Early August and the garden's been filled with very hot color: a tall deep orange daylily with gold centers, beautiful deep raspberry bee balm, bright helianthus and more daylilies in various yellows. I've mostly been an afficionado of paler colors in the garden, but these are inherited plantings, mostly, from the fellow who gardened here last. An interior painter/finisher by trade, he has a really nice color sense, and so I've been liking the carnival energy of these shades even if I wouldn't have chosen them myself.
This morning in my first-cup-of-coffee fog I went out to feed the fish, and was sitting on a bench contemplating the garden when I found myself noticing how calm it looked; maybe we'd moved on past the torrid colors of July and early August? That could be nice, just now, just a complex tapestry of green. But then I woke up enough to realize that two thirds of the daylilies were missing, or their heads snapped over, and it didn't take long to discover the hoofprints in the garden. Eaten in the night: the tender leaves of a Constance Spry rose, some raspberry vines, a prize new daylily whose flowers are nearly white. Early this spring, we built an eight-foot fence in the front of the garden, where deer used to walk in and browse. But a gate, out back, has a two-foot opening beneath it we hadn't deal with yet -- and sure enough, at its base there were hoofprints and indentations. Was it one doe, or several? The degree of damage seems to suggest one hungry culprit -- well, not all that hungry, as she chose only her the things she really relished. We slept through the whole bandit operation, even though that new rose is right beneath the open bedroom window. I admit I like the image, her out there dining surrepititously in the dawn light, while we slept away.