Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – July 2019

Anethum graveolens [©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com]
Floral fireworks for July: dill (Anethum graveolens)

Happy Bloom Day, all! It feels good to be back. It’s been kind of a rough year here so far, garden-wise: too many other things that needed attention (including writing several times a month for the mid-Atlantic section of Fine Gardening‘s website), compounded by a new deer problem. In the last few weeks, I’ve been wavering between trying to reclaim the garden and basically giving up for this year. The process of putting together this post has propped up my enthusiasm for the good things that are going on out there, and I’m ready to see what I can do to get things back on track. So, I truly thank those of you who have encouraged me to start blogging here again, and I hope you enjoy seeing some Hayefield highlights from the last few weeks.

Let’s start in the meadow, which has been the place I can most easily appreciate–mainly because it does its thing regardless of my input. There are always weeds and deer out there, and yet there are always many lovely surprises and beautiful finds as well.

Tradescantia ohiensis [©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com]
I’m not crazy about spiderworts (Tradescantia) in general, because they tend to be sprawly and take up a lot of space. Ohio spiderwort (T. ohiensis) looks great in the early-summer meadow, and then other plants fill in once it is past its peak.
Anthoxanthum odoratum [©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com]
Sweet vernal grass (Anthoxanthum odoratum): Not native, unfortunately, but abundant and pretty, and it does have a pleasantly fresh, sweet scent when dried.
Eragrostis spectabilis [©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com]
Purple lovegrass (Eragrostis spectabilis) seems to be getting trendier, and I agree it is beautiful in flower (as here) as well as when it’s in its rosy purple cloud stage as the seeds form in late summer. As lovely as this native grass is in the meadow, I have spent too much time weeding its seedlings out of the garden to appreciate it as a border plant.
Baptisia alba [©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com]
I have no problem appreciating white wild indigo (Baptisia alba) wherever it wants to grow. I’ve been spreading the seeds of the original plants over various parts of the meadow for the past several years, and they’re finally reaching flowering size. They bloom around the same time as wild quinine (Parthenium integrifolium) and Ohio spiderwort (Tradescantia ohiensis)–late June this year–for a beautiful white-and-blue combination.
Galium mollugo [©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com]
Knowing how readily the galiums can get out of hand, I hesitate to leave hedge bedstraw (Galium mollugo) in the garden, but it’s charming in the meadow and attracts many insects (sadly, it’s not native, though).
Platanthera lacera [©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com]
One of my favorite finds each July: ragged fringed orchid (Platanthera lacera). It’s not particularly rare or showy, but any wild orchid is pretty special, I think.
Rhopalomyia solidaginis damage on Solidago [©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com]
These are pretty neat too: interesting rosettes on the various meadow goldenrods (Solidago) caused by goldenrod bunch gall midge (Rhopalomyia solidaginis) laying eggs in the stem tips. The “green rose” stage lasts for just a week or two; then the stems generally branch and go on to flower in fall.
Corylus americana [©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com]
A developing nut on American hazel (Corylus americana)
Allium vineale [©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com]
These wild garlic (Allium vineale) heads are just so silly!
Allium canadense [Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com]
Meadow garlic (Allium canadense) also has a lot of personality.

Back in the garden, a few stalwart perennials have proven to be unappealing to the marauding deer–so far, at least (and I’m pretty sure the rotten thing has sampled some of everything by now).

Allium x proliferum [©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com]
Yet another outstanding allium: top-setting onion (Allium x proliferum)
Syneilesis aconitifolia [©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com]
Umbrella plant (Syneilesis aconitifolia): I find the flowering stems to be floppy in shade but strong in sun.
Rudbeckia maxima [©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com]
Giant coneflower (Rudbeckia maxima) is finally starting to seed around a bit.
Parthenium integrifolium [Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com]
Wild quinine (Parthenium integrifolium), also known as American feverfew, starts flowering in mid- to late June and continues through the summer.
Cynanchum ascyrifolium [©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com]
Cruel plant (Cynanchum ascyrifolium, among other names) produces a flush of bloom in May. Those stems elongate and sprawl in June, and then there’s another flush of flowers from July into early fall. I was hoping the seedlings I started a year or two ago from purchased seeds would flower this year, so I’ll have some males and some females and can get some seeds to share, but I guess it’ll be another year yet.
Iris domestica (Belamcanda chinensis) [©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com]
Blackberry lily (Iris domestica, though I’ll forever think of it as Belamcanda chinensis) is always a July highlight.
Platycodon grandiflorus 'Axminster Streaked' [©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com]
Beautiful ‘Axminster Streaked’ balloon flower (Platycodon grandiflorus)
Sanguisorba 'Little Angel' [©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com]
I know deer will feed on burnets (Sanguisorba)–watching how the plants respond to that is how I learned the clumps can be cut back hard and still recover. Luckily, this ground-hugging ‘Little Angel’ has escaped being eaten…so far.
Diervilla sessilifolia [©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com]
Southern bush honeysuckle (Diervilla sessilifolia): the bees adore it and the deer don’t.

