The buffet line is open

Imprints from deer hooves are four inches deep in the swampy rear garden. The muck seems not to deter their visits, and as the garden enters winter dormancy, deer are invited to dine at their leisure.

While not a favorite, Sweet Kate spiderwort must be protected by a deer repellent.

The repellent was last sprayed in early September, I think, though perhaps it was August. Now, several hostas and hydrangeas have been nibbled, but tonight’s freeze is likely to do more damage, so why worry?

The seedling coneflowers with one last flush of blooms before winter.

There is no concern that deer will develop bad habits, and be back for more next spring. Regular evidence confirms that deer travel through the garden, dry or muddy, repellent or not, but the repellent minimizes damage as long as I don’t stretch too long between applications, or forget. Did I spray in September or August? A few missing leaves will remind me.

All but a few Encore azaleas are flowering in late October. Only Autumn Twist, usually dependable, has flowered poorly in late summer and early autumn.

In a few weeks, vulnerable evergreens will be sprayed with a double concentration. Aucubas, hollies, and azaleas (above) are safe through most of the year, but at risk through the winter months. After spraying, my primary concern until mid-April will be shooing squirrels away from the bird feeder.

Presuming that a thirty degree (Fahrenheit) night will put an end to many flowers and perennial foliage, this morning’s farewell tour noted the garden’s every bloom. Certainly, camellias will continue to flower through any early freeze, and soon mahonias will bloom, though today they remain in tight bud. Flowers of Mahonia ‘Beijing Beauty’ (above), less notable by comparison to ‘Winter Sun’ and other late autumn flowering hybrids, are fading, a consequence of a typical brief spell of flowering rather than related to the onset of cool temperatures.

Persicaria ‘Red Dragon’ displays a few stray flowers that have persisted through light frost, but undoubtedly will perish in tonight’s freeze.
Toad lilies will survive light frosts, but will not make it through temperatures that drop into the mid and upper twenties forecast for later in the week.
Rankin jasmine has flowered sparsely in recent years until October, with occasional flowers into December in mild temperatures.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. tonytomeo says:

    Rhododendrons, azaleas and pieris were our main crops for many years because deed did not damage them. We did not need fences until camellias came along.

    1. Dave says:

      I’ll spray camellias before winter, but rarely do deer bother them. Azaleas are nibbled very carefully to eat leaves, but not stems.

      1. tonytomeo says:

        Wow, those are some discriminating deer. I do not think those in our neighborhood would put that much effort into eating azaleas while there are other things for them to eat.

  2. Ruth says:

    Dear Dave, I didn’t realise deer repellent was so effective! Thanks as always. 😀

  3. Linus says:

    How much sun does your Rankin jasmine get?

    1. Dave says:

      Probably not enough. No more than half day, but less now with the angle of the afternoon sun.

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