It’s been twelve years since we moved to the Finger Lakes and if you look at all of the plants which we purchased from a professional landscaper, scarcely half of them are left! One of the things that the landscaper tried to achieve was a balance of plantings which would start blooming in the spring and then continue on blooming throughout all of the summer season. I too strive to keep expanding on his original idea and have added daffodils, hyacinths, and tulips to kick off the spring, a couple of hydrangea plants to welcome summer, and then some chrysanthemums to add fall colors.
One thing that the landscaper did not adequately take into account was the growing deer population in our neighborhood and the cold winds which blow across Canandaigua Lake in the winter and early spring – winds which can easily hit 50 – 60 mph. I loved my two holly bushes but just a little nibble by a deer on the bush and the bush throws in the towel and dies! Same goes for my PJM’s which I have replaced once but will probably have to replace a third time due to an attack by a hungry deer. I have found a good product – Bobbex Deer Repellent which kept the deer off my tulips this spring and as most of you know, tulips are a deer’s favorite spring snack! The stuff really stinks so I would advise you to wear nitrile gloves as you can’t wash the smell off your hands!
I have to stick to plants and shrubs that completely lose their leaves during the winter on the side of the house which has the maximum wind exposure. I did try to plant a little evergreen to try to block some of the wind, but each spring it looks more like a plucked chicken than an evergreen! Perhaps I will try to put up a picket fence in its spot as a wind barrier.