Sadly, the vegetable garden is pretty much a total loss for the year, with the beans and tomatoes, in particular, getting repeatedly munched back to bare stems. I’ve been concentrating on protecting the edible and ornamental annuals I really want to collect seed from: some old favorites and some new additions too.

Zinnia 'Profusion Yellow' [©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com]
It’s getting harder each year to find ‘Profusion’ zinnias around here, but I managed to score a few ‘Profusion Yellow’ this spring. It’s such a nice color!
Petunia exserta [©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com]
I thought I’d lost Petunia exserta after not being able to collect seed the last two years. I found a few seeds in an old packet in my seed box this spring, and they germinated quickly. It’s looking fantastic now and I’m hoping to get fresh seed from it this year.
Petunia integrifolia [©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com]
How did I forget to grow Petunia integrifolia for so long? I’m very pleased to have this little gem back in the garden.
Scabiosa stellata [©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com]
In bloom, starflower pincushion (Scabiosa stellata) is moderately interesting.
Scabiosa stellata [©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com]
The same drumstick pincushion (Scabiosa stellata) flower a few days later. Isn’t that a great-looking seedhead?
Adonis aestivalis [Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com]
Summer pheasant’s eye (Adonis aestivalis): small flowers but a big pop of color
Emilia javanica [©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com]
Tassel flower (Emilia javanica): the usual scarlet-red one
A new one for me this year: Florida tassel flower (Emilia fosbergii)
Centratherum intermedium [©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com]
Another one that’s easy from seed, just starting its months-long bloom season: Brazilian bachelor’s button (Centratherum intermedium, aka C. punctatum)
Asperula orientalis [©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com]
I kind of gave up on growing blue woodruff (Asperula orientalis) because it’s hard to collect a useful amount of seed, and no one else seemed interested in it anyway. Happy to see this one pop up on its own, though.
Didiscus caeruleus [©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com]
I was disappointed when I sowed what was supposed to be Trachelium caeruleum and ended up with Didiscus caerulea. I got over it; these are really nice for cutting.
Abelmoschus moschatus 'Mischief' [©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com]
Found a few of these seeds when I was sorting through my seed box this spring: Abelmoschus moschatus ‘Mischief’. I didn’t have luck in previous attempts but it is doing well this year–particularly the one I have in the greenhouse with the black cotton plants.
Crepis rubra [©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com]
Another one I had luck with for the first time this year: pink hawk’s beard (Crepis rubra). It was a short but delightful show.
Ceratotheca triloba 'Alba' [©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com]
The bloom season for white South African foxglove (Ceratotheca triloba ‘Alba’) is just starting now and will continue until frost–assuming the deer doesn’t take a liking to it.
Ipomoea quamoclit 'Alba' [©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com]
Another long-blooming white flower: white cypress vine (Ipomoea quamoclit ‘Alba’)
Zaluzianskya capensis [©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com]
I thought it would be nice to have some night-fragrant flowers for my little sitting area out back. This is night phlox (Zaluzianskya capensis), also known as midnight candy. I find the scent to be somewhat elusive: powerfully vanilla-almond sometimes and non-existent at others–not sure why. It’s so cute that I will definitely grow it again; it was easy from seed.
Mirabilis longiflora [©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com]
Sweet four-o’clock (Mirabilis longiflora) has a much more consistent fragrance. Though the plants look somewhat weedy during the day, the evening-opening blooms are quite elegant.
Nicotiana suaveolens [©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com]
One more for night-time perfume: Australian tobacco (Nicotiana suaveolens)

And to finish, some foliage highlights.

