As a kid I thought wild yarrow was a boring flower. Its helicopter-landing-pad flowers might be interesting to butterflies & other pollinators, but I couldn’t get past the bland white petals.
Little did I know, but there are varieties beyond our native wildflower. Just a block or so away from our current garden, a neighbour grows a striking stand of yellow yarrow (probably Achillea ‘moonshine’ in a very sunny, & dry border.
Now that I care for my own garden, I can appreciate a plant that rarely needs water or attention.
It rocks that our local deer left it alone when I added it to our landscape.
It was an additional bonus that, after cutting back the flowering stems in autumn, a ferny mound of foliage remained evergreen.
More recently I saw a red-flowering yarrow (likely Achillea pomegranate). I’m not sure why I’d assumed our native yarrow was the only variety, but I’m delighted it isn’t.
There’s a place for this one in our garden, too. Even though the West Coast is a rain forest, very little of that rain falls in July or August. Tough ornamentals are treasures.
It’s good to note that if regularly irrigated, yarrow is a vigorous spreader. The easiest way to keep it in a manageable clump is to reduce irrigation. Easy-peasy. I can do that 🙂
If the leaf is grey & fuzzy, the deer usually turn up their noses.
Maybe they don’t like fuzz, just like I don’t like to eat the felted skin on a peach. More likely it’s because fuzz is common on drought tolerant plants. And drought tolerant plants are often dry & unpalatable. Deer aren’t stupid.
It is my good fortune that Rose Campion, aka Lychnis coronaria, is so deer resistant. They ignore the upright stems and the hot pink flowers, too.
Lychnis are tough plants. Left on their own, they’ll self seed willy-nilly. That’s not a bad thing while I’m waiting for other perennials and shrubs to mature. Because Lychnis is very easy to grow & transplant, they’ve become one of my go-to fillers (along with foxglove & snapdragons).
I grow them as a mini-hedge in hopes of keeping deer out of sections of the garden.
They’re also super-handy in areas with very little soil, or little moisture, where little else will survive 🙂
These Lychnis might not grow as tall as the ones that are irrigated, but they’re just as delightful.