Cutting back grasses and ferns is no small task in a large garden. So I’ve begun – a little late, but working furiously. As I do so, I see my Thai spirit house garden has had visitors of the nibbling kind-probably deer. They have chewed down my Eunoymus fortunei ‘Moonshadow’ to what looks like the point of no return. This was to be my ground cover for the area to accompany two grasses: Carex buchananii and Molinia ‘Skyracer’ and Verbena bonariensis. The grasses are doing just fine, but I’m thinking of moving some of them and removing the Euonymus or relocating it to an area near the ravine. There, if the deer want to nibble it during the winter, it won’t matter so much.
I found a photograph in Gardens Illustrated that has inspired me to try something similar (or maybe just outright copy it!) in this deer-ravaged area. Nassella tenuissima and Perovskia surround boxwood balls. It’s simply gorgeous and the only thing that would disappear over the winter would be the Perovskia. I have Nassella in another area of the garden. It’s doing okay but not fabulous there. It would probably do better relocated. I have boxwood nearby, so continuing it into an adjacent area would create more design continuity. I love Perovskia, too, so I guess I’ll just have to include Perovskia ‘Little Spire’. And it will look fabulous with the yellow flowering perennials in the background. They say that the sincerest form of flattery is copying. I’m sure that’s true. While I wouldn’t recommend it in all cases, sometimes a good idea is worth copying when it makes perfect sense. Besides, the garden I saw this combination in was in Provence –my favorite area in the world AND this combination is virtually deer-proof.
Photograph by Guy Hervais, Garden of Guy Hervais Courtesy of Gardens Illustrated