Asclepias curassavica 'Monarch Promise' [©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com]
‘Monarch Promise’ tropical milkweed (Asclepias curassavica): Dramatically variegated leaves and pods, and spectacular flowers as well
Commelina tuberosa Coelestis Group 'Hopleys Variegated' [©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com]
Day flower (Commelina tuberosa Coelestis Group) produces brilliant blue flowers. They’re eye-catching on their own and even more striking set against the variegated foliage of ‘Hopleys Variegated’. I grew it from seed last year and overwintered the tubers in my basement. Good thing, as no one seems to be selling the seeds this year.
Nicandra physalodes 'Splash of Cream' [©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com]
Another combo of blue flowers and variegated leaves from seed: ‘Splash of Cream’ shoo-fly plant (Nicandra physalodes)
Porophyllum ruderale [©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com]
Papalo (Porophyllum ruderale), also known as papaloquelite and Bolivian coriander: Aren’t these cool-looking leaves? The dots are large oil glands, apparently. They’re most obvious when the leaves are backlit. To be honest, I really don’t like this plant, because of the horrible smell; I grow it for friends who actually like the scent and flavor of cilantro. I can harvest from this plant for them all summer to frost–as long as I wear gloves so the odor doesn’t get on my hands (eew!).
Rumex flexuosus
Another oddity: New Zealand dock (Rumex flexuosus). Grows readily from seed and looks great with other coppery-leaved NZ plants, such as bronze sedges (like Carex comans and C. flagellifera).
Nicotiana tabacum 'Variegatum' [©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com]
Yet another bit of fabulous foliage from seed: variegated tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum ‘Variegatum’). Out of about 12 seedlings, only two had variegation like this. I’d been hoping to grow N. langsdorffii ‘Variegata’ too, but the seeds I got this year ended up being a completely different nicotiana.
Not from seed, but one of my favorite trailing plants for containers: variegated St. Augustine grass (Stenotaphrum secundatum ‘Variegatum’)

Well, that was fun. I’m ready to get back out there and see what I can do to get more things spruced up before next month. I wish you all a marvelous midsummer! Don’t forget that you can check out what’s going on in other July gardens around the word at the main Garden Bloggers Bloom Day post at May Dreams Gardens.

35 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Nono on July 15, 2019 at 5:14 am

    Hello Nan, I’m very, very happy to read you once more. I was precisely think of you the last week, when I was in my garden. Have a good day, Nan, and many good times in your garden also. Your better french supporter.

    Thank you so much, Nono. It is so nice to hear from you. I hope your garden is growing well for you this summer!
    -Nan

  2. Posted by Susan Gilmour on July 15, 2019 at 6:02 am

    Good morning Nan, thanks for putting a smile on my face this morning. Was so happy to see your email. It’s been a hectic summer for me as well, so much rain and cold weather I’m having a hard time keeping up with the weeding. And the annuals aren’t growing. I too have lots of deer but have trained them to stay out of the gardens with 5 gal buckets, 10 lb test fishing line and cans tied to the fishing line put on top of the buckets. Then I put the string from the cans around the gardens on stakes about every 25 feet. You have to have it all around your gardens, I have lots of buckets out there. This is the only thing that has worked for me. I have tried all the spray products, the irish spring, the hair, the urine! And I have two dachshunds so they weren’t a deterrent either. And they are short enuf so that they go under the string! When I have garden tours, I leave them mostly in place so people can see how I keep the deer from eating everything. The only problem is you have to check them everyday, if the deer hit the string the cans fall off the bucket and make a horrible noise, almost gave me a heat attack the first I stepped into the string by mistake. So it definitely scares them. You have to reset the cans if they do that but I know you are in the gardens daily so that wouldn’t be too much problem.I also put small rocks in the cans to keep them in place on the buckets and they make more noise as well. If I’ve totally confused you, I can send you a pic! Thanks for the post, love seeing all the different plants you grow. Hoping you have a great day. TTFN…Sue

    Hi Sue! I can perfectly envision the setup from your description. I think I can see a way that might work here, at least for the veggies. Thank you so much for the suggestion. Here’s hoping your summer garden gets going before fall arrives!
    -Nan

  3. Posted by Jan Wirth on July 15, 2019 at 6:27 am

    Loved your post, Nancy and happy you are writing again. I, too, am losing the battle this year with the deer. They are eating EVERYTHING.

