So I recently joined Freecycle, where people give away stuff, and someone was giving away an Indian hawthorn bush. Since I have a lot of yard to landscape and not much money to do it with, a large, free flowering shrub sounded like a great idea. The woman said I could come dig it up. She described it as about four feet tall and five feet wide.
“Can I dig it up by myself?” I asked. She said she would help me, and she thought together we could get it into my Toyota hatchback, maybe with some pruning beforehand.
I was expecting something a bit airier. Something I could squash into my hatchback. So I almost fainted dead away when I saw this monstrous plant. The shrub is, I’m guessing, 30 years old. It had a trunk about 10″ in diameter, and it was solid, unyielding branches and a zillion roots, some as big as my arm..
Gamely, I got out my shovel, and this very tiny woman got hers, and we went to work. Some of the roots were more than three feet long; they extended under the driveway, under the house, and around pipes. Eventually we had to resort to a saw to free the bush. It took an hour and a half.
Thankfully, the woman’s boyfriend was around to help us wrestle this behemoth into my little car, and they even provided some bungie cords to secure it and an old red T-shirt to tie on the back.
Rob was, shall we say, surprised when I came home with this thing. (He knew nothing of my nefarious shrug wrangling activities.) But, being the good sport he is, he helped me wrestle the thing out of my car. (And here is serendipity for you; earlier in the day, having no idea I would be getting this bush, I saw a garden wagon at a yard sale and bought it.) So we were able to pretty easily roll the bush into our back yard. As twilight settled in, we quickly dug a great big hole (thank goodness the ground is still wet) and planted the sucker.
Given the sad state of its roots, I don’t know whether it will live. But hawthorns are hardy, so I will keep my fingers crossed. I think the birds will love it.