Saturday, November 21, 2009

Zantedeschia aethiopica

From Blogger Pictures


Yesterday I visited a garden that we constructed and planted last winter.
My client/ friend asked me over to survey the recent damage that the deer and gophers had done.
I had designed the garden knowing that there were hordes of deer browsing the area but did not make any contingencies for an emerging gopher population.

The gophers were in full assault position. We could see tunnels and mounds everywhere and an entire border of campanula muralis was wiped out.

One bed had not been assaulted.
As I surveyed the unviolated plants I was reminded of my early gardening years up on the Mendocino coast where the gophers and deer population out numbered the local human being population.

It was in Mendocino that I began to hone my deer and gopher plant tolerant list.

At the top of my list were calla lilies : Zantedeschia aethiopica. These herbaceous tuberous plants grew in huge swaths along the coast right along side of the deer and the gophers.
They are my go to plant when there is a large population of deer and gophers.
Calla lilies grow to enormous sizes here in Northern California.
I’ve had regular old unnamed naturalised Zantedeschia plants that reached the height of 5 feet tall.
I adore the large tropicalesque looking foliage and the beautiful white chalice shaped flowers are simply stunning.
These plants also respond extremely well to bog conditions and heavy clay soil.
They can also take our dry Mediterranean summers, though they tend to go dormant but spring back to life with the first sign of the winter rains.
If you’re looking for a good deer and gopher proof plant, This is an excellent choice for a temperate climate garden.

6 comments:

J.J. Cedar Glader said...

Lovely pictures! Thanks for sharing!
i love calla lilies, didn't know they were gopher proof, awesome!

Susan S. said...

Hey there...,just popped in for a quick visit and am really enjoying your blog. Great pictures of pretty things...

Happy Holidays from Houston, TX

Linda at Lime in the Coconut! said...

Calla lllies = Peace lilies? Same same?

Ours need complete shade (if the same)

Gopher proof....who knew?

phrago said...

Hey Michelle, My sister who lives in Royal Oaks (was Prune Dale/ was Watsonville) South of you has been battling gophers for years. She has a 5 acre botanical garden and flower farm and regularly poisons the gophers, which is the only way to keep them at bay in her area. They have a large number of Callas that they rescued from old estates that were scheduled to be demolished. Lovely plants. I didn't know the Gophers didn't eat them. It's horrible to watch gophers pull plants under ground. They will eat just about anything!
Happy Thanks Giving! Patrick

Anonymous said...

The gophers wouldn't be so bad if the damn dog didn't dig foot-deep craters to get to them....would you be so kind as to post your deer and gopher proof plant list? I'm about to cement my entire yard!

danger garden said...

I am so lucky (knock on wood) that I don't have to battle either creature. Just the damn slimy slugs and the occasional raccoon. How wonderful that such a stately plant is so tough!