    Aw, so sorry to hear that, Jan. Before this year, I thought I had some first-hand experience with deer and could relate to other gardeners who had deer problems. In hindsight, I really didn’t understand how devastating it can be to go outside every day, hoping to find new things in bloom and finding only munched stems devoid of buds.
    -Nan

  4. Posted by Jean on July 15, 2019 at 7:00 am

    Nan, was so happy to see your new post and so enjoyed your beautiful photos. One would never know your garden suffered. Thank you for sharing.
    It made my day!
    All the best
    Jean

    Thank you so much, Jean! I didn’t know if anyone would even read my blog anymore. Hearing from “old” friends and getting such an enthusiastic response has really made my day as well.
    -Nan

  5. Posted by Karen Lee Rossow on July 15, 2019 at 7:20 am

    Nancy, so very glad your back! I was disappointed when I thought you had stopped. It is wonderful to see your photography and to read about new plants I have never seen. I live in Tasmania (Island off the coast of Australia). I lead an isolated life as I am my husband’s carer but these ‘little poppets of joy’ make my day. Karen

    Well, that alone made this post worthwhile, Karen; thank you ever so much. I’m looking forward to doing more posts as the growing season progresses. I hope you take care of yourself too. I know that being a caretaker can be rewarding but also very challenging.
    -Nan

  6. Posted by Dawn on July 15, 2019 at 7:22 am

    What a treat to find your blog in my inbox this morning! Your photographs are beautiful and inspirational. Thank you.

    Happy Bloom Day to you, Dawn. I really appreciate your kind comment. Thank *you* for reading!
    -Nan

  7. Posted by Lorraine J. Wallace on July 15, 2019 at 8:20 am

    Hi Nan, you never cease to amaze with the wide variety of plants you grow from seed. I have fond memories of looking forward to your donations when I was in charge of the Hardy Plant Society seed exchange. I don’t do much from seed these days but my eldest son who lives in Brooklyn has the seed bug. Makes my heart go a flutter!

    Hi Lorraine! That is such wonderful news about your son. If there’s anything you know I have that you think he might like, let me know; I would be happy to send them to him, or to you to give to him. A love of seeds should always be encouraged!
    -Nan

  8. Posted by Kate Patrick on July 15, 2019 at 8:50 am

    Nan, how great to have you back! Love the unique plants you grow and the close up plant portraits are great. The only thing that really works for deer is a fence over 7 feet tall.

    However, some things that have been somewhat helpful for me are Bonide deer repellent spray and the use of Milorganite early in the year (March here in Zone 7, Tennessee). I put two handfuls on or around each plant I wish to protect as they begin to emerge or even before. I repeat monthly but just scatter the granules after the initial application. Milorganite is processed sewage sludge from the city of Milwaukee. It stinks for the first week, especially if damp. It is used primarily as a lawn fertilizer, I think. Deer don’t like it and learn to avoid the area.

    Another ploy is to erect a temporary electric fence and bait it with strips of aluminum foil smeared with peanut butter. Again, the deer learn to avoid the area and you can take down the fence. It also helps to have friends who hunt although I could never shoot one myself. I have had lots of deer here in the past but am fortunate enough that the crops on the farm down the road are apparently more attractive than my garden for the most part. I wish you the best… constant deer pressure can be discouraging.

    Oh, Kate–I think you are really onto something with the electric fence idea. I’m almost positive it’s just one deer, and I don’t think it is jumping in, but rather squeezing through the high-tensile wire fence. At least, that’s how it is getting out when I chase it. (A very slow-motion chase, as it doesn’t seem at all afraid of me, even when I get nearly close enough to whack it with a stick.) Maybe it’s unrealistic, but I’m hoping that discouraging this one menace might be enough–at least for the rest of this season. Thanks so much!
    -Nan

  9. Posted by Bruce sternberg on July 15, 2019 at 8:59 am

    Nan–so glad to see your photos and comments to remind me of things to play with.
    Expensive solution: a deer fence. In maybe eight years of having one, only one deer entry when gate was left open.

    Good to hear from you, Bruce. Yeah, I think I may have to put an additional fence inside the main fence, so I have a safe place for the veggies and need-for-seed things. Sigh.
    -Nan

  10. Nancy,
    I was so excited to see your post this morning. I have missed them greatly. You have so many beautiful plants and I appreciate the knowledge you share about them. I really enjoyed seeing your Baptisia alba. My seedlings from the seeds you gave me are doing very well. I hope to see them bloom next year

    Hi Nicole! That is terrific news about your baptisia seedlings. B. alba does seem to take a year or two longer than B. australis to flower, but it is definitely worth waiting for and then just keeps getting better every year. Best of luck with them!
    -Nan

