The Big Three List

By popular demand here is my “big three” list. What is the big three list you say? It is a list of plants that meet  today’s landscape criteria of popular demand. I’m simply sharing my favorites that meet the following criteria:

1) I want it to be colorful or bloom a long time (more than just a week or two).

2) I want it to be deer resistant.

3) I want it to be relatively easy to grow.

The people have spoken making it clear these are the characteristics they are looking for in a plant. With that in mind and without further ado….and I mean “ado” because “adieu” means goodbye….here are my favorites!

Rick’s favorites for long lasting bloom or color easy to grow deer resistant plants

Agastache (Perennials also called Hyssop with long lasting blooms)
Allium (Bulb)
Baptisia (Perennial known as False Indigo)
Begonia (Annual…..today’s “Big Begonia” varieties are amazing performers)
Bleeding Heart (Perennial “everblooming” varieties vs. old fashioned
Buddleia (Flowering shrub “Butterfly bush” …great new low growing varieties available today)
Carex (Colorful perennial foliage sedge)
Cleome (Flowering Annual)
Coleus (Annual with colorful foliage)
Coneflowers (Perennial Echinacea)
Coreopsis (Perennial)
Crocosmia (Perennial that attracts hummingbirds big time)
Gaura (Perennial with blooms that look like little butterflies in the wind)
Gomphrena (Annual sun lover with very long lasting blooms)
Helianthus (Perennial)
Helichrysum (Annual for colorful foliage also known as licorice plant)
Heliopsis (Perennial)
Hellebores (Perennial also known as Lenten Rose….blooms early in the season)
Heuchera (Perennial with very colorful foliage and small long lasting blooms)
Hydrangea (Flowering shrub with many new reliable varieties available)
Hypoestes (Colorful annual foliage)
Landscape Roses (today’s varieties of own-root roses also known as shrub roses)
Lavender (Perennial with long lasting blooms and a headliner on this list)
Leucanthemum (Perennial…..some people call them daisies)
Nepeta (Perennial with long long lasting blooms…a headliner on this list)
Nicotiana (Flowering annual)
Ornamental Chives (Perennial)
Ornamental Grasses (Perennial and Annual grasses)
Russian Sage (Perennial)
Scented Geraniums (Annual)
Sedum (Perennial with drought resistance….great new upright varieties available today)
Spirea (Flowering Shrub)
St. John’s Wort (Hypericum)
Tiarella (Perennial with colorful foliage and small long lasting blooms)
Viburnum (Flowering shrub….the fall color is a bonus!)
Vitex (Flowering Shrub that on a hot day smells like Vick’s Vapo Rub to me)
Weigela (Flowering shrub)
Yarrow (Perennial also known as Achillea)

For a list of deer resistant plants you can visit my list at http://myflowerland.com/oh-deer-2/

 

A Winter “Pun”-derland

I try to amuse myself in winter so I don’t dwell on the cold conditions and the remote existence from gardening activities. Thought I would share some pictures from my winter “pun”-derland with you as we mark the days off the calendar until the arrival of spring!

Oh deer....these cute little guys stopped by my backyard for a "tree"-t.....they're just trying to have a little "fawn"
Oh deer….these cute little guys stopped by my backyard for a “tree”-t…..they’re just trying to have a little “fawn”
Took this picture along the Lake Michigan shoreline. Thousands of sandy ice balls form when rolls of light snow are blown form the shore into water which is at or just below freezing. The rolls of snow are then tossed about in the chilly waters and mix with sand in the churning water, where wave action eventually shapes them into balls of sandy ice!
Took this picture along the Lake Michigan shoreline. Thousands of sandy ice balls form when rolls of light snow are blown form the shore into water which is at or just below freezing. The rolls of snow are then tossed about in the chilly waters and mix with sand in the churning water, where wave action eventually shapes them into balls of sandy ice!

 

Not tonight Deer

Those who listen to my radio show or watch my television segments have asked me for a list of MY favorite deer resistant plants. I live in an area with a fair amount of deer pressure. I use repellants, however I have found that incorporating deer resistant plants in my landscape helps minimize the browsing. Bambi’s appetite can cost me “deerly” as in “bucks” not to mention the frustration of spring foliage munched just as they were putting on a show. That’s why in my landscape I incorporate plants from my “Not tonight Deer” list of favorites to discourage the deer from using my yard as a buffet.

Rick’s “Not tonight Deer” favorite plants (Note: this is not a complete list of rarely damaged plants but are plants I try to work in throughout my landscape to reduce deer browsing)

  • Alliums
  • Achillea
  • Ornamental Chives
  • Anemone
  • Bergenia
  • Brunnera
  • Carex
  • Cimicifuga
  • Dicentra (Bleeding Heart)
  • Fritillaria
  • Sweet Woodruff
  • Lamium
  • Myosotis
  • Echinacea or Rudbeckia
  • Hellebores
  • Perovskia or Russian Sage
  • Nepeta
  • Narcissus
  • Iris
  • Stachys byzantina Lambs Ears
  • Thyme and Oregano
  • Hakonechloa
  • Heuchera and Tiarella
  • Gomphrena
  • Nicotiana
  • Ornamental Grasses (Calamagrostis to Miscanthus to Pennisetum)
  • Viburnum
  • Spruce
  • Beech
  • Dogwood
  • Lilac
  • Wisteria
  • Hydrangea
  • Deciduous Azaleas
  • Rosa Rugosa

Oh Deer

Oh deer….time to protect those trees from deer damage. As deer remove velvet from antlers and during their pre-mating and mating season (often referred to as the rut) they can do significant damage to young trees in the suburban landscape. I’ve read that a typical male whitetail deer “rubs” from 400 to 800 trees in a season. Our suburban environment invites in wildlife because our habitat is better than theirs. We set the table by planting grass, trees, vegetable gardens, and we put out birdseed, mulch and garbage. No wonder they want to crash the party.

Fresh deer damage on a young tree

Check out this young tree just planted by my neighbor replacing a previously deer damaged tree in his yard. I’m going to wrap my trees tonight and protect them….not tonight deer!

See the deer tracks on the right side of the picture?

Superior Firepower

With the predictions of heavy snow this winter, by the time spring comes along deer pressure will be significant on your emerging hostas and tulips….that’s where you need superior firepower in your garden….Milorganite.

Bill Murray may have used bags of Milorganite as furniture in his hangout, but Milorganite is the trademark of a biosolids Fertilizer produced by theMilwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District. It makes a great lawn fertilizer and can aid as a deer deterrent from browsing on your prized landscape plants while feeding at the same time.

I have a friend on the east coast who slits open bags of Milorganite in late fall and leaves them setting out all winter. In spring he scoops the slimy sludge out of the bags and spreads it around his emerging hostas as both a fertilizer and deterrent. He claims it works like a charm, Hostas treated in this manner are untouched whereas Hostas untreated become Bambi’s all you can eat buffet in spring. I might suggest super charging your firepower by additionally working in some blood meal. Remember to bring a clothespin to plug your nose when it comes time to scoop the sludge next spring. Your superior firepower may result in the “Deerly departed” around your landscape next spring!