Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Slugproof Foliage: Columbine (bad) vs Astilbe (good)

All the slugs and snails and whatnot – well, I still find them flattering, and I’m happy they love my garden so, but the foliage is definitely suffering this year.

Here is a mottled, leaf-mined, slug-eaten columbine on the left, versus a pristine, proud, almost-ready-to-flower astilbe on the right:

columbine = yucko no damage, yay!

Totally reminds me of why I want more astilbes in the garden.  The foliage is both delicate (ferny) and bulletproof.  I was never sold on columbine to begin with, and I really did not love the flowers this year.  More astilbe it is – for next year!

My earlier theory about slugs avoiding the soft, ruffly foliage of yarrow turns out to be completely wrong.  They don’t damage the foliage, but they can still totally climb up it.  I found a few sitting right at the top, basking on the flat flower heads.

If you want a slug-proof plant, raspberry seems to do the trick so far!  I guess they can’t stand all those prickles…

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