  11. Nancy, I was overjoyed to see your Bloom Day post again. I have just started rereading Robin Wall Kimmerer’s book, Braiding Sweetgrass, and last night I read the chapter, “Asters and Goldenrod.” I hope to travel in October for a meeting in Onondaga County NY and may see this beautiful array of complementary purple and gold of the asters and goldenrod–if I am lucky. Anyway, I still have the photo you so generously shared with me.
    Your meadows are so beautiful despite the issues with the deer–they are such beautiful pests, aren’t they?! In early spring last year, they ate my tulips before they had a chance to bloom.
    Your Alpaca buddies–how are they doing?
    Verna

    I too am very much looking forward to aster-and-goldenrod season–and to the return of cooler weather. I admit to not seeing the beauty in the deer that treats my garden like its personal salad bar, though I do still like seeing them at a distance. Kind of like bunnies: so cute in pictures and in the wild but NOT in the garden.

    Sadly, I no longer have the boys with me. I lost Daniel in 2017, and I had to have Duncan put to sleep just a week ago. Fortunately, I had been spending a lot of extra time with him this spring and summer, knowing that he was getting old and might not have much time left. I’ve not yet gotten used to him not being here. No more animal companions for me; it’s too heartbreaking, you know?
    -Nan

  12. Posted by Deb on July 15, 2019 at 9:56 am

    So very glad to hear you are well, but somewhat overworked, lol! We too had issues with deer and ended up calling state fish and wildlife office re deer. Turns out we weren’t the only ones having issues. They allowed an extra hunt due to overpopulation in our area and it’s somewhat better. But, you must let them know, you need to be able to have a vegetable garden after all! We wish you the best and thank you for your lovely post.

    Hi there, Deb! Thanks so much for sharing your experience. I know hunting is necessary but try really hard not to think about it. Or rather, I used to try; these days, I think about it quite often. Seriously, this one deer is so brazen, coming in during the day and not moving unless I get really close. I suspect I could knock it out with a good whack from my walking stick but I’d probably get in trouble for doing that. Maybe I can invite a local archery hunter to hang out on my porch when the season starts this fall.
    -Nan

  13. Posted by Patricia Evans on July 15, 2019 at 9:59 am

    I’m visiting from GBBD and delighted to see your eclectic garden. You obviously start a lot of plants from seed. I buy the seeds, then never get them planted! The deer here (I’m in western NY just south of Rochester) have reached over-population status and nothing deters them. I removing their favorites like hosta and day lilies, but they just keeping eating everything, even the plants on the deer resistant lists. Anyway, it was refreshing to see such an abundant garden (the weeds are hardly noticeable).

    Welcome to Hayefield, Patricia! I really appreciate you visiting, reading, and commenting. You’re funny about the seeds; you know they grow better if you plant them, right? (Kidding!) I know what you mean about the lists of supposedly “deer resistant” plants; mine is not reading them either. Oh well. Happy Bloom Day to you!
    -Nan

  14. It is always a treat to find a post from you. I always discover new plants and usually learn something as well. I have Syneilisis in a fair amount of sun as well and agree about those long flower stems. Quite interesting how much sun it can take since I think it is generally labeled as a shady plant.

    Hi there, Linda! Yes, I think people tend to put it in shade because it looks something like a Podophyllum in leaf. Definitely not in flower, though.
    -Nan

  15. Great to see your post this morning. I’ve worried about you, but hope if you were not blogging that you had gone on to more profitable ventures, and had no time for your blog fans. So it’s good to see you online again.
    I’ve been expanding my lily collection in recent years, and each year grow more enraged when hundreds of perfect lily buds disappear into deer maws in one night. Last year I created a new idea: Buy lots of cheesecloth, cut into 18” rectangles, more or less, drape over top of lily bud scape, tie with string around stem. This creates a show-stopping vision for my neighbors and passers-by. One neighbor calls this now-annual scene, “the taking of the veil.” Sun, air, and water pass through the cheesecloth, but the skittish deer won’t come near the scary plants. As each variety approaches bloom, I remove the cheesecloth. Oddly, the deer only like the buds, and don’t eat the fully developed lily flower. A bit of work, but worth it.

    Oh, Marcia–that must be quite the sight. What we gardeners will go through for our flowers! After losing EVERY lily bud this year just days (or hours) before opening, I can totally see how this approach could be worthwhile. Thanks so much for the tip!
    -Nan

    Thank you for your beautiful photos and plant IDs. I learn so much from you.

    • Posted by Esme Hedrick-Wong on July 20, 2019 at 11:33 pm

      Hi Nan, MANY thanks for your deer resistant recommendation, Thermopsis and Lespedeza. I have never heard of Thermopsis plants. Thermopsis caroliniana looks like a wonderful plant! Tall deer resistant, drought tolerant 4 foot lupine-like spires. Wow. I will try my best to grow them!

