garden ponderings

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Fingernail-Size Spirea Flower

These tiny white flowers are the size of my baby fingernail – and I keep my nails trimmed short!
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The deer love this plant, so it is encircled with a fence.
In the left photo, there is space between the fence and the plant, so flowers have a chance to grow and bloom on stems close to the ground.
Where the fence is very near the plant on the right, deer keep branches and flowers trimmed.


Spirea in late Autumn


From the corner of my kitchen window, this plant looks to me like it is on fire.
Or it makes me think it is a large funny hat in the yard.
I had forgotten that this shrub can be so colorful in the fall.  In summer, it is an ordinary green, that merely blends into the landscape.

Deer keep the lower branches nibbled to the fence that surrounds this bush.  Surprisingly, the deer don’t bother to eat what is not at a convenient level for them.  Unless they get very hungry, when we have seen, usually an old doe, stand on her hind legs to get a morsel of food.


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This is not the most glamorous photo of this bush, but it is the reality here. One can easily see the flowers on the top of this plant, and if you look close you can spot the ugly old fence around it. Deer keep the new growth nibbled to about 40 inches high. If the deer were to get very hungry they can eat much higher on a plant, or push the fence – it is not staked that sturdy.

When the plant was first moved here, the fence was more than adequate to protect it from varmits. The fence has been enlarged a couple of times, and will probably stay just as it is from now on. There is no irrigation here either – definitely a ‘survival of the fittest’ scenario.

Bloom-time is the one time of year this shrub looks great. In summer, when the grass turns brown, it looks good, as it is still green. Winter time shows just a bundle of sticks. Sometimes you just take what you can get!