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Re: Amer. Gardener article/Wild Greens

In a message dated 01/27/2004 12:53:04 AM Eastern Standard Time, 
mtalt@hort.net writes:

> All the trees I have ivy growing on have a section from ground to
> about 5' off the ground that is only stems - the foliage was munched
> for so many years, the vines just gave up trying to leaf out there. 
> They also denuded ivy growing as groundcover, so my herd wasn't as
> lazy as yours:-)  

Maybe mine are lazier because there are so many more tasty things for them to 
try  - they don't have to bend down.  A mother and two half-grown offspring 
were finishing off what's left of the azaleas this morning.   I have covered 
that one cluster of azaleas with black plastic mesh some years, but when spring 
comes the azaleas grow right through the mesh and you do as much damage 
getting it off as the deer do by eating.   

A list of things deer don't eat is always interesting.  One local garden club 
put out such a list a few years ago.  One of the safest plants, they assured 
us, was Pieris andromeda.   Well, I invested in three nice ones to put at the 
bottom of the slope, and within weeks all three had been eaten to sticks.   I 
have planted Maiden Grass (Miscanthus) in that place since, with good success. 

  Our small pond is bordered on one side with large clumps of a sedge.  I 
haven't a clue as to what kind,  It was here when we came - I'm sure 
self-planted, but I like it and have left it.  This one makes two-and-a-half to three-foot 
fountain-like mounds of fine, grassy foliage, and the deer never touch it.  
I'm sure this would require a very moist setting, as its feet are in water 
during the spring when the pond is high.  Maybe someday I will find time and 
energy to research the species.

  Yes, 'Powis Castle' has always survived the deer, but last summer mine did 
not do well.  I believe it didn't like the dank, humid, sunless weather we had 
any better than I did. I will replace it this year, anyway (It's marginally 
hardy here, so I usually put in new ones every spring) because it is a 
favorite.  I love the fragrance of the leaves.  I don't believe they have ever eaten 
the plain old S. officinalis, either.  And the same bed where that grows is 
full of the native Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis), which rarely gets nipped.

 I don't even try to grow tulips and hyacinths except for a very few in my 
fenced 'vegetable' garden.  Some years ago for some reason I had a dozen 'Orange 
Emperor' Tulips.  I don't really like the 'Red Emperor' tulips, and orange is 
not a favorite color , but I planted them right at the base of the fence.  
They have multiplied, as tulips don't usually do, and bloom spectacularly each 
spring - that is they have in the past several springs.  After this winter, who 
knows.   But daffodils are a specialty - I have hundreds of them.  

  Epimediums are pretty safe, and I am developing a collection of them, but 
one patch did get eaten last year. 

  As for prickly things - they munch on my friend's holly bushes.  I have 
never grown hollies for some reason I can't explain.They are pretty iffy here, so 
I guess I just haven't thought they were worth the effort.

  I hope the snow doesn't cause you too much trouble.  At least where you are 
it will disappear before too long.  So far we only have a light dusting, but 
it is predicted to be heavy tonight. Weird weather!  Stay warm

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