      I fell in love with Lespedeza bushes years ago, but had no luck finding seeds or the plants. I’ll check your Etsy page to see if you list Lespedeza seeds.

      All the best for a great garden year,
      Esme

      You’re very welcome, Esme. Funny thing about Lespedeza thunbergii: In nearly 2 decades of growing it in various places, I have never had seeds form. I finally bought some from Special Plants this winter, nicked and soaked them, and had excellent germination. It’s going to take the seedlings several years to be big enough to flower, but it was an economical way to get a dozen new plants!
      -Nan

  16. I am glad I found your post and educated myself about the presence of allium varieties…the shot of pheasents eye is breathtaking…remarkable foliage plants…Happy blooms day..

    Thank you so much for visiting today, Arun. And Happy Bloom Day to you in return!
    -Nan

  17. Posted by Esme Hedrick-Wong on July 15, 2019 at 11:58 am

    Dear Nancy, I always get excited when I read your garden blogs. Your wealth of garden and plant knowledge is incredible, and very helpful when it comes to choosing new plants to grow. I’ve been wondering if Baptisia alba, or any Baptisia plant, is deer resistant. I realize deer’s tastes differ from location to location, but your experience gives me the push to try growing Baptisia plants outside my fenced garden. Actually you have inspired me to make a long list of plants to try growing!

    For a few years I was successful keeping deer away from plants when I sprayed them with raw eggs and water that I put in a blender. The mixture was strained through a nylon sieve, then left to ferment for a few days. The sulphur egg smell only lasted in the garden for about an hour, but the deer never touched the plants. I would repeat spraying about once a week. Having said all this, discovering plants that the deer don’t eat is far easier!

    Looking forward to your next garden blog,
    All the best,
    Esmé

    Hi Esme! Yes, I agree that depending on plants the deer don’t find appealing is really the easiest way to go. At least, it gives us something to look at while we try to protect our “tastier” plants. I can’t speak for your deer, obviously, but I *can* say that I haven’t seen any damage on any of my baptisias (or Thermopsis, or Lespedeza) either inside or outside of my fenced area.
    -Nan

  18. Posted by Kim Erickson on July 15, 2019 at 12:04 pm

    Thanks for writing again Nan, I’ve been wondering how your beautiful gardens have been doing. I love seeing your pictures and reading your comments. So sorry to hear about your vegetable garden. I am a vegetable gardener (flowers are beautiful, but I am much better with vegies!), and we needed to put up a fence to prevent the deer from feasting. We learned that they will just hop over a 6 foot fence – we added another 3 feet on top and that has FINALLY taken care of the problem. Sigh…

    ps The seeds I received from you (mostly varieties of beans) are doing fantastic! Thank you!

    Hi Kim! I’m so happy to know that the beans are safe in your capable hands. I was excited about growing some “new” (different) Italian heirlooms this year, but they are not doing well; just when I think I have them protected well enough, the deer munches them back to the stems again. I was also sad to lose most (possibly all) of two old soybean strains, with no chance of replanting since these were the last of the seeds I had. Sigh. An additional fence there is on my high-priority list, though I probably won’t get to it before the end of this growing season.
    -Nan

  19. Very happy to see a blog post again. Always informative, inspirational and beautiful to behold. Nick.

    Hey, thank you, Nick, for taking the time to read and comment. Nice to see you here too!
    -Nan

  20. Posted by Allan Robinson on July 15, 2019 at 2:07 pm

    Hi Nan, welcome back, its great to read your blog and see your lovely photos of so many different plants. Sorry to hear about the deer, I know they can be a problem. My problem has been snails, I went on holiday leaving a friend to look after my mini greenhouse, unfortunately she left the door open, snails got in and eat all my seedlings, including the Baptisia which you kindly sent me. Oh well I guess it’s all part of gardening. I shall try sowing more seeds, too late for annuals now though.

    Aw, Allan–that is so sad about your seedlings. If I can replace anything seed-wise for you now, please let me know, ok? Or this winter; I do plan to have another giveaway this year.
    -Nan

  21. Posted by Lisa on July 15, 2019 at 3:22 pm

    Hi Nancy!
    So great to read your blog again. Sorry to hear about the deer, ugh….I have my main garden in an old barnyard where they can’t get in, but they eat everything else.
    Have you ever grown anaphalis (pearly everlasting) from seed? I tried and have one tiny plant…I used to grow it but my old plant died.
    Hang in there. Last year I did give up, this year is a little better, weather wise. Great to hear from you. Love your anthriscus!

