My garden sings with plants I purchased from Heronswood, Roslyn, and Fairweather Gardens. Sadly, all three nurseries have closed. They are missed.
The good news is that Deer Country Gardens, a retail/mail-order garden nursery, has recently opened. Nursery founder Anne Haines, an accomplished plantswoman, has a laudable mission: “To offer trees, shrubs, perennials, herbs, annuals and edibles that are deer-resistant AND great garden plants.”
Included among the “greats”, Deer Country offers a choice selection of Pieris cultivars, a number of which I grow and love. In addition to deer resistance (deer-free in my garden), Pieris shrubs possess many wonderful attributes: evergreen foliage, beautiful, fragrant flowers that attract bees and butterflies, colorful new growth, and, in my shady, organic garden, the plants have been disease and pest free. (NOTE: Pieris may be vulnerable to lace bug attack when grown in sun.)
Photos below: Pieris japonica ‘Mountain Fire‘s snowy-white fragrant flowers and crimson new growth; and Pieris x Brouwer’s Beauty, first in flower, and later when the light green new growth creates an elegant contrast with the dark evergreen foliage:
In addition to Pieris japonica ‘Mountain Fire’ and Pieris x ‘Brouwer’s Beauty’ other fabulous Pieris cultivars available for purchase include: Pieris japonica ‘Katsura’; P.j. ‘Dorothy Wyckoff’; P.j. ‘Forest Flame’; P.j. ‘Scarlett O’Hara’; P.j. ‘Passion’; P.j. var. yakushimanum ‘Cavatine’ (Dwarf).
For shady gardens, the evergreen, low-growing shrub Sarcoccoa hookeriana var. humilis is an ideal ground cover or decorative edging. In early Spring, it produces tiny, very fragrant flowers that release their delicious perfume into the air, and the plant enjoys hardiness and good health all year round.
A deciduous shrub that caught my eye, Spirea japonica ‘Double Play Red’, flaunts unique vibrant red flowers and showy dark-burgundy new growth.
Multi-award winner and universally admired Geranium ‘ Rozanne’ is a must-have perennial. Deer Country offers two gallon plants for only fifteen dollars. Grab them before they fly out the door.
A quart size of the sturdy-stemmed beauty Digitalis purpurea ‘Candy Mountain’ is a steal at five dollars. Unlike other foxgloves, this enchanting biennial’s rosy-pink flowers face upward, revealing its speckled throat. Anne Haines thinks the plants are “almost certain to bloom this year.”
Vegetable growers rave about Asparagus officinalis ‘Jersey Giant’, a hardy, long-lived, high-yielding, disease-resistant variety. (Planting instructions are provided on Deer Country’s website.)
This is but a taste of the amazing feast of deer-resistant plants offered by Deer Country Gardens. For easy access to their website, go to LINKS and click on.