If blogging about gardening has taught me anything, it’s this: Take a photo the minute you think of it. Don’t wait for the weekend or a moment when you “have time.” What’s here today could be gone tomorrow.
That’s what happened with a little bed I started in a spot at the corner of the garage. We’d removed a ginormous yew that had been carefully trimmed over the years into a cone. Problem was, the uppermost point of the yew had grown beyond the gutters, and no clever finagling with a ladder could get me anywhere near it. Have you ever seen a 12-foot conically shaped yew that’s pruned up only for the first 8 to 10 feet? Pretty it isn’t. Out it went.
We were left with a generally rounded spot covered with heaps of volcanic rock, with black landscaping plastic underneath. I started with the hole where the tree had been, pulled away as much of the landscape cloth as possible, transplanted some of the daylilies I’d dug up and divided, and waited for them to get busy. They did come up, although only a couple flowered. I just sighed and hoped they’d do better next year.
Then Mother Nature threw me a bone: Volunteer musk mallows. I’d transplanted a few daylilies from our old place, and that garden was rife with musk mallows, so some of the seeds must have migrated along with the daylilies. While these flowers are pretty enough (they’re related to hibiscus and hollyhocks, but with much smaller, pale pink flowers), they spread like virulent weeds. My previous garden was one long, continuous bed, and I had to weed out the volunteer mallows like a zealot (and yank up seedlings in spring) to keep them from taking over.
This spot, though? Golden! Nothing around them but daylilies, which bloom earlier (so we’d have that staged-bloom thing going on); weed treatments applied to the lawn would halt their spread there. Yesterday they bloomed, delicate little pale things I found I could actually appreciate. I should take a picture, I thought.
Today I went outside to do just that, and guess what? Flower tops snapped clean off. Frigging deer. As if they don’t get enough yuks from eating my hostas and head-butting my bird feeders. But I’m still hopeful. In a rose mallow vs. deer smackdown, my money’s on the rose mallow.