Last spring at the Garden Bloggers Spring Fling we had Southern Living give us a presentation about new plants. It was fun to see new cultivars that have been developed. When the presentation was over, a list was sent around for us to sign up to possibly receive one of these plants -- sort of to test them in our gardens. Who wouldn't sign up for a free plant? Well, many (perhaps all) of us did receive four plants from Southern Living. I will do a full post about the progress of these plants after the growing season. My plants arrived in October, two of them were Mahonia eurybracteata 'Soft Caress'. I like the yellow blooms on Mahonia, but the sharp leaves of the M. aquifolium were a problem. Well, Soft Caress has SOFT foliage, not stiff and not spiny. I was thrilled to have a couple of these for my shady garden in the backyard.
Sadly the deer loved it as well. I send Aimee Coker an email (she is the contact person who emailed us for mailing address and garden conditions) and told her I was unable to give feedback on this Mahonia.
Then...... in the past week or so I was walking through the garden, checking on this spring's progress and look what I found!! This tiny growth is my Mahonia!!! My back garden is large enough that if something dies or is eaten, I leave it....mark it with a stick to remind myself of the location and wait. Well, it looks like the waiting has paid off. I will spray some deer deterrent on the new growth every week or so, telling those deer to feed elsewhere.
Speaking of eating in the garden....this was my Furfugium japonica, prior name- Ligularia tussilaginea. The hole was a lot larger than a typical vole hole. I was not happy about this!! Nor was I thrilled about some mysterious underground critter that was larger than a vole (rat???) eating my plants from below.
I stamped down the hole, pushing the remaining roots to have soil contact....put my stick in the soil to mark the spot and waited. I thought about getting some kind of trap, like a large mouse trap, but didn't want to deal with what it caught. Ignore it, that is good for now. Well, once again patience has paid off.
I love nice little surprises like this!
We have had a good amount of rain in the past few days, spurring on more spring growth. I like having the 'overhead' view of the garden. Slowly but surely the garden is filling in. I will do a yearly comparison in July but wanted to give you a fresh spring shot.
Yes, there are a lot of weeds out there....I still need to mulch and along the shoreline there are bales of pinestraw from last year. I got tired of getting chigger bites and quit spreading it.Here is a pieced together photo of the backyard. This is the view that a certain blogger got to see.
Saturday I got a Facebook message from Skeeter asking if we were going to be home on Sunday afternoon.
Yes, Skeeter and her husband Mark stopped by on their way home from Asheville on Sunday afternoon! They had a nice trip to Asheville and Biltmore but the rains and thunder here were kind of limiting garden tours. I know she and Mark will come back, we live pretty close. Garden blogger visits are lots of fun!
I have a few new 'visitors' in the parsley. This year it looks like I will have to share my parsley with these caterpillars to the Black Swallowtail.
As they grow (and eat my parsley) will they be around long enough to become Black Swallowtails ......
.....or will they be bird food?? Here is Mr. Eastern Towhee.. hanging out in the backyard.
And a newly identified bird, Mr. Yellow-breasted Chat, seen on a walk with the dogs. Pays to keep your camera with you!!
Do you have some nice surprises in your garden?
©Copyright 2012 Janet. All rights reserved. Content created by Janet for The Queen of Seaford. words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.