Carol loves to garden. In fact, if it wasn't for the fact that she has to pause occasionally to make meals, I suspect she'd spend all her time puttering about in the gardens.
Given the fact that the deer will eat anything that isn't behind a fence, her scope has been limited -- that might be a good thing. Left unchecked, we could well look the gardens at Versailles palace... If you really want to know what varieties are Deer Resistant, don't read the labels, give Carol a call. It's a short list.
Right now, the iris are coming into their full spring splendour. She has iris in every shade of the rainbow. They range from the tall, elegant wild fleur-de-lis, through the short Japanese iris, to these tall majestic enormous blooms.
And, as is the way with iris, they spread. Which means Carol spends a lot of time in the garden, weeding, dividing and generally re-arranging. This time of year, if you plan to dig in the dirt, you'd better plan on having company. Blackflies are about (warming up for the influx of the G8 delegates, who should feature prominenently on the blackfly menu), mosquitoes come out to play in the late afternoon. Early this year, the deer flies and horse flies are also zooming about. These are big enough to fly in a breeze, and they make the horses' lives a misery. Not to mention the deer's lives -- they have taken to hiding out in the indoor arena, because curiously enough, deer flies and horseflies (and blackflies) don't follow you under a roof.
Carol has several tools in her arsenal, including this one. She takes on of those sticky fly strips, the kind that are designed to stick on your indoor window and catch house flies. She pins it to the back of her shirt. She gardens. Yes, it works really well...
We're also recommending the Vitamin B1 (thiamine) skin patch. Nancy's had good results using that, when she's outside working with her horses and riders. Easy to use, and certainly it seems to help.
When the bugs are bugging you, spare a brief moment to remember that they have a use, and a place in this beautiful world. They provide food for swallows, bats and a host of other creatures. They pollinate blueberries, raspberries, wild strawberries... They only bite you once.