Monday, July 13, 2009

Discerning palates

Perhaps this is why deer seem to seek out and devour my cardoon.
They've also been known to eat the carrots and parsnips. This sign is
from the herb garden in the fabulous New York Botanical Garden.
More about that adventure in a post-to-come.

The buffet at sillydoggarden was open for business last night. The deer visited. Again.

I knew I was courting trouble by planting the last of the cardoon in the unprotected front beds. But I couldn't help myself. Sure enough, this morning all four transplants were found uprooted, tops all gone. Damn deer. And the parsley transplanted last week -- all gone. Damn, damn deer. At least the parsley transplanted Sunday afternoon is still intact. Perhaps the rudbeckia will shield it from those long-legged fiends. But I thought the lady's mantle, euphorbia and witch hazel would shield the cardoon, too. Time will tell, I guess.

Here's what's left of the front-yard cardoon. Notice the
one remaining leaf and formerly healthy roots.

But there's more. Or, actually, less. The Cramers' Amazon celosia, first spotted last year at The Garden House in Solon Springs, Wis., and seed ordered this year from Johnny's Selected Seeds, was chomped. Also on the menu last night, the variegated burnet and the seed dahlias ('Black Beauty' from Thompson & Morgan). The burnet, a perennial, will recover but those dahlias are toast. Fortunately, I also planted them in several other locations and in pots so I'm confident I will get to inspect some blooms at some point. I have more cardoon, too, in pots and in the back beds protected at night by motion-detecting sprinklers. It always pays to plant more than you think you'll need or want.

This one is gone, but not forgotten. I was excited to find the seed for this celosia this spring after buying transplants last year at The Garden House. The maroon and green foliage is what's really killer -- the magenta spiky bloom is merely a bonus. Two neighboring Cramers' Amazon transplants are intact. Keep your fingers crossed
that they'll survive the summer.

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