When you are cruising past the gatehouse, entering the Lake House or at the SIPOA offices on Landfall Way you may have occasionally noticed that the flowers and plantings look so fresh and, hard to believe, not decimated by deer. There is a good reason for that.
In order to gain some insight, Tidelines sat down with Tyler Collins, regional manager of the Greenery for Seabrook, Kiawah, Johns Island and West Ashley, It turns out that there are two distinct planting seasons for the flower bed arrangements – winter and summer. The winter planting season – planting starts in October, weather permitting – includes more cold hardy plants like snapdragons, colorguard yucca, foxtail fern, lamium and various ornamental cabbages and kales. In the summer plantings – which are in before Memorial Day – they are replaced by coleus, pentas, ageratum, gomphrena, verbena (currently an upright variety of verbena called Meteor Showers), bananas, alternanthera, duranta and salvia. These plantings are then put on a schedule of fungicides, herbicides (for weed control) and fertilizer. For protection from deer predation, Collins was frank in his frustration. The Greenery has used a wide variety of different deer repellents and they rotate the use of each of these throughout the season. But, there is no magic bullet and vigilance is the key.
A tremendous amount of work goes into maintaining these garden beds for all of us to enjoy. So when you see these displays and smile, it makes it all worthwhile.
-Rich Siegel, Tidelines Staff Writer