rain showers trimming the mockorange back to a height of three to four feet.  Noah the neighbors Cheshire cat was across the creek teasing the dogs.  After trimming I found several smaller ones coming up, so I can easily move them to a sunnier location.   I can get to a few of the larger ones with my tractor and plan to dig them up with the loader and move them also. Hopefully they will transplant well.  If I can leave a limb in bloom in my office half a day and still get five bushes to root, they so do okay.    There is  dwarf form out now.  I’m sure what the mature size of it is.

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