    Hi Lisa! I’ve tried to grow Anaphalis a couple of times over the years, but it always rotted out before its first winter. I hope yours has a better fate. It might help if the rain would let up. The 5 inches we had last Thursday was way too much! One forecaster said that we could go without rain until mid-October and still be average for the year. Though, going that long without rain would not be a good thing either. Let’s hear it for moderation in all things!
    -Nan

  22. I’ve missed your blog, Nan, and was very pleased to find notice of today’s post among my email messages this morning. Even though I’m unable to grow many of the plants you do, I always find myself intrigued by their photos and your descriptions. I adore that fringed orchid, the wild garlic and the South African foxglove in this post, among others.

    Hi Kris! I wonder how the South African foxglove would do in your climate. It might be even happier with you than with me. I have both white and the regular lavender-purple; if you ever want to try seeds of either or both, let me know.
    -Nan

  23. Down here where clear-cuts and exploding deer populations go hand-in-hand, most people eventually recognize that gardening without a good fence isn’t possible. The deer fences that I put in are always through the thicket… Can’t run a deer fence out in the open without going “incredibly high”.

    And… When they get hungry enough, there’s always some that are nervy… I’ve observed them jump between strands of electric fence, up hill over fencing that they couldn’t see the other side of… Gets kind of intense…

    Don’t give up on the plants… Never that… Hang in there and keep adding more wire…

    I’ve been growing a variegated day flower for ten years or so… Comes up from self-sown seed each year…

    Gotta love the easy ones…

    What really gets me is that I had a simple 3-rail wooden fence for nearly 20 years with no deer coming in. When it needed to replaced last fall, I decided that a high-tensile wire fence 1 foot higher than the previous fence would be a good way to go. I never imagined that a full-sized deer could squeeze through wires spaced 1 foot apart. Right now, the garden looks like a junkyard, with tomato cages, bits of wire fencing, and pieces of plastic netting draped over my must-haves. And it’s not like the land is all built up around here; they could gorge on fields of corn or soybeans with no trouble at all. Arrgh. Well, it’s a bit of comfort to be in good company with other gardeners dealing with the same problem.

    Is your variegated dayflower the white-striped one? I too have lots of that one, despite pulling it out by the hundreds. ‘Hopleys Variegated’ is much more delicate. Well, it appears to be–so far, anyway. Each time I’ve grown it, I’ve collect every seed it makes, so it’s never had the chance to self-sow. Maybe it would end up being equally persistent.
    -Nan

  24. Posted by Laurie Barger on July 15, 2019 at 5:40 pm

    I want to join the chorus above in welcoming you back and how much you mean to us. I love your descriptions, your photos are astounding and it puts the days in my garden into prospective. Thanks and looking forward to “hearing” from you again soon!

    Hi there, Laurie! You are very kind to say that; thank you. It’s been really heartening to hear from so many readers today. I definitely hope to get back to posting more regularly, even if it’s just for Bloom Day. Hope you have a good summer in your garden!
    -Nan

  25. Posted by Gabriella on July 15, 2019 at 7:46 pm

    What a treat to see a new post from you in my inbox! I’ve had to give up on various parts of my garden this year too, but this post reminded me to look for the surprises and hidden gems that are there if I just look a bit closer. Thanks!

    May you find lots of little bits of joy when you have time to be out in your garden, Gabriella. Happy Bloom Day!
    -Nan

  26. Posted by David R Ford on July 15, 2019 at 9:27 pm

    Hey Nan!
    You have made my day with a post from Hayefield, (except for the sad news re: “the boys”). My mixed terrier has so far advised the deer to stay away from my garden. And, I assume, she would also “take care” of the baby bunnies if I allow her off the enclosed deck (a sight I would rather not see)? It’s always a pleasure to tour Hayefield via your blog. I look forward to next month’s visit!

    Thank you, David. Yes, I imagine a terror–I mean terrier!–would have a lot to say to unwanted garden visitors. Duncan wasn’t any help in that regard, unfortunately, though he had many other good qualities. I appreciate you reading and commenting today.
    -Nan

  27. Posted by Rebecca R. on July 15, 2019 at 10:12 pm

    No deer here, but I felt as you did last summer. Our garden is much smaller than yours, but a texas sized heat wave, a husband with a herniated disk, and a toddler meant that I had to focus on doing what I could and focused on keeping everything watered. My garden was far from photo ready. Glad you are getting your groove back! Thanks for sharing.

