Moving Day

Mathieu's plant settle into my spare room.
Mathieu’s plant settle into my spare room.

It was brightly sunny and painfully cold (-20) when my son Mathieu and I moved his houseplants to my place yesterday. He’s moving to Montreal and wants me to care for his plants until he and his girlfriend find a permanent home. Not the kind of weather I would have chosen to put any plant outdoors!

I figured the car would have thawed out on the way over to his place (about 15 minutes from here), but the seats were still rock hard from the cold. I parked in total illegality in front of a fire hydrant, but with blinkers on: surely the cops would understand that we were moving incredibly delicate living beings than can’t stay outdoors more than a few minutes?

Mathieu had already packed the plants, covering them with black garbage bags. We raced them down the slippery steps and into my car. About 20 of them, of all sizes. Fortunately they all fit on the back seat. We simply dropped them off in my front hall upon arrival: I didn’t unwrap them until this morning.

How did they fare during the transition? I won’t know for a few days: my experience is that frosted houseplants often look fine at first, then the damage shows up later. Fingers crossed!

So, where to put them? At this time of the year, my place is jammed with houseplants and other overwintering vegetation. Also, I didn’t want to have to search for them throughout the house when Mathieu comes back for them. Finally, I decided to remove most of the plants from our spare bedroom, scattering them stuffing them in here and there throughout the house, then put all his in that one room. With a large, south-facing window, they should do fine. In fact, they should do better, as many of them are pretty light-starved. Let’s hope he finds a place with big, sunny windows!

Garden writer and blogger, author of 65 gardening books, lecturer and communicator, the Laidback Gardener, Larry Hodgson, passed away in October 2022. Known for his great generosity, his thoroughness and his sense of humor, he reached several generations of amateur and professional gardeners over his 40-year career. Thanks to his son, Mathieu Hodgson, and a team of contributors, will continue its mission of demystifying gardening and making it more accessible to all.

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