Some loyal and curious Webner House readers have asked for an update on how the flower beds that I planted in the downyard earlier this summer are doing. The answer is: good and bad.
The good news is that I have, for the most part, kept the flowers I planted in the crack between the two huge rocks from being gobbled up wholesale by hungry gangs of marauding deer. As a result, after several frustrating incursions where the deer bit off the flower buds just as they were getting ready to burst, the flowers have actually bloomed, as the photo above shows. The black-eyed susan plant at the forefront was the subject of repeated violation by the deer, so it’s still trying to catch up with its counterpart at the other end of the bed, which has only suffered one or two deer visits. If you want to do a comparison of how the bed looks now versus how it looked at the outset, you can find some “before” photos of the crack here.
When viewed from our deck, above, the crack between the rocks actually looks like a flower bed. The bright yellow of the black-eyed susans stands out against the granite rock, and I like the purple of the phlox. The bad new is that the Husker red beardtongue flowers planted in the middle have been a disappointment. The plants seem to be healthy, but they don’t produce many flowers and don’t add much, visually, to the beds. And a lupine that I planted in another bed was decimated by a slug attack.
Looking at this floral experiment with the benefit of 20-20 hindsight, I should have just planted black-eyed susans, which seem to do well in this soil, in the whole bed. But all of these flowers are perennials, so I’m hoping that the beardtongues bounce back next year and strut their stuff.
I’ve also learned something else: gardening is really kind of fun, and interesting, besides. In fact, it’s somewhat addictive. Already I find myself thinking of what I might do in the gardening arena next year. A gardener’s work is never done.