Troubles with new plantings

Dagummit! A newly planted variegated Japanese kerria (Kerria japonica ‘Fubuki-nishiki’) was nibbled by deer the night it was planted a month ago. I could not imagine that a skinny twig with only a few leaves would be worth the bother, but I suppose deer must sample choice morsels whenever they are found. Weeks after being striped bare, a handful of new leaves grew, only to be eaten again last night.

Now, I hope there’s enough vigor remaining for a third batch of leaves, and certainly I won’t be so stupid as to let this happen a third time. Won’t I?

I am quite pleased that in several newly planted areas, planted after large evergreens were removed, everything is alive and well. I am often negligent in caring for scattered new plantings, but a larger, newly replanted area is more obvious and less easily forgotten. Fortunately, since watering the garden is very far down on my list, regular late summer rainfall has provided a tremendous assist.

A planting if sweetbox, hostas, Japanese Forest grass and aucuba that was mostly shaded until a failing Alaskan cedar was removed. Now, the area is sunny off and on through the day, but with no ill effect.

I am surprised, though I shouldn’t be, that areas where a large yew and Alaskan cedar were removed are now so sunny. Previously, this was a dark corner standing beside the shade of the forest that borders the garden. The evergreens came down and suddenly there are periods of sun at midday and late afternoon. Between the two evergreens a long planted area was not disturbed, and despite the periods of sun, these show no ill effect going from what was shade to part sun.

I expect that the increased sunlight will increase flowering of camellias (above) and Oakleaf hydrangeas, that hardly bloomed a few years ago before a maple came down in an ice storm. Now, scattered flowers should increase to more typical flowering, back to the days when forest trees did not lean far over this part of the garden.

Already, I look forward to next year. There is plenty to enjoy before winter’s dormancy, but every gardener is anxious to see his new plantings after the first spring’s growth. That is, if I can remember to keep the deer away.

8 Comments Add yours

  1. Mary Barker says:

    Wow! Your camillias are beautiful! Thanks for sharing your trials & tribulations!

    1. Dave says:

      With a very mild winter this was an exceptional spring for camellias. The autumn flowering camellias are in a sunnier spot, and several are approaching ten feet tall with many, many blooms. I hope not to dwell on the trials and tribulations since they are few given the size and age of this garden.

  2. Jeane says:

    What climate zone are you in? I’m very jealous of your camellias. I only have one and it doesn’t seem to be thriving.

    1. Dave says:

      This is zone 7a, but with occasional dips below zero. When younger, camellias in a bit too much shade survived, but flowered sparsely or not at all. The additional sunlight in the past few years has helped considerably.

  3. Linus Chen says:

    I got a Kerria japonica ‘Fubuki-nishiki last year (I tithe regularly to Nurseries Carolinia). I thought it got weed-wacked by accident by the lawncare folks. (Maybe the deer tried it?) Anyway, I put a tomato cage around it to protect it from future whacking/nibbling. Growing ok this year. Looking forward to it next year and possible flowers.

    1. Dave says:

      My kerria comes from the same place, I think thanks to a reference you made. I find that plants grown in larger pots such as these are more tolerant of my lack of attention to watering newcomers. This kerria was also cut through the stem, which often is by rabbits, but rabbits usually leave the stem behind so I assume deer as the culprits. I look forward to seeing your place at the plant exchange in October.

  4. susurrus says:

    Let’s hope it’s third time lucky.

  5. tonytomeo says:

    Deer do not seem to be interested in the undesirable plants. However, I recently found locust suckers eaten by gophers!

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