Thursday, March 31, 2011

Digging Out ‘Cerise Blah’

Digging out the yarrow

In ancient times I bought a yarrow plant (Achillea) with reddish-pink flowers called ‘Cerise Queen.’  I enjoyed the beautiful flowers, and the deer didn’t eat it, a double plus.  Over the years the plant spread slowly, seeded, and flowered again.

Seldom did the second-generation plants have burgundy blooms.  Sometimes their flowers were light pink, but usually they were a dull white.  And a year or two ago, apparently the original ‘Cerise Queen’ plant died and was replaced by dull offspring.

'Cerise Queen' in early years
Yes, I know that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” but ‘Cerise Queen’ had ceased being beautiful.  Last fall I renamed the plant.  Its new name: ‘Cerise Blah,’ and I decided it had to go.

Rain was forecast for this mid-week, so on Monday I got out my shovel and dug out ‘Cerise Blah.’  The job was easy because the yarrow had shallow roots growing just an inch or so in the soil that I had improved over the years with compost and pine-bark mulch.

In an hour or so I had finished the digging.  Tuesday I took the wilted plants to the compost pile and finished most of the rest of spring clean-up of the front flower beds.  Bring on the rain—or will it be a “wintry mix”?

Now I have to decide what flower will replace ‘Cerise Blah’ in that bed.  I have four requirements: (1) It must be deer resistant; (2) it should be a perennial; (3) it should be relatively short because it’ll be in the front of the bed; and (4) it cannot be “blah.”

Blanket flower
Right now I’m thinking blanket flower (Gaillardia) would be a good addition.  Three plants should look great there.  They grew well for several years in another bed when we first moved here, but over time died off.  They’re deer-resistant, short, perennial, and definitely not “blah.”

I think I’ll keep an eye out for blanket flowers on my springtime visits to local nurseries.

If you have another suggestion, please post a Comment.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a good idea...and they are beautiful in the eyes of the beholder!!