Wednesday, July 25, 2007

There is a reason for these two pictures which were taken from about the same spot one year apart. The one on the left was taken last year at the peak of daylily bloom. The gardens were a riot of color and it seemed like every one of the 1600 different daylilies and 1000 seedlings were in bloom. This year has been a hard one on daylilies. After being alternately frozen and roasted this spring, they had barely gotten started when the drought started. To heap on top of that, the deer, who are hugely overpopulated here, are staving because there is so little for them to eat in the woods and little to drink because the creeks are dry. It won't get better because the acorn crop failed because of a late freeze. The result of this is that, even with constant spraying of deer deterents, they ate 99% of our buds this year. We caged a few of the new things we really wanted to see bloom and that is the only way we say most of our blooms this season, and though I dearly miss the color and beauty of the daylily season, it may have been a blessing of sorts for the plants which didn't have to expend a lot of energy blooming and could put the energy into just staying alive through the drought. We have watered as much as possible, but with one well and 7 acres of gardens, the watering is to keep things alive rather than very lush. In a normal year, Liquid Fence is all we need, but starving deer don't care how bad things taste. They even walk into our ponds and eat the water lilies. Any suggestions, other than fencing which is way out of the budget right now, would be welcome.

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