Gardening in Johns Creek, Atlanta is not for the faint hearted!!
For starters there is a slim window during which one is able to venture outside without freezing of frying!! Summer is scorching, Winter is impenetrable, but Spring and Summer are just divine.
My humble advice is 'don't start digging too early in the year'. A warm February day might be begging you to come outside, but don't touch that spade, there are a myriad beautiful bulbs, tubers and corms underground, just waiting for the first signs of spring. Lurking under that Georgia clay are multitudinous Daffodils, Hyacinths, Snowdrops, Iris, Larkspur, among others.
Its troubling because there is such a narrow window to be outside gardening, especially for a Zimbo who has been outside her whole life gardening 365 days a year with her dear friends Sebastian and Melusi close by!!
Off to Pikes, which is Johns Creeks Local gardening Guru. Here there are stunning arrays of flowers and flowering shrubs but after several seasons in the area, one has become wary.....
Living on the edge of the forest, one knows better, one does not plant delicious gladioli, sumptuous hydrangeas, delectable lyriopes!
The reason being the infamous Georgia White Tailed Deer!
Deer can find their way through some of the cleverest barriers and fencing mechanisms and will consume almost every plant they can reach, especially when food is scarce or their numbers are too high.
However, they do tend to avoid plants that are toxic, have a strong fragrance, leathery texture and fuzzy or prickly foliage. That gives you plenty of amazingly beautiful, colourful and aromatic options to pick from! The rich scent of plants like Bee Balm, Sage and Salvia makes them a wonderful option for your deer-proof garden. Deer are also likely to steer clear of Daffodils, Helleborus, and other plants with toxic foliage, along with the hairy/fibrous foliage of Yarrow, Peonies, Elephant Ears, and most Irises.
Nighttime sorties to chase them away always end in wondrous musings as to how marvellous God is......
And so it's back to Pikes, (with a muttering HeeHoo), for a car load of Spiky False Holly bushes and a bunch of colourful Conifers of all shades varieties. I say 'a muttering HeeHoo' because I steadfastly refuse to drive in a country where they choose to drive on the wrong side of the road!!
As I speak the grass is dry and brown, but the Cherry Trees are a blaze of Carnation pink blossom, laden with bees, the Dogwoods have tiny promising buds, the daffies are burgeoning, Spring is in the air!!
But just how lucky am I We are off to Bulawayo again at month end to the heavenly delights of a lush, tropical Zimbabwe garden!!