Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Who Ate The Hosta?

It's hard to believe that we're already half way through August and that the Fall and Winter months are rapidly approaching.  Without a doubt, the deer that frequent our yard prepare for the cooler weather in order to make it through the winter when food is scarce.  What that means to us "happy gardeners" is that they sometimes devour our favorite plants.  Take my beautiful Hosta, for instance.  I have them planted along each creek right next to the Day lilies...lush and green and glorious...each year I painstakingly collect the seeds from their pods and plant them a little further to increase their territory.  Living here in the Hollow, I have learned a lot about both gardening and deer and am still learning.

However, the deer had a different plan for my plants in years gone by.  They mowed them down to satisfy  their voracious appetites!  So, now we have a fence...oh not an expensive one.  We used what I call "farm fence"...you know, wire and put in with either poles or just by nailing it to a tree.  I wanted to share a great site that I found when searching for deer-resistant plants to put in the yard where they still can and do browse. Go check it out:  Deer-Resistant Landscape Nursery

You may also want to consider some of the following plants for your garden. Compiled by David Jensen of Deer-Resistant Landscape Nursery, the list is divided by seasons and includes ground cover & shrubs.
While you may think that the September might seem an odd month to get started in the garden, it isn't.  You see, fall is a great time to plant because the plants don't grow their leaves during the winter.  So, they use that energy to rather generate their root systems in the still-warm soil.  

Perennials

Perennials rely on their roots to live through the winter. Aromatic foliage accompanies the spring and summer blooms, keeping the deer at bay. Combine perennials on contrasting blooming schedules to maintain visual interest in your garden throughout the growing season.

Spring Bloomers
 Bleeding heart (Dicentra)
 Hellebores
 Narcissus, daffodils
 Euphorbia, spurge
 Siberian Iris, Bearded Iris
 Thyme

Midsummer Bloomers
 Hyssop (Agastache)
 Butterfly Bush (Buddleia)
 Foxglove (Digitalis)
 Lavender (Lavandula)
 Catmint
 Salvia

Late Summer/Fall Bloomers
 Monkshood (Aconitum)
 Bluebeard (Caryopteris)
 Russian Sage (Perovskia)...one of my favorites!!!
 Ornamental grasses

Ground Cover

Creeping ground covers (not only serve to accent shady spaces but also reduce erosion because of their root systems)
Ferns (regardless of species...some of these, I dig up in the woods and just relocate them...doing more of that soon)
Spotted Dead Nettle (Lamium)(I LOVE this as it brightens up any spot!)

Shrubs

Deciduous or evergreen, shrubs retain year-round structure, giving the garden appeal. The vigorous boxwood and cinquefoil can thrive despite harsh conditions.  

 Acanthopanax, aralia
 Berberis, barberry
 Buxus, boxwood  (use the greenery for winter projects...I do!!)
 Potentilla, bush cinquefoil

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