    Hi Rebecca! Thanks for sharing your experience; it makes me feel a bit better about my own garden. There’s always next year, right? Maybe I can even reclaim things this year yet, once we get past this really hot spell. I wish you a wonderful summer!
    -Nan

  28. Ugh. I can’t even imagine the frustration of having deer, yet I know that someday they will become a pest here as well… right now woodchucks are invading, but they’ve really calmed down in the heat. Unless they’re just regrouping.
    Hang in there, but you really have to find a way to exclude them. Maybe it is just one particularly determined deer and there’s some hope on the horizon, but being so busy with all kinds of things and then facing a garden full of beheaded lilies is no way to enjoy the summer.
    Every year can’t be perfect and sometimes you need a break to see if all your efforts in certain areas are really worth it. I’ve backed off annuals this year and don’t miss them as much as I thought… but that will change I’m sure! I’m hoping to use the time to get some hardscape projects done. It’s nice when you can look back and see a change in the garden rather than just managing to keep barely on top of the weeding (aka last year).
    So glad to see you back and posting!
    Frank

    Hey there, Frank. Ugh…the vision of a host of woodchucks rubbing their paws together and chuckling in evil anticipation as they plot their next invasion is not a happy one. I hope they decide it is better to leave you alone. I will think of this as a rebuilding year here and proceed with hope for a flowery year in 2020. Don’t feel like being outside much right now anyway–it’s going to be a hot week here in PA, as you know!
    -Nan

  29. So many lovely and noteworthy flowers. I kept having to page back up to the Scabiosa stellata seedhead though, it’s absolute perfection.

    Isn’t it? So intricately crafted and perfectly shaped, and so easy to grow!
    -Nan

  30. Posted by CINDI STODDARD on July 21, 2019 at 2:02 pm

    Hi Nan
    Late to post,but what a joy to see your email.You always show fantastic pics.I’m so sorry about the deer.We have them in our heavily wooded neighborhood but our German Wirehair seems to keep them at bay.
    I’m going to check out that Summers Pheasant Eye- never heard of it.
    Hoping the rest of your summer gets better!

    Cindi

    I really appreciate that, Cindi. I’m almost afraid to say that I haven’t seen any new damage in the last few days, but that could just be because the heat has left the deer as stunned as we are. I really enjoyed the Adonis aestivalis here, but since you have a furry friend sharing your space, you may want to look for some of the warnings about the plant being potentially harmful before planting it in your own garden.
    -Nan

  31. How nice that almost all look like wildflowers. (I just mentioned to someone that I have difficulty with the native clarkias here.) I do not recognize many of them, but I know I like the look. Their counterparts here would be more scrubby looking, but that is just how our regions is.

    Hi there, Tony. Yes, the wildflowery effect is right at home here, as I’m in the middle of a large meadow. They’d undoubtedly look quite untidy in a more “civilized” setting!
    -Nan

  32. Nan, Thanks so much for the great photos. I’ve really missed your amazing garden shots. I love the closeups. They are always fascinating. Flowers are so intricate up close. Have a great summer. (esp. now that the heat is breaking!)

    Great to hear from you, Nancy. Thanks for stopping by! Oh yes, just one or two stormy days to go and we’ll finally have a chance to get some serious gardening done; whew.
    -Nan

  33. Good to see another photo-packed post, Nan! I had to laugh about the papaloquelite comments – we got bunches of it as an herb in a local CSA box, and I stuck a few in the ground. It’s everywhere in my Texas garden now! I actually like the fragrance, and don’t mind the plants – although it would be nice if they could stay out of my rock garden! We haven’t found any culinary uses, but my wife and kids can always tell when I’ve been out in the garden: you smell like poppalapoppalapoppa :-)

    Oh, Rob–the thought of being surrounded by the smell of that plant makes me reel. It reeks as much as regular cilantro to my nose. The idea of eating it…bleh! But, to each his or her own.
    -Nan

  34. Posted by Barbara B. Bricks on July 29, 2019 at 2:53 pm

    Thanks, Nan. Always a treat to visit your garden and read the wonderful commentary.

    Sorry the deer are enjoying the tasty treats you provide!

    Barbara

    Sent from my iPad

    I appreciate that, Barbara. Hope your summer garden is growing well!
    -Nan

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: