Our yard is fully landscaped, and so we needed to find a place for the trees, bushes, and plants that came from the church. We love to work outside and enjoy a new project. As a result, we keep expanding our yard and making the landscaped area of our property bigger and bigger. There’s always room for more living plants.
Last year we planted an old lilac bush that was uprooted from Mom Willis’ yard. It was in the way, and she didn’t want it anymore. After spending a day on the trailer and surviving a wild ride through the canyon, the bush was replanted. We are happily surprised that it stayed alive and is growing. We decided to make a place for these other plants around this orphan lilac bush.
Our children loved playing in the curly trees each week after church. The stake president said they were keeping the ones in the yard, so we only took the two trees that were right up next to the foundation of the Old Paradise Church.
These are also curly trees, but haven’t had the space to grow like the ones in the yard. For being an older tree, they don’t have a very big root system. We hope and pray we can transplant them successfully. We planted them on each side of the orphan lilac bush; they form a beautiful arch.
A hedge of bushes lined the backside of the church. The bushes are fully mature and quite large. It took the backhoe to dig them out. We tried to be careful, but they were still traumatized by the move. It is a lot easier to move young, small bushes than big bushes with strong roots. We loaded them on the trailer and took them home. We made several trips to transport all of the plants.
One of the beautiful trees had rotten roots. The Bobcat barely touched it, and it fell over. We discovered that the roots were decaying and missing. We can't transplant this tree.
We were amazed at how much garbage was hidden in the bushes. We left most of the garbage back at the church, but we were still finding garbage while replanting.
After a long day of digging and moving bushes, we were tired. We only had time to plant the trees. We thought they were the most sensitive and needed to be replanted immediately. We waited until morning to plant the bushes.
After digging holes for the bushes, we positioned them in their new home. Jared and John had to work together to move these big plants. The Bobcat was used to put the bushes in the holes, but John and Jared had to use their manpower to twist and turn the plants and get them positioned just right. We have some black, rich soil on another part of our property. We hauled in this dark, nutrient rich soil to fill the holes. The children shovel dirt in and around the plants and used rakes to smooth the area. We’re doing what we can to encourage the plants to take root, survive, and flourish. We also gave them a big drink of water and have watered them regularly since their arrival.
Jonathan found a set of old, steel wagon wheels out in the field. We made a wooden box out of scrap lumber. The lumber came from a junk pile that a neighbor was getting rid of. The slats on the bottom of the wood box are spaced for good drainage. Since straw doesn’t rot easily, we put a layer of straw in the bottom of the box to keep the dirt from falling through the slats.
Using the Bobcat, we filled the box with a load of dark topsoil. We have a small bucket of marigold seeds that John has collected over the years. There are thousands of seeds, and we planted all of them in the wagon box. Probably way too many seeds, but it should look pretty this summer.
Some lilies were growing in the corner by the chapel and relief society room. We dug them up and replanted them around the wagon box. We’re told that they like to spread their roots and take over a flowerbed. That's great. There is a lot of room for them to spread and grow.
As we spent several days rescuing these plants, some thoughts went through my mind: We took what no one else wanted. We have the machinery that allows us to accomplish this huge project. The items salvaged from the inside the building were dead. If they were scarred during the removal process, they will remain scarred. We took the living things from the church. In time, they will grow, regenerate, and flourish in their new environment.