>I’m going to start charging…

>All right, I’ve decided maybe to just officially open a deer birthing center in our side yard as I found another baby deer, which is pretty incredible after the storm we had last night. I can’t imagine being born with hail coming down all around. We’ll wait and see whether the mom shows up.

But I think I could do it. They check in and I show them to the secure fenced in back yard where they can rest and recover predator free except for occasional viewing by kids and maybe a cat or two. I can even give the moms some hot or cold compresses. Of course, I may have a problem with these new moms munching down on my plants whihc until that point had been protected from the deer. You know those new mothers. They have no manners when it comes to food.

Maybe I better rethink this.

>Update on baby deer…

>Baby is gone! Motherhood must have called her back because her baby disappeared from the hiding spot this morning. No signs of any foul play so I assume she came back for baby and they made off for the deer resort that resides in the woods around my house.

>Do I really need another baby?

>I had an unexpected visitor this morning. Jack discovered a newborn deer this morning right off of our driveway. A squirrel was fussing at something and jack noticed. I saw the squirrel looking at the ground and paying no attention to me and thought for sure there was a snake over there. So I snuck over and lo and behold.

Do you see it? Here it is a bit closer.

Here it is from the other side

The mommy will usually take off for a little while, probably to search out a deer pub where she can have a stiff drink before she returns to motherhood. My web search about mommy deer behavior turned up the following:

If you find a deer fawn that appears to be abandoned, remember that deer fawns are born with natural camouflage and a lack of scent. In the first few days of their lives, the newborns are not mobile enough to travel with their mothers. As a defensive tactic to keep nearby predators away from the newborns location, the mothers will often leave the young animals alone for long periods of time. During this crucial period the mothers will visit the newborns at least twice a day to feed them. After a few days, the fawns are usually strong enough to join their mothers and the herd, where there’s more protection.


>I had heard of shrimp plant, but blue shrimp plant? I’d never heard of it, much less seen it. But here it was, cerinthe major purpurascens, for sale on ebay, when I was buying poppy seeds for my meadow. And the pictures, breathtaking. The deep blue color of the shrimp. The blueish-green of the leaves. And almost 100% germination from the seeds. I bit and bought. And now I have shrimp plant leaves emerging in my garden.

We’ll follow this plant story as it develops. And who knows, I may have seeds to share next season with all of you!

>April Bloom Day

>It’s Bloom Day again, as demanded by Carol at May Dreams Gardens (darn her for making us all feel like a community!)

So here’s the rundown here at Casa Bonnie.

My pride this month in the garden is the blooming Confederate Jasmine

Here’s a closer look. This vine smells amazing and I have two of them that I have had for years, transferring them from our old house, and now have them making their way up some deck supports right off the patio.

Here’s the camellia making what I fear to be her last appearance on Bloom Day for a while

She has done a bang-up job of blooming this year, more than all past years combined and I hope her new home in the ground makes her happy for future years.

My roses are almost all blooming. Lady Hillingdon, Madame Antoine Mari, Mutabilis. And here is one of the brightest, Knockout.

Oh, good lord, I hope that didn’t burn your retina. I didn’t realize the sunlight made the red color so hot.

And among my roses, how could I forget Peggy Martin, a symbol of life reemerging after Hurricane Katrina

This is her first bloom for me and I like what I see.

My wildflower garden atop my septic drainage field is in bloom. Right now it is overwhelmingly pink primrose

but I see some other late spring/summer bloomers making their way out. But I love the soft pink of primrose.

The other flowers that I love to see strolling in my yard are the ones I never planted. We have some wooded parts to our lot and I often find little blooms here and there. Rain lily, verbena, yucca, daisies, garlic…

and this vine that grows all over the non-landscaped areas. I finally IDed it when I saw it last year as milkweed vine, also called pearl milkweed. The flower is simply one of the most gorgeous things I have seen. So simple green with a gorgeous silver center.

OK, back to the garden I actually have control over.
Purple columbine, the first time it has bloomed for me

The red columbine in front of it is still shut tight, looking like a crown

My climbing rose, Golden Showers, filled with blooms and buds all over.

Among others in bloom, red and white salvia, salvia Royal Spires, verbena, gerbera daisy (just one bloom so far!) and my dwarf pomegranate.

Finally, in the garden, my strawberry patch is hiding lovely red jewels among the leaves.

Happy blooms to all of you!

>Strawberries Everywhere I Turn

One of the things I love about gardening is getting my kids outside and teaching them to enjoy plants and digging. This can be tough when their ages are 4 and 1 and their attention spans are about as long as it takes to get outside. But I try.

Last weekend, my husband and I took the kids out to Sweet Berry Farm about an hour drive away to pick strawberries. I won’t say that we sang songs as we picked berries all day. The picking was more like me keeping one eye on Alex as I picked berries as fast as I could and dropped them in our box. Alex, you see, has a knack for picking whatever berry she can see, mostly the red ones thank god, and stuffing them in her mouth as fast as possible, green stem and all. Then I have to stuff my finger in her mouth to fish it out, at which point she bites down on my finger with her vice-like grip, grinning because at her age she thinks an adult yelling “Ow!” is funny. Jack meanwhile is picking green, red and rotten strawberries and putting them in our box, as we madly try to sort all the bad berries out. The actual picking lasted about 20 minutes, which was about 10 minutes longer than the kids could stand. But the Farm wisely provides other entertainment. Fresh ice-cream and pop sickles (berry flavored of course), goats, and hay bales to climb on.

All and all a great day. Jack enjoyed telling his grandparents that night that these were berries he picked as we ate our fresh strawberry shortcake.

The past few days, my own berry patch in my yard has been producing. So Jack and I have been harvesting every few days and bringing in the bounty. Now, it may not be the boxful that we brought home from Sweet Berry Farms, but these little bowls of berries make me proud, having come from my own patch of dirt. And hearing Jack tell his teacher he picked berries from HIS berry patch tells me he’s catching this whole love-for-gardening thing I am trying to pass on to him.