I returned from my vacation one late afternoon last week to find the gardens in fine condition.  All of my preparation and preventative work seemed to have paid off.  I was happy.

Then I ventured down my front sidewalk and my happiness was replaced by horror.

My beautiful hibiscus bush, the pride and joy of my summer gardening adventures, had been ravaged!  I was stunned and heartbroken.

Of course I could not blame my dear husband for this!  Rather, I blame the neighborhood deer, who apparently find hibiscus to be quite the tasty treat.  I foolishly thought the plant would be safe on the corner of my front walk, near the house, and across from its relative, the rose of Sharon, which the deer have never nibbled.  Silly me!

All may not be lost.  Already, tiny new leaves have emerged on the damaged branches.  I have trimmed each stem down to a strong-looking set of leaves and moved the pot to a safer location on the porch.  I am optimistic that this plant will soon recover to its former state of glory!