Friday, March 25, 2011

Oh deer!

I mean, I get it...but I don't really get it. The hosta is green, lush, healthy, probably has a healthy dose of Sluggo around it...but I don't know. I'm thinking that if there needs to be so much pest protection around it - it kinda takes away from the beauty of the plant.

I try not to be too judgmental. I've written several posts now about how gardening is a subjective art, but yet I did happen to collect all these photos on separate jog-bys throughout the year. The garden above - huge and so pretty with the tall lilies. I was sad to see the entire garden area surrounded by stakes and netting.

The shade garden above was really really pretty. Really. The cell phone photo does it no justice. It dipped down several feet from the sidewalk and was quite a hidden gem. This is in a very wooded area and we do have lots of deer. I'm sure there are issues and I'm sure the gardener was fed up with her garden being the local salad bar. But ugh...the netting...

Above, a perfectly manicured lawn, perfectly kept garden, and perfectly straight (and very tall, I'd say!) stakes.

I don't know. I obviously have no solutions. Look at my hosta above. Look at my day lilies below. These guys were new planted the previous fall. There were swollen buds about to open and I said to my family each day, "Keep your eyeballs on that - it's going to be gorgeous!" But guess what? My family never got to see them at all last year. And guess what? New growth this year has been mowed to the ground. Actually, for a few minutes, I suspected that the annoying kids nearby had cut them down just to spite me because they looked cut with scissors (a curmudgeonly thing to think, huh?).

And guess what? I forgot about these day lilies below on the other side of the garden. I only found them when...

...I found the poopies a couple feet away from them. The nerve. This guy stood 3 feet from my house, eating my day lilies and pooping on my lawn. Probably at the same time.

Oh deer! This dope (see his head?) in my neighbor's yard showed up at the wrong house, nothing but lawn and a big old evergreen there, dummy.

What I have noticed is that my hellebores are absolutely gorgeous and everything behind them is fine. I've read that deer will avoid crossing over plants they dislike, and I think it's true. Perhaps instead of a netting and stake barrier, it might be useful to try edging a garden with plants that deer are averse to. There's got to be a solution somewhere between Fort Knox and The Greenish Thumb all-you-can-eat (and my dad's method of stakes with bars of blue-green Zest soap hanging from them is not what I'm talking about!).


  1. Yes oh deer... I'll be really angry to those poops! Hope you will find a good solution to this problem. I agree with growing plants that repels deer... Else those ultrasonic devices that are intangible might be better than putting fences etc. Meanwhile have a fantastic weekend!

  2. I know what you mean. I prefer the natural look. The deer looks a whole lot better than those nettings though that's not what I meant by natural look. Surely there must be some plants that deter the deers like you said. I've read that urine may deter them too. :)

  3. Yes, it is one thing to protect your vegetables from marauding animals but nets, stakes, and fences certainly do detract from the original purpose of flowers. The deer usually eat our hostas every year too, except for last year...they don't like the new dog.:)

  4. I love the image of your dad hanging bars of Zest. Nice chuckle for this morning.

  5. Oh Wendy, I feel your pain! It's the same way where I live. I have a neighbor who actually covers her garden with sheets and sometimes days go by and the sheets are still on the plants. That's a bit much, in my opinion. But the deer problem is so annoying and people are just trying to cope in their own way. I prefer to use Deer Off and spray every couple of months. I also have dug up and relocated some of the deer magnets like phlox and lilies but they still manage to get to them because they only moved up further into the yard...and as you noted, the deer have no manners and will go right up to your doorstep. My recent problem is that something has actually been eating my Hellebores and Daffodils!! Hard to believe but true...and that is in the backyard where it's fenced in! I'm dealing with finding that culprit. But as far as surrounding plants with ones deer don't like, that doesn't work here. I have Hellebore along a garden that runs between my neighbor and me and the deer cross right over it and eat my lilies and phlox which are planted right next to it. Deer spray does work for me, but it ends up costing a few bucks. The other option is plant ONLY deer resistant plants and dig up all the others. Even then, deer will often eat things that are supposedly deer resistent. They say no plant is off limits to a hungry deer. Anyway, happy spring! We are getting snow tonight here in VA! ugh;-(

  6. Good to see you back Wendy. :)

  7. My solution is a giant walled garden where nothing can get to any of it. But that is not feasible, is it?
    I try to think happy thoughts when deer and elk chomp stuff in my garden but it doesn't work. I usually cry. I have resorted to ugly fencing, now at least I get to eat something green from my garden, even if it looks hideous.

  8. Oh dear, I am getting a headache and heartache reading about the deers. I can't imagine what I'll do if I find beheaded buds of my favourite flowers! I think I'll plant those that the deers don't like and for the veges, I'll plant in the backyard and use the stakes and protective covers. Ok, ok, this is speaking form someone (me) who has no experience whatsoever in dealing with deer problems. I don't even know if deer droppings can be used as manure. Deers are vegetarians, aren't they? :(

  9. Different world , different pest....i have monkeys here making mess....

  10. Oh man, I'm almost glad I garden in a city where there is no wildlife to contend with (except the stray cats, ugh.) I did read once to run electrified fence around your garden, then hang balls of foil covered in peanut butter on wires all around it. The deer will eat the peanut butter, get a shock, and never come near the fence again. (As opposed to trying to jump the fence, getting a shock on the way in, and tearing your garden apart because they're too afraid to jump back out.) I'm not usually one for harming the wildlife, but it causes no permanent damage to them. Not that an electric fence is any prettier than netting... or bars of soap. Haha! But it might be useful for anyone wanting to be self-sufficient in the country...

  11. I know what you mean. The garden is supposed to look like a garden not an anti-deer fortress. I think you're on target by using plants that deer don't like.


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