I'm joining Anna of Flutter & Hum for Wednesday Vignette this week with a picture of the driveway island bed. Why do I find this image (of a bed that is still patchy with new plants filling in, and frankly not very tidy) so wonderful and inspiring? Simple. As I was cutting back grasses and tidying up heathers this past weekend, I was admiring the delicate, pristine new growth on the Japanese maple in the middle. That's when I realized: this is about the stage where we would forget to put the plastic net up around the maple, or drench it with foul-smelling deer-repellents, to protect the tender new growth from the ravenous hordes. The deer would then come in and almost completely defoliate the maple, even breaking off branches as they lean in to get to the center. This year? No ugly black net. No repulsive repellents. Just a beautiful maple bursting into growth after winter.
And all around the maple, and in the garden, and even in the woods inside the fence, I'm seeing things grow unmolested by deer for the first time ever. Indian plum seedlings are popping up and not being eaten immediately. Red huckleberries are sending out new leaves without being stripped and mowed down to the ground. They'll actually be able to grow past their juvenile evergreen stage now. I keep meaning to look for trilliums inside the fence I know there are at least a handful, though they may not have recovered to blooming size yet after years of deer browse. No dead spots showing up in the heaths or Hutchinsia alpina, where the deer normally would have trampled them and broken stems or crushed them while they were frozen (the Hutchinsia). My garden is safe and at peace. Well, from the deer anyway. Now, I just have to get those cutworms, slugs, and crane fly larvae (eating all my newest, smallest plants, of course) under control.