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Friday, April 2, 2010

A Host of Daffodils

I still have over 1000 daffodils in my garden though the earliest are starting to go.  I picked a bunch for a Maundy Thursday dinner that included 9 varieties.  I quickly picked them last night before leaving for the dinner. Rushing as usual, I stopped dead in my tracks from noticing another set of tracks. DEER! EIAGGGHHH!! Okay, the deer had jumped the one low spot in our new fence.  The rock wall is only about waist high.  I keep a tree branch across the opening with the hope that the deer wwould not be comfortable to stay in and eat, even if they happened to jump the wall.  WRONG. Even without an easy exit, they were comfortable enought to eat two patches of day lillies.  I haven't been out to see if they made it back in last night.  I stuck 3-foot high stakes across the top of the wall, across the entrance, and just beyond the wall inside the garden.  Not very pretty, I know, but hopefully it will work until Jeff has time to make the wall taller and install a gate. 

For all the distress they cause me, not to mention the financial cost,  They are beautiful and fun to watch.  I watched a pair, in mid day slowly wander in the yard by the ready-to-bloom forsythia bush.  Though cautious, the deer didn't stop.  after getting a bit of vitamin C from the Norway spruce, they began eyeing the bird feeders.

Step-by-cautious-step the young buck and doe came into the yard until they were about eight feet away from the door where I stood with my camera. They didn't quite have the gall to make it up to the feeder, but did enjoy the new grass and a few sunflower seedlings that had sprouted in the yard.  Pretty soon the little red light on the camera spooked them into running across the field into the woods.

Most of my garden is still intact.  A delicate red trillium has come up. As of yesterday, there was no bloom.  It may not bloom, this being only its second summer and it seems such a small plant, bought from a bin at the flower store.  It now grows amid the periwinkle, ginger and blood root in my periwinkle bed, the first plant bed of my garden, built when I received my first trillium from a wildflower class.  I received a Greek valerian or Jacob's ladder from the same class, but that pretty blue plant didn't make the cut.  It lasted about 3 years, losing vitality each year.  I now know I should have transplanted it to a spot more suited.  Ignorance is not always bliss. 

The trillium, though has thrived and multiplied.  I expect to see it any day now.  I was a bit surprised to see the hostas poking their nose out quite so early.  I didn't expect them for another week.  Maybe that is because I usually try not to care about the first sighting because they have always been eaten down by deer until the woods offer the deer better pickings. But there they were, poking their tightly furled leaves through the dried litter in search of the sun.
I'm glad that my garden is so loaded with perinials. It is more than a month before we can safely plant annuals in this area.  The official date is May 15, but last year and the year before we had a frost on the 16 and 17 so alot of us were covering up our plants.  I try to overwinter a few tender plants. Some begonias haven't stopped blooming all winter.  This week I will start putting them outside to get them used to the sun. It will be another month before I can leave them outside permanantly.  For now they must be content to rest in the cups of My Aunt E' victorian plant stand. 
Like grade school children shut-up behind classroom walls the last week of school/first week of summer, they reach desparately for the windows. For now I will enjoy the bits of new greenery that appear each day as the sun warms the earth.  I'll fight the deer and be happy with a host of daffodils.
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils
By William Wordsworth

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