Monday, June 29, 2009

Living With Deer

I was just reading Diane's post about coleus. I love coleus...they are so easy to grow and propagate and come in so many pretty varieties.

When I visited my mom and sister in MD a couple of months ago, I bought some really pretty coleus at their Home Depot. Their leaves looked like burgundy velvet with lime green edges. I planted them in a very large pot with a few vinca and a start of variegated ivy. They've been doing great all summer and had gotten so huge. I was faithfully watering them and amazed at how big they had gotten and it's only June!

Now I moved in on a herd of deer nine years ago and they were here first. I think they are so beautiful and don't mind that they eat some of my stuff. I know they truly enjoy all the delicious things I've planted for them to eat over the years. Their taste seems to change every year as to what they eat and what they leave for me, but there are a few constants like my hydrangeas and daylillies. I've tried several remedies and they all work to some degree or other but you have to be persistent in application and variation.

Back to my beautiful pot of coleus. Yesterday I noticed the deer had discovered them and munched half the plant away. I was very disappointed but thought at least they left me with half and it would grow back out. So I spritzed the remains with some vinegar (it's been doing the trick at keeping them away so far) and came inside. Look what I just discovered... Arghh!

I strolled around the front yard looking at my gardens that are starting to languish with the heat and lack of rain. I'm running the sprinklers every night and plants are barely hanging on. Here are a few pictures of the remains of some of my plants, which cost $ and so much labor.

My pretty stargazer lilly and hummingbird vine that was on the headboard trellis:
My pretty pot of portulaca:

Another pot of portulaca:
A nice pot of begonias:

They seem to like the purple coneflower blossoms and leave the foliage. All I have left here is fading pink yarrow, which will be totally brown in a few more days.

What is left of four tomato plants:

I wish they'd leave me a little to enjoy. Obviously, it's time to try another remedy. Of course, the babies are arriving now and mama needs to show them what to eat in my yard. There is a pair of tiny twin fawns I've seen just once day before yesterday. I didn't have my camera with me, darn it, or I could have gotten a great picture to share. They are beautiful creatures.