Woohoo!! The Satin Flower bloom opened the other day – – AND I’ve checked it 3 mornings in a row now – It’s Still There!!
Ok, so that sounds just a little crazed,
but Satin Flower is one of the very earliest Pacific Northwest native wildflowers –
and it’s so pretty!
It’s really well suited to our rocky outcrop that’s very moist in winter & very dry in summer. So, this Olsynium douglasii (aka Douglas’ olsynium, Douglas’ grasswidow, grasswidow, blue-eyed grass, purple-eyed-grass, or satin flower) should be happy in our gary oak meadow.
But the deer are happy here, too.
When I first bought a couple of these perennial herbs from Sannich Native Plants (Thank you Kristen & James!), I planted them too near the deer’s regular route. Fortunately, I saw the bloom the first morning.
It was gone the next.
I simply shifted the plants to a steeper section of our rocky outcropping, hoping the deer might leave them alone. Fingers crossed.
The next year – Success.!
Now I’m hoping these sweet little flowers will happily do their thing & naturalize into more of a clump – maybe even spread around a bit! 🙂
– A true naturaliser! Some great places to view mass patches of them are Camosun College Lansdown Campus, Metchosin Church graveyard, and Summit Park.
– see also Meadow Blooms 2 – Chiondoxa
2- Fawn Lily (Erythronium oregonum) is often called the Easter Lily because it shows itself around Easter time – whether that’s in late March or mid-April.
– Botanical Tulips are the only variety of tulips, in my experience, that deer leave alone. Simply because I can, I DO… plant lots of them.
– Tulips prefer summer drought, so if you’re irrigating your garden, the tulips are better kept in pots & set elsewhere when their show is done.
– My current fave is Species Tulipa Praestans Unicum (4 in.) because it has multiple, bright red flowers on each stem AND has variegated foliage.
4- Grape Hyacinth (Muscari armeniacum) turn our Gary Oak Meadow to a sweep of blue when they bloom in mid-April.
6 inches high
Full Sun – Part Shade
– The leaves show up early in the autumn & are often grazed by the deer through the winter. For whatever reason, shortly before the buds show, the deer lose interest.
– I was stunned when I heard a fellow gardener say that he regretted planting grape hyacinth. They naturalize around here so well that they grow out of cracks along the edge of the driveway. ‘That is determined’, granted, but I still enjoy them.
– see also Looking Forward to Sunshine
5- Daffodils (Narcissus) are bursts of sunshine in the March & April gardens.
4- 24 inches high depending on the variety
Full Sun – Part Shade
zone 3 or 4 depending on the variety
– Daffodils are perhaps the best know bulb for deer resistance. Here’s a quick list of my faves: early – – Dwarf narcissi ( with multi blooms per stem)
–– Tete a Tete (6 in.), Jetfire (10), Jack Snipe (10), Toto (8), Velocity (8)
early – mid – – Rock garden narcissi
–– Suzy (16 in.), Feb Gold + Quail (10),
mid – Late – – -Mini narcissi
— Baby Moon (10 in.) Canalaculatis (5) Golden Bells (4)
6- Fritillaria also bloom in Victoria in mid-spring.
—Chocolate Lily (Fritillaria michailovskyi) 8 inches, zone 5
—Checkered Lily (Fritillaria meleagris) 8 inches, zone 3
– I can’t totally swear by these because I haven’t grown them in our garden, but I have seen them locally.
All of the Top 5 picks have been drought tolerant in our garden. Fritillaria might need more moisture than I use in the summer, but I’m like most gardeners — coveting the plant on the other side of the fence.
Their delicate white flowers are some of the earliest of our spring display. In a blink, they transform into a tall spindle of seed pods. Even when I gently brush against them they explode like fireworks casting their spell across the warming spring soil. Fortunately, I wear glasses. The little missiles splatter my face but they don’t blind me. I flinch in surprise every time.
In just a couple of weeks, the ground will magically transform into a carpet of them happily intent on world domination.
In an unfamiliar garden, it makes sense to let all plants grow until you identify them or they show their intent. Then decide their fates.
Even before I knew their true ID, I called them pop weed & decided they were not welcome to take over the flower beds I was creating. So began the battle…
Now I know these little monsters are named Hairy Bittercrest (aka Cardimine hirsuta). They’re annuals – seed factories. The best defense is easy –
NEVER LET THEM GO TO SEED!
The straightforward action might be to get out there & weed like crazy.
Yes, that helps + it’s good anti-Seasonal-Affects- Disorder therapy.
Yes, it removes the offending seed creator, but many of last year’s seeds are still on the ground getting ready to sprout … just more weeding for tomorrow!
AND pulling out the weed stirs up the soil as far down as its roots went. That brings up the weed seeds from years gone by… even more weeding for tomorrow and the day after that!
Each winter I lay down 2-4 inches of fish mulch.
2 to 4 inches.
It buries any seeds so deep they won’t get enough light to start growing.
If you’ve already mulched, the problem’s solved before it’s even begun. 🙂