A glorious weekend

With fresh memories of stifling heat and humidity, this weekend has been an absolute joy. Forecasts days earlier promised cooler temperatures, but Virginians know that mid seventies can be joined by high humidity to be much less comfortable. Stepping outdoors early Saturday morning I could hardly believe the cool breeze. I hesitate to say cold as my wife would, but she is off visiting a sister in northern Idaho where temperatures are even cooler, with a hike delayed due to overnight snow at the higher elevation she had planned.

No, no snow here in mid June, but a welcome break from recent nineties, and a great opportunity to spend the weekend out in the garden, with half the time spent working without dripping in sweat. One overdue chore was spraying the deer repellent, and lest I put this off another week I was startled walking up the stone path at the side of the house by a deer (above) beneath the Chinese snowball viburnum (Viburnum macrocephalum). I was within a few feet when it bolted through the branches, but it stopped after twenty feet and looked back to assure that I was not just passing through so it could resume its feast (below).

After a short chat, I headed towards the garage to fill up the sprayer, and now it’s likely there’s a foul taste to anything my new buddy might sample.

The lilies are now at their peak, of course I cannot recall planting many, and have no clue of the names of any. I looked forward this year to starting a nice colony of Turk’s-cap lilies, but while others are now several feet in height, an online vendor’s delivery just arrived with several inches growth that had evidently been held in check by refrigeration. I’ll be interested to see what becomes of these and several Louisiana irises with live roots but no growth in evidence, and of course it will be disappointing if these don’t make it.

A few of the lilies now flowering were chosen from catalogs for their bizarre coloring, and typically I expect this to be exaggerated. I’m not certain I like the color and pattern of a few, but still I’ll enjoy them for the few weeks they put on their show.

8 Comments Add yours

  1. Bonnie C. says:

    Dave – how do the blooms of the Chinese Snowball viburnum compare with the blooms of Snowball hydrangeas? My mother had one of the above (I don’t know which one) that had HUGE white Snowball blooms that she’d cut for bouquets & also use in dry arrangements. I’d like to plant one & am leaning towards the vibernum because I’ve heard that it tends to be at least deer-resistant while hydrangeas are deer candy, but was wondering how the blooms compare size-wise.

    1. Dave says:

      Since the Chinese Snowfall is mostly in shade it has few low branches and none that deer can get to, so I can’t comment on their deer resistance. But, the flowers are nearly identical to large blooms of mophead hydrangeas except they flower earlier. I’ve seen snowballs rebloom in late summer but not in my garden. While I must spray a deer repellent regularly, I seldom see damage to hydrangeas that I don’t spray or spray lightly in passing. I don’t spray summer flowering paniculata varieties and have never seen damage, though deer do not hit all areas of the garden.

  2. cgrantg says:

    Dave, I’m new to gardening, having lived in cities most of my adult life. Would you be willing to say what brand of deer repellant you use? I started using Plantskydd a year or so ago — it works, it stinks. But it discolors the foliage (main ingredient is blood), and this year the initial application caused anemone leaves to start to curl around the edges. I’m afraid of using it again.

    1. Dave says:

      I’ve used a few brands of deer repellent over the years, all with good results. At one time I rotated two brands so that deer don’t become accustomed to one, but now I spray Bobbex and every other month or every third month I mix in a small amount of a pepper spray used as a squirrel repellent. Most of the repellents I’ve looked at use a scent, mostly Sulphur or wintergreen based, along with a sticker that helps it last a month without washing off in the rain. I’ve found these equally effective, and suspect your leaf curling might have been with an application on tender, newly emerged leaves.

  3. Chuck says:

    What deer spray are you using…how often do you spray and is it effective? I think they should allow year round hunting…at least in my yard

    1. Dave says:

      I currently spray Bobbex with good success. I spray every 5 weeks, but sometimes it strays a week longer or until I see the first hosta eaten.

  4. Chuck says:

    Sorry. Should have read comments before asking

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