Oh dear, whatever happened to my plants?

WFB members Sara Juneau, Lauren Grant and Debbie Dickson really dig the annual plant sale. (Photo by Bonnie Plikaytis)
By Sara Juneau

A funny thing happened on the way to spring this year. At first, fresh green leaves began appearing on the branches of shrubs in Big Canoe gardens. Tiny points of the sword-blades of irises punched their way out of the warming soil. Flower buds on the native azaleas swelled, promising to burst into colorful orange and yellow blooms.
Then overnight, as if time reversed itself, the leaves disappeared. The iris sword-blades were no more. The azalea blooms were, it might be said, nipped in the bud. Had some strange time warp phenomenon turned back the seasonal clock?

WFB members Sara Juneau, Lauren Grant and Debbie Dickson really dig the annual plant sale. (Photo by Bonnie Plikaytis)

Of course not. Actually this is an age-old repetition of the rites of spring in Big Canoe landscapes. It can be chalked up to one of the most enduring and frustrating problems Big Canoe residents face. It’s those deer! Hungry throughout the winter, but are now licking their lips and chomping their teeth on tasty spring treats.
At the June Wildflower Bunch (WFB) meeting, John Lomax will present a program, “Best Practices for a Deer Resistant Garden,” and will cover some of the who, when, what and how to help understand the issue of deer landscape damage and ways to manage it.
Guided by John, I took an early April walk through the garden that he and his wife Jean, both past WFB presidents, have lovingly tended over several years. John pointed out the difference between the plants we wish the deer disliked and those that they most often do dislike. Moving through the garden, he gave pointers on tactics like planting in spots that deer are likely to avoid, as well as on chemical deterrents that have proved most successful.
Among the plants available for sale at the annual WFB Spring Plant Sale were many natives that deer are less likely to browse. A wide variety of trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals and ferns, along with unique garden art and bird houses, were just some of the offerings available to a crowd of shoppers.
There was something for every garden-lover at WFB’s annual plant sale. For a look at some of the wonderful plant choices that local vendors bring to the sale each year, go to the WFB website at www.wildflowerbunch.com and browse through the 2019 Plant Sale photos in the photo gallery section.
Wildflower Bunch will picnic on Wednesday, May 1 and hear from Dalia Lavender and Claudia Kinder, the Gardening Divas.
The Wildflower Bunch’s Wednesday, June 5 meeting will be held in Mountains Grille at The Clubhouse beginning at 10:00 a.m. All Wildflower Bunch members are invited to hear John’s tips on dealing with deer. Other Big Canoe residents interested in hearing this and other monthly WFB programs are welcome to join Wildflower Bunch at any time during the year.
At the website there is also information about membership in Wildflower Bunch, along with answers to questions about the club. Anyone interested may also contact WFB president Margie Halls, at margiehalls@gmail.com.