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Monday, November 22, 2010

"Wild Life Gardening" Goes a Bit Too Far

As soon as I saw the pansies in flats at the local garden center, I knew I had to get some.

After all, the ones I had planted last year lasted from Thanksgiving until well into spring.

I purchased the same ones that did so well last year - Matrix Yellow Splotch and Matrix Purple - and spent a pleasant morning a few weekends ago putting them in the ground around the young live oak trees in the front garden, and also a couple in the border by the dining room window in the back garden.

I planted them, watered them in and left them to it.  (In my garden, if a plant can't make it on its own, it doesn't belong!)

Then I got busy, as always seems to happen and it was a couple of weeks before i looked at them again. When I did, what I saw saddened me.

A couple of the pansies had been pulled out of the ground and were dried up and dead or dying.

Those that were still in the ground had all the blooms neatly nibbled off.

Who could have done such a dastardly deed?

Um.. it could have been this guy...

... seen here in the vacant lot on the west side of our house.

Here's a longer view, showing our fence... perhaps we should take the Welcome sign off the gate...

Seriously though, I love having deer around and I hope the pansies come back and bloom through the winter and spring. After all, they managed it last year, and presumably we had deer then too. Hopefully in a few weeks, they'll all be looking like the one below, which is blooming, unmolested, in the back garden.

In other garden news...

The Toad Lily that hosted the family of Carolina Wrens this summer, is now blooming. I'm especially happy about this since it suffered some serious water deprevation in the heat of the summer when the nest was in place and I couldn't water it.

Here's another one -- thanks for these Ursula!

I'm rather taken with the way that the sweet potato vine, growing rampantly in the front bed by the garage, is now showing some seasonal color. 

I'm not sure if this can be left over the winter, or if I need to cut it back, pull it out or whatever.  I'm sure I'll do what I always do - leave it to fend for itself :-)

I hope readers in the U.S. have a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday this week.  For the rest of you, have a great week :-) See you on the flip side

Words and photographs by Jayne Wilson, Green and Serene, Jayne's Country Garden.


Ami said...

Jayne: While the sweet potato leaves are not cold-hardy, they will come back once the weather warms up. They love heat. Or, you may take some cuttings to put in the pot, so that you can bring them indoor in case others don't survive. They are very very easy to root. You can just put them in the water, and they grow the roots just a couple of days later, then you can put them in the pot.

My sweet potato vine doesn't show the seasonal color, maybe because of the climate difference between us.

Your Toad Lily is very beautiful, love it!

Sorry about the pansies, hope the rest can survive. Although that deer looks cute which we don't see in my neck of the woods :)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Jayne said...

Thanks Ami - I'll try some cuttings and see what happens. Happy Thankgiving to you too.

leavesnbloom said...

I know nothing about sweet potato vines Jayne but I think that the blushing pink colouration to some of the leaves is very attractive. Your deer are certainly alot bigger than ours. Just once have I seen one walking up the street and I was glad it didn't stop to have a graze - it's normally rabbits that would do that to our pansies.

Murr Brewster said...

I love toad lilies. I'd love them just because they're called toad lilies. I didn't know they came in if they disappear...uh...blame the deer.

Maia said...

Happy Thanksgiving Jane!
Well, I couldn't choose either between the deer and the pansies. How nice to have deers around.

Your garden is still beautiful. We have no flowers left at this time of the year.
Have a nice weekend!

Jayne said...

Thank you Maia. We had a wonderful week with my parent visiting from England.