Here's a story that's familiar to all of us: you buy a plant in a pot from a garden centre, you take it home, choose a good spot for it, enrich the soil, remove any competing weeds, ensure the plant is well soaked before planting it out, then you plant it carefully at exactly the right depth, firm it in well, and water it.
I must have read that set of instructions a hundred times in various gardening books, over the years: haven't you?
It's never occurred to me that there is one vital step missing. Something so obvious that it doesn't need to be said - you would have thought.
What would that step be? “Remove plant from the plastic pot”.
Yes, folks: look what I found today: a Bay tree, still growing in the plastic pot!
(picture me tearing my hair out, at this point)
It wasn't a small plant either - it had been grown as a “standard” ie one central straight stem with a clear trunk, and a tuft of foliage on top (known in horticultural circles as a “lollipop”), and the whole thing was taller than me.
It must have been an expensive plant when it was young - the clear stem was a good 3' in height - but for some reason whoever planted it thought that it would be more comfortable if it remained in the plastic pot.
So they planted the whole thing.
Amazingly, it does not seem to have slowed this tree down in the slightest: you can see from the photo (with my secateurs for scale) that the trunk is now virtually filling the pot completely! And although I didn't take a photo of the whole plant, I can assure you that it was perfectly healthy, with glossy green leaves all over.
I have to say, I do occasionally find plants still in pots, in other people's gardens - but I've never found one that's taller than I am!