Complete with Dogs...and Cats has moved.

Come see all of our stories, photos, texts and poems at our new site:

Life with Dogs and Cats

Friday, June 22, 2012

Flower Power

Last fall, I expanded my perennial garden bed. Early in the spring, I began to fill it in and now my perennials grow the entire length of my fenced-in back yard. Plus, there are other beds, next to my house, around my deck, an entire shade garden, next to my shed.

Blame the profusion of posies on the deer. For many years, I planted everything that was labeled "deer proof" or "deer resistant. Funny, the deer didn't seem to read the same guides I did. For so long after I moved into our house, the only plants that weren't eaten were my butterfly bushes. And forsythia, daffodils and cat mint. That's all. Everything else was Bambi fodder. The deer ate holly. Holly! With sharp, pointy edges.

Mind you, we do have a fenced-in back yard. Keeps the dogs in. But the deer merely laughed as they jumped into my garden of eatin'. Don't start imagining that they needed a running start to clear a 4-foot fence. It was like they were on springs. First they're outside, looking in, maybe two feet away. And then, Sproing! they're inside.

So, I bought bunches of pots and dedicated myself to container gardening on the deck.
(More on that in a future post.)

And then we got the deer fence. And I could plant whatever my little heart desired.

I think the years of pent-up garden frustration resulted in my going just a little wild. Now that I can plant, I do. And while there are some parts of my yard that are tidy and organized and landscaped, my perennials are allowed almost free reign. So they go a little crazy. And I love it.

So does my inner photographer. I spend almost as much time taking pictures of whatever is blooming as I do photographing my dogs and cats.


What follows are just a few representatives of my garden photography hobby. All the pictures are from this year's garden.

I like my garden a little wild. My rustic fence is composed entirely of sticks gathered from my yard and woods. It helps create a visual barrier so the dogs don't run amok through my plants.

For the most part, the "fence" keeps Tucker, Lilah and Jasper out. Unless there are deer on the other side of the real fence. Or squirrels. Or birds. Or the neighbor. But we're working on it. If I see the dogs running toward my plants, I call out, "Not in the garden!" and they usually stop and gallop back to me, where they get Mucho Treats.

These two azaleas were so chewed up when we first moved in that I thought they would give up and die. I could never spray enough Deer Out (which does work, by the way, when sprayed often enough) to keep the deer from snacking on them. After the deer fence was installed, these beauties have come alive.

Lily of the Valley: an early spring bloomer. I have these planted several places in my front and back yards. These are extra special because they came from my mom's yard. And, they are one other plant the deer don't eat.

Mountain laurel is on the list of deer-resistant plants--the list the deer don't read.

A large bee--and a tiny one--share space on a blanket flower.

This astilbe has made me into a white flower fan. It just about glows in the dark. I think somewhere I will create a garden with just white flowers.

Another white beauty: Dutch iris. These flowers don't mind wet feet from soggy soil, so I try to plant them where the water tends to puddle.

I got this Asiatic lily from Walmart, believe it or not.

Another Asiatic lily; I'm not normally a fan of orange, but these are so vibrant, they add a bright note to my garden.

Blue is one of the most difficult colors to find in a flower. Unless you're a hydrangea with the right soil pH.

Mountain bluet also shows a shade of blue; other varieties feature different colors.

The buds of the mountain bluet remind me of pineapples.

There are a few shady spots in my perennial bed; this is where my ferns and hostas are happiest. This hosta has huge, thick leaves, and is one of the first to bloom.

Even though hostas are grown for their beautiful leaves and shade-loving attitude, their flowers--on tall spikes--are usually a soft shade of lavender.

Having culled just a few pictures from my many, many, many, I realize I have more than can be enjoyed in one post, so stay tuned...more to come.

No comments:

Post a Comment