For this month's
Click on image for larger view.Â See if you can find all 9 in this particular herd.
There are so many things to write about when it comes to wildlife in the garden -- the pollinators, the crows, the songbirds and the
There are lots in the neighborhood. I'm five miles outside of Ithaca, and I regularly see deer in town. In fact, twice this week walking from the parking lot to my office, I saw deer on the astroturf inside fence surrounding the practice fields on the Cornell campus. (Not the best grazing.) The deer pressure out here is even heavier.
Here's how I deal with them:
- Fence the vegetable garden. Plastic mesh about 7 feet high. It's a pain to maintain. I repaired it already this spring which practically guarantees we'll get freezing rain or a heavy wet snow to drag it down again.
- Plant 'deer-proof' plants as much as possible. If deer are hungry enough. But poisonous stuff like castor beans and foxglove are way down on their list. I'll buy daffodils, but not tulips. (The rodents like them less, too.) My garden is definitely not child-safe. There are lots of deer-resistant plant lists. They make great guides to get you started. But your mileage may vary. Deer in different areas definitely have different tastes.
- 'Hide' plants. I don't buy hostas any more. But I moved some from our old place. Most are against the front of the house in a clautrophobic corner at the back of a bed with a fence on one side and a porch jutting out on the other. The deer haven't touched them in the 10 years we've been here. I have the same hosta against the back of the house in a bed that juts out away from a corner of the house. There's an easy escape route to the wetland. It gets chomped down every year.
- Tolerate some damage. I've got dwarf ninebark. Well, it's not genetically a dwarf. But the deer keep in small for me. I'm waiting for the year they decide to skip it and I get some compensatory growth and it starts getting up to its potential. But until then, I'll just enjoy this dwarf form. Most trees and shrubs I plant are real slow to get started. The deer provide a good excuse, rather than my own neglect.
Truth be told, rabbits are as big if not bigger nuisance. But they aren't as easy to shoot -- I mean take pictures of.