Sunday, June 10, 2007

Binge gardening - update

Got out to the cabin again this weekend to see how all my plantings were doing after fending for themselves for a couple of weeks. Turns out they're doing pretty well, especially considering how little rain we got those 2 weeks. The euonymus isn't thriving, but it hasn't died, or even gotten dried-up-looking, so I'm satisfied. The poor lilies-of-the-valley seem to have ended up as deer snacks. Of the 20 pots' worth I planted, I could locate perhaps half a dozen, of which nearly all had been stripped to bare, pathetic little stalks.

The biggest success was probably the pachysandra; all of it seems to be looking as happy as when I put it in 2 weeks ago, and it seems to be very definitely not merely deer-resistant but deer-proof! How do I know? One patch of pachysandra ended up on the edge of a deer trail. Part of the patch looked rather trampled yesterday, and one of the untrampled plants had a bite or two out of it. But only a bite or two. Conjures up a mental image of a deer strolling past, deciding to sample this new plant, then deciding it wasn't tasty enough to warrant another bite.

The surprise, for me, was the ferns. Having never planted any before, or even had them in my yard (the ones growing wild near the cabin don't count), I was completely ignorant of how they propagate. I noticed that a few of my ferns had broken-looking fronds lying on the ground. When I went to pick one up, I met with resistance. Remembering the little spores I've often noticed on the undersides of fern fronds, I'm guessing the grounded fronds will soon sprout new ones. They're multi-talented, though; at least some varieties, including the ostrich ferns I bought, propagate from runner roots (if that's the right term). And I noticed that all my ferns - all 4 kinds - have new little fronds in various stages of uncurling. I'm delighted to see that they're already starting to spread, which is exactly what I hoped from them.

The two mint plants I brought out looked very lush and healthy in their nice, big pots. They'll provide some very nice flavoring the next time we fix iced tea, even if spearmint doesn't do a thing against ants.

The weekend wasn't a complete success - in addition to the eaten lilies-of-the-valley, the gypsy moth caterpillars had made a HUGE mess, and I couldn't hang the new towel bars because the driver drill had plenty of driver bits, but only 2, too-large drill bits. However, the weather was gorgeous, I managed to finish swapping the flannel sheets for percale on the beds, and I determined that the new antique store in town really is an antique store, not a junk shop or craft store.

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