Lily "Golden Splendour" and Dryopteris fern

Lily Month

We are in high summer now, if you reckon by the meteorological calendar, in which the summer months are June, July, and August.

July is lily month in this garden. Spring and early summer bloomers are fading off and tiredness is creeping into the scene. But the trumpet lily “Golden Splendour” adds a flourish of drama, as well as an incredible scent. It drifts through the window as I write.

Lily "Golden Splendour" and Smoke Bush

This lily is one quality plant I’ve manage to grow successfully, despite dry, rooty soil. It declined for several years, but has recovered due to my efforts in removing some of the invading tree roots, adding compost and fertilizer, and paying attention to watering.

Lily "Golden Splendour" and Dryopteris fern and Meconopsis cambrica flowers

This summer has been relatively cool, with slightly more rain than usual. The lilies have responded with extra buds. Again, I’ve taken the precaution of draping light plastic netting over them to deter munching deer. We have a small herd of does (one or two with fawns) and at least three bucks that cruise around the neighbourhood.

Urban deer (doe)

I’m still learning what plants they like, although their preferences change from year to year. Last summer the bronze fennel was eaten to the bone. This year, fennel is ignored, but the flowers of Crocosmia “Lucifer” were nibbled. I hastened to apply deer repeller (smelly stuff made of eggs, garlic, and wintergreen). It works, but it’s best to apply it before the damage is done.

Crocosmia "Lucifer" with flowers eaten by deer
A close look reveals bare stems where blooms used to be.
Heuchera Dolce "Key Lime Pie"
Heuchera “Dolce Key Lime Pie” shares the big blue pot with Hellebore “Ivory Prince.”
Pelargoniums and other potted plants near front steps
A gang of pots by the front steps. I’ve managed to winter the pelargoniums (non-hardy geraniums) in this spot for several years now. The other plants are Rosemary, Santolina “Lemon Fizz,” and Dusty Miller (Jacobaea maritima)

Sunny and warm is the forecast for the next week. Perfect July weather as garden and gardener move through the season.


        1. I think individual deer have their own preferences. My crocosmias were nibbled, but I saw some untouched clumps at a nearby golf course that’s home to lots of deer. It does give me something to think about.

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  1. I envy you your weather. We are breaking plus 90 days straight records with each passing day. Previous record was 23 days and we are now on day 25 and easily heading for 30+. Great pictures.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thirty 90 degree days would kill me, especially with high humidity. We get a week or two of seriously hot weather here most summers. This one has been pretty cool so far. I’m not complaining. I remind myself nearly every day that I’m living in paradise — moderate temperatures and no mosquitoes. (Of course there is that chance of a major earthquake…)

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  2. Been seeing those devilish flowers Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ around and wondered what they were, thanks for the ID. Although the name does seem sinister. How about Scarlet Burst, instead?

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    1. New plant variety names seem to be intended as sales enticements, so I’m not sure what the thinking behind this one was. Scarlet Burst certainly describes it well. Deer, bees, and hummingbirds all like it and don’t care at all what it’s called.

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  3. The great thing about gardening is you don’t have to worry much about social distancing. It all looks super, Audrey. In what part of the country do you live?

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    1. Exactly. It’s a great way to get outside and commune with nature. One can even wave at other gardeners nearby. I live in Victoria, British Columbia, on Vancouver Island. Just north of Washington State. It’s a great place to garden. Thanks for your comment, Pete.

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    1. They are black-tailed deer, a native species. In the past couple of decades, they have moved into urban areas, or in some cases, the urban areas have moved into deer habitat. Climate change may be contributing to population increase, as has the removal of cougars and wolves from the areas in question. And of course, suburbia presents an ideal environment — grassy areas with shrubs and trees for cover. The municipality where I live carried out an inhumane and expensive cull some years ago. Eleven deer were killed. Many more are killed unintentionally by vehicles (“culling by car”). At present there is a scientific approach being tested, starting with counting and tracking deer using radio collars. Last year a contraceptive was administered to selected does. They have distinctive ear tags, with a control group given different coloured tags. The hope is the population will eventually stabilize and slowly diminish. Trouble is, our municipality is small and there are a dozen other jurisdictions in the area. Some of them may be watching results of this contraception test with interest. Most gardeners have installed some sort of fencing or barriers. Part of my place is fenced; in the parts that aren’t I use a commercial repellent and protect popular plants with netting. Most of us have reached a compromise. My biggest concern is the number of collisions with cars. There have also been reports of aggression by deer, usually in response to people’s dogs. Yet another conflict between humans and nature.

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      1. Aaah. I’m guessing your area is fringe urban? Mine is too and for us it’s kangaroos. Like you, we’ve learned to live with them. My property is completely fenced but they jump those fences as if there’s nothing there. When I see a kangaroo down the back I grab the dog and stay inside. They’re lovely animals but quite dangerous if they feel threatened.

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        1. We’re not that close to truly rural places, but there are enough green spaces that must act as corridors for wildlife. I have a feeling a kangaroo would be more dangerous, although deer do kick when they feel threatened.

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    1. They do remind me of people at a buffet. My neighbour tosses out some apples for them at times. I’ve done that too, but cautiously because it’s illegal to feed wildlife (even urban ones).


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