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Report From PIA – June 13

Are there plants in your garden that make your heart soar? Just a glance at the flowers or foliage make you smile, right? This is how I feel about my Salix ‘Hakuro Nishiki’, the dappled willow.

The new foliage is most striking in early summer. I’ve had many people ask me how long it’s in bloom, and I explain that it isn’t flowers that cover the plant but white foliage.

Tonight my heart soared when I looked at this small tree, but sank when I lowered my gaze to the Hosta below. The plant on the left was fine, but the one that was on the far right had been reduced to mostly stems. Deer! Aka, “Those Bastards!”

Truth be told, I planted these hosta as a deer indicator. This area of the garden is the logical place for deer to enter from the woodland next door, and I know that deer love Hosta. So I placed these plants where I could get an early indicator of browsing deer entering my property.

Tonight, I saw that these plants were indeed eaten, so I grabbed my sprayer and applied some Plantskydd immediately. This deer repellant is made of dried blood, and since deer are herbivores, it’s an effective deterrent for That Bastard Bambi.

I also got out my Wireless Deer Fence and replaced the scent tubes on these excellent deer controllers. I’ll buy new batteries tomorrow and put one in place near the damaged Hosta. Last year six of these kept the deer out of my garden, and I’m sure that they will be effective again.

One thing I love about gardening is that as in life, our hearts sink and soar, often from one minute to the next. This is how things are in life… joy and sorrow are all mixed up. The key is to fully appreciate the delightful while coping with what’s difficult.

The Salix is breathtaking at this time of year. But see that hosta all the way on the right? The one that has no leaves but only stubby stems? Grrrrrrr. Those bastards!

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