I'm not sure if it was a wild game of Touch Rugby or Tag, but either way, the five deer that were playing in my front garden yesterday left it looking as though a stampede of elephants had been having a party. Forget a rake- I need a brush hog to smooth out the beds again!
Yes, I select deer resistant plants and I try to remember to protect vulnerable trees before the rutting season begins, but the garden still suffer from a few deer-trampled plants. Such is life when you share your garden with wildlife.
Not one to be deterred, however, I'm about to plant 1500 deer-resistant spring bulbs, hoping that the majority will be spared trampling by thoughtless cloven hooves. I'm sure it's going to take a while to get them all in the ground, as first I have to rake the fallen leaves off the soil so I can see where to plant them; but a gardener is always an optimist. (And my chiropractor is on speed dial).
Here's what I chose:
500 Dutch Master daffodils (yellow) – to add to those already in the borders plus start a naturalized drift on a slight berm near the woodland, an area which can be seen from my office.
250 Mount Hood daffodils (white) – some for the front garden, the remainder to add to the drift mentioned above
100 Purple Sensation ornamental onions – to add to those already in the front garden plus add some near the patio where shrubs can hide the foliage
100 drumstick ornamental onions – to add to the island border, planted in between yellow blanket flowers and dwarf blue catmint
200 windflower (shades of blue) – to create a drift in the front garden
100 winter aconite (yellow) – memories of England….will be added to the woodland garden under some trees where I hope they will naturalize
250 English bluebells (fragrant, non-invasive) – because you can't have too many. For the woodland.
The small bulbs will be planted using the hand-crafted English dibber that my husband Andy made for me, helpfully marked with one-inch increments so I can plant at the correct depth. (If you would like one, he sells them through his business Stumpdust, which was featured in Sunset, Garden Design, and Country Gardens magazines).
The larger daffodil and onion bulbs will be planted with a bulb auger. I haven't used one of these before but was persuaded by my friend Erin Schanen (The Impatient Gardener) after watching her video. I'm going to ask Andy to manage the auger and I'll come behind him to drop the bulbs into the holes. That's the plan anyway – we'll see how it goes!
If you'd like to get more ideas for deer-resistant spring bulbs, this will help.
I ordered all my bulbs from Brent and Becky's Bulbs in Virginia, because their quality is top notch and frankly they are just such a lovely couple I'm happy to support them. Don't worry that many of the varieties I've listed are now shown as being out of stock. By the time you're ready to order, they will have more available. Tell them I sent you!