oh deer and other late august garden tales

The deer and I are going to have words. There is a mini herd of six or so they keep hanging out in my woods. The other day they had a hosta and azalea salad in the woodland edge bed called the derecho garden.

Now of course, if I am honest, this is partially my fault. It has been ungodly hot and dry but humid, which does not make gardening fun. So I have been lazy. And didn’t spray. So in they came for the garden buffet.

The ground continues to be like rocks. The lack of rain is insane. Also insane? I have non reblooming azaleas reblooming.

The heat and lack of rain have stressed out some of the toughest plants, like my Montauk or Nippon daisies. Yet others? Blooming up a storm. Climate change is terrifying yet fascinating at the same time.

The white turtlehead is blooming now and it’s really pretty. I accidentally pulled out a lot of it’s pink counterpart when I was clearing knot weed, so I had to replant that.

On the edge of the woods a lot of the oakleaf hydrangeas I planted have their flowers turning already. It’s crazy the way the heat has sped up the plant aging process.

I have also started the long overdue process of pruning things that need pruning. Specifically the azaleas and viburnum. And some of the hydrangeas. I know, I know people wig out whenever anyone mentions cutting the hydrangeas back. But as with all of these shrubs, sometimes you have to sacrifice bloom to get a shape back. Because once they get out of control, all of the above are hard to tame.

I know I keep harping about the heat and the lack of rain, but it really is taking its toll on the garden. I think the plants that survive the summer or the ones that can survive in this garden in perpetuity.

I am also planning for the fall. Bulbs will eventually arrive, and they will get planted along with some peony roots. Depending on if we start to get rain or not, I will perhaps pick out a few more tree saplings for my woods. But I need to know that we’re going to have rain in order to do that because I have lost quite a few tree saplings this summer, including ones that had been in the ground three years or more.

Also in garden related news, tree carver Marty Long came out to look at the trunk of Mama oak that was left standing for carving. We are really lucky and excited he has time for us. I look forward to sharing with you how the carving progresses in the near future. And no, I will not be giving away any of the artist’s thoughts. We will all have to see it unfold!

Well that’s all from my hot, dry garden. How does your garden grow?


  1. We are having extreme problems with deer this year, also, and they are eating things that normally they would leave alone, like my Limelight hydrangeas and Autumn Joy sedum. There is a doe and her three babies who have moved in to our yard and I see them on the regular – – – – usually at least twice a day. After 5 years of success using nothing more than Irish Spring soap hanging in the vegetable garden, I have resigned myself to the fact that I am going to have to fence in the vegetable garden for next year.

    Liked by 1 person

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