In a run of bad luck reported earlier this season, my new Blue Chiffon Hibiscus was initially yanked out and cast aside as a dead duck in my Calgary garden. Then, after seeing a single bud emerging from the cast-off root I decided to pot it up and brought it out to God's country - Vancouver Island - in its pot this August.
Planted carefully and fertilized with only the purest enzymes and cold water Kelp, I babied it to the still fragile but stable flower bud stage. Then we got busy on a rotation of bed changing, shopping and cooking for visitors to our west coast getaway. We basically forgot about the buds that had formed and when we got back from "the daughter's" wedding there it was in all its glory. The leaves were all munched away but the blooms were showing their prize winning form.
Sadly, the deer noticed the plant while our killer cat was trapped indoors while we were off to the wedding. Now the deer were back for another taste. As the baby deer posed in all his spots and charms I ran to grab my camera. My husband, dear thing, decided to take the offensive and tried to chase the deer out of the yard in an attempt to figure out how he got in. This produced one very scared deer, once frustrated engineer and a hapless photographer begging everyone to just hold still for a moment so a photo could be snapped.
In lieu of a photo of the deer I snapped a photo of the flower- close enough I hope to show the splendor of the late season, deer attractive plant without illustrating the stripped and naked stems. Is it just me or is this plant a prima donna? Late to come to the party and then attracting all the attention with its tasty and primed leaves. My neighbor reports these plants are so poisonous to deer he had one legs up in his front yard shortly after a late night snack. He felt ripped off because not only had the deer eaten his deer repellent and reportedly poisonous plant, it had died on his front step and the fish and wildlife had refused to pick up the rigid body. In fact they suggested he dig a hole somewhere in his own yard and bury it. It was not enough to provide the last meal, he had to provide the burial grounds as well.
Dear husband has just left the house again for another trip to the hardware store. He is reportedly planning some tweaking to the deer-proof fence he built earlier this year because although he is now getting good at running an unofficial bed and breakfast for relatives I am sure the last thing he wants to add is an animal graveyard. Not yet, anyway.