A few days later, these guys had all been chewed down to nubs.
There are some plants that deer just can't resist, such as portulaca.  I cannot grow portulaca.  Period.  No matter where I hide it, they will find it, and they will keep at it until the plant is uprooted or dead.

There are others, however, that they only mess with sometimes, such as in the spring when there are new babies around, or during a bad drought when there isn't much else for them to eat or drink.  A lot of plants won't recover from being gnawed to the ground, especially when that is followed closely by record-breaking heat.  Then there are my perennials that usually winter over just fine, but which were exposed to multiple hard freezes this year.  With all of this combined, it was kinda like the gardening version of that TV show Survivor.  Things looked pretty bare around here for a while, but I'm beginning to see some signs of life.  Without further ado, here they are -- The Survivors!

Can't remember what this fuzzy grey plant with the yellow blooms is, and my favorite plant book has gone awol.  Anybody recognize it?  I love that little booger!  Also, cannot figure out why the deer don't bother that lime green succulent in the pot next to it, when it looks and feels so much like portulaca.  Go figure!

The gazanias and petunias managed to survive as well, but they are just now starting to bloom again.  This gazania in the foreground has the yellow daisy-like blooms with maroon streaks down each petal.  If you live in the Hill Country, but don't have deer, I highly recommend gazanias, which come in an ever-increasing variety of colors and bloom sizes .  I had one last year that bloomed off and on until the first hard frost, and the foliage stayed a dark glossy green all summer long.  Gorgeous.  That orange one with the yellow centers up above is another gazania, and it's finally got some new blooms on it as well, but I'm afraid for them to open.  The deer absolutely adore that one, and I'm afraid the blooms might lure them back into the garden!  Those petunias were another big surprise.  Petunias aren't crazy about our steamy summers, so they are more of a cool weather plant down here.  However, these with the streaks and dark throats seem to be an exception.  Both the pink and the violet ones have bloomed really well spring through fall for me, as long as the deer aren't bothering them.
Everything in this pot is doing well again, though some plants are taking over and crowding the others out.  There are two Black Pearl ornamental peppers, three kinds of amaranthus (this yellow/pink one is way larger than the other two, probably because it's in the back corner and harder for the deer to reach), and the gazania with the giant orange blooms.  The tall centerpiece with the small orange blooms is a new one I threw in just for the heck of it.  I think it was called cestrum, though I wouldn't swear to it, and it wasn't meant to be the centerpiece.  There's one of those striped grasses, like I showed you yesterday,  in the middle of the pot, but these other guys grew faster and overshadowed it, so it never got very big.

Here's a close-up of the Black Pearl.  The fruit starts out a deep purple black, with an opalescent sheen, but it will eventually ripen to red.  Some people prefer to remove them before they reach that point.  Me, I think it's way to hot for that kind of nit-picking chore!

The two heucheras in the foreground of this photo are looking much crispier around the edges than they did last summer.  I think the big oaks around the garden have lost a lot of leaves, so they aren't getting as much shade.  If they can hang in there until the weather cools down, I can just trim off the crispy outer leaves, and the fresher, more colorful leaves below them will take over.  Behind them is my abutilon, which is one of the plants that froze to the ground this winter.  I thought it was a goner, but it finally came back.  It's still pretty tiny, but it is starting to get a few blooms.

So there you have it -- these guys took a licking, but kept on ticking.  Come back tomorrow to find out about all the hanky-panky that's been goin' on out there when I wasn't looking!
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Reviewed by juragan asem
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Rating : 4.5