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I’ve been meaning to count plants that made the move with me to Flamingo Park, but trying to do so with camera in hand is always a mistake. I’ve gone on that fool’s errand at least two dozen times. Today, I put camera on counter and gathered paper in hand. On my way out, I did slip the camera back into my pocket; but I threatened myself good about counting first.

I quickly reached 105, not including multiples of the same plant. It was a good reminder of just how much of my previous garden had made the trek.

A lovely Calla Lily – came with the Alameda house when we bought it in 1980 – is still going strong. It’s had compost over the years, and nothing else.

Most transplants resulted from the deliberate actions of my trusty plant-digging brigade. (I can never say thank you enough.) And I’m happy to report that several hitched a ride on their very own. To wit: Datura wrightii, Echium pininana, and though I hesitate to mention for fear of jinxing—a sweet upstart of a Phormium I’d loved and lost. The parent went missing last winter, completely dead, I thought. So how does that work?

Daturas surprised me. The Poncirus trifoliata was a deliberate transplant.

This Echium picked its own place in the garden. Perfect.

Phormium noid and Canna musafolia.

Oh boy, what I don’t know about gardening is a lot.

Of course, a few didn’t make it. The bigger Manzanitas were faint of heart; but fearing their certain fate if left behind, I wanted to give them a shot. I’ve since replanted a couple favorites, Arctostaphylos x ‘Austin Griffiths’ and Arctostaphylos x ‘Sunset’.  

Arctostphylos ‘Austin Griffth’, Euphorbia rigida, a No id Phormium, Miscanthus, and Sedums. And Grevillea juniperina ‘Molonglo’.

Arctostaphylos 'Sunset' Photo Credit- Patricia Cunningham
Arctostaphylos ‘Sunset’ by Patricia Cunningham at Plant Lust

But I’m still pining for a Arctostaphylos ‘Pacific Mist’ replacement, one I’d planted in my neighbor’s hellstrip. I’m telling you, that A. Pacific Mist had such sweet curves. One wee Arctostaphylos ‘Rogue Gem’, compliments of Mr. Sean Hogan, made the trip just fine.

Pacific Mist Manzanita at the center.

Arctostaphylos glandulosa ‘Rogue Gem’

A further sampling of some of Troupers:
Agave bracteosa, still growing and producing pups.

Agave bracteosa aka Squid Agave in the old garden.


Rhodocoma capensis, waving its feathery hands in the breeze

Rhodocoma capensis


Sedums and sempervivums. Get outta here. Hearts of steel.

Sedum corner — wider shot. That’s the Sea of Juniper garden above.


Euphorbia ‘Ruby’s Fen’ – A robust grower that creates an ethereal garden floor.

Fen’s Ruby Spruge mingles well with everyone.


Hesperaloe parviflora and Lobelia laxiflora var. angustifolia – a happy marriage still going strong

Lobelia laxiflora var. angustifolia and Hesperaloe parviflora


Podocarpus macrophyllus, graceful and undulating.

Podocarpus macrophyllus


Canna musifolia ‘Red’ – hummingbirds love this big bold plant and so do I

hummingbirds love this plant

The jury is still out on a few plants, primarily due to hand wringing over what to put where. A Darmera peltata sat in a plastic bin with little water and no drainage for a couple of months. Then I saw some at Kennedy School, planted in a fair amount of sun, and it convinced me to just get the poor things in the ground. I divided them and they are growing again, but what I put them through first, oy vey. I’ll see what Mr. D. peltata thinks about my procrastination come next season.

The upshot, I am emboldened by plants’ resiliency. This group put up with so much, including the indignity of  transfer in blue Ikea bags. Before the move, I rarely fussed with a plant once I got it in the ground: that seemed like feat enough. But I swear, after all these thriving transplants, I am forevermore dedicated to digging and moving plants when need be—with nary an ounce of hesitation.