A few years ago my niece purchased the house my mother lived in for 20 years. Although we lived in other houses, it's the house I think of when I remember my childhood. I lived there from the age of 9 until I went away to college. I visited the house for the first time the other day and was struck by the beauty of the land and the rolling hills behind the house. I believe that the land you live on, whether you own it or not, gets in your soul. I still feel a connection there to a life of long ago.
Many of my mothers flowers still grow around the home. One of her favorites were phlox. My niece graciously shared some of those phlox with me. I left them outside in a box for the night. By morning they were severely wilted and for a moment I chastised myself for not taking the time to transplant them the night before.
I shook off the dirt from the roots and tried to gently tease them apart with my hands. I say that, because it's what garden experts say and because I am guilty of saying it myself when explaining how to divide perennials. There was no teasing! The roots were bound so tightly together that I had a difficult time cutting them apart.
I filled a bucket with water and diluted Miracle-Gro and soaked the roots. This served two purposes. It made dividing them easier and revived the poor plants. I also added a quart or two of water to the new planting hole, settled the plants in and watered them again to give them the moisture they needed.
These amazing plants perked up within hours and look like they are always grown in my backyard. I can't wait for them to bloom and fill my yard with the fragrance of a simpler life that we lived so long ago.
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