Monday, June 29, 2009

Living With Deer

I was just reading Diane's post about coleus. I love coleus...they are so easy to grow and propagate and come in so many pretty varieties.

When I visited my mom and sister in MD a couple of months ago, I bought some really pretty coleus at their Home Depot. Their leaves looked like burgundy velvet with lime green edges. I planted them in a very large pot with a few vinca and a start of variegated ivy. They've been doing great all summer and had gotten so huge. I was faithfully watering them and amazed at how big they had gotten and it's only June!

Now I moved in on a herd of deer nine years ago and they were here first. I think they are so beautiful and don't mind that they eat some of my stuff. I know they truly enjoy all the delicious things I've planted for them to eat over the years. Their taste seems to change every year as to what they eat and what they leave for me, but there are a few constants like my hydrangeas and daylillies. I've tried several remedies and they all work to some degree or other but you have to be persistent in application and variation.

Back to my beautiful pot of coleus. Yesterday I noticed the deer had discovered them and munched half the plant away. I was very disappointed but thought at least they left me with half and it would grow back out. So I spritzed the remains with some vinegar (it's been doing the trick at keeping them away so far) and came inside. Look what I just discovered... Arghh!

I strolled around the front yard looking at my gardens that are starting to languish with the heat and lack of rain. I'm running the sprinklers every night and plants are barely hanging on. Here are a few pictures of the remains of some of my plants, which cost $ and so much labor.

My pretty stargazer lilly and hummingbird vine that was on the headboard trellis:
My pretty pot of portulaca:

Another pot of portulaca:
A nice pot of begonias:

They seem to like the purple coneflower blossoms and leave the foliage. All I have left here is fading pink yarrow, which will be totally brown in a few more days.

What is left of four tomato plants:

I wish they'd leave me a little to enjoy. Obviously, it's time to try another remedy. Of course, the babies are arriving now and mama needs to show them what to eat in my yard. There is a pair of tiny twin fawns I've seen just once day before yesterday. I didn't have my camera with me, darn it, or I could have gotten a great picture to share. They are beautiful creatures.


T said...

Oh boy, they just think you provide the best buffet in town!! I am truly sorry for all the damage though, that is no fun. Money and labor down the drain!

Betty said...

Lucky you, getting to live so close to the deer and provide them with such delicious foliage. Unlucky you that they seem to enjoy your very favorite plants! I like your comment about moving in on them and they were there first. That's what I say about coyotes around here. I'm not happy they stroll our streets; but, they WERE here first. Looks as though you've made the best of it for them; and, you get to see the delightful!

Diane @ Four Paws and Co said...

Oh no! Guess you'll have to research deer proof plants. They don't like iris's. ☺ Diane

StitchinByTheLake said...

I know they're beautiful but I would be most unhappy! :( blessings, marlene

Lynns Lovelies said...

Hi Phyllis~~Well I guess you serve the best meals around for the deer! Sorry, but I don't have any remedies , but they are beautiful creatures!
Thanks so much for stopping by today. You are so right~~our country is beautiful from sea to shining sea!
Hugs & Blessings,

Mary @ Framed and Tagged said...

You need a big dog to keep them away from your plants...we have deer here but they don't come in the yard...thank goodness!

Lenna Green of Stitching Cow said...

We gardeners have much to contend with don't we.I used to live in a very dry part of Australia and can relate to the heat, dry and a struggling garden. Hope rain finds you soon.Sorry no suggestions for the deer problem!
Thanks too for visiting my blog and leaving a comment.

animal lover, quilt lover said...

I live in the woods and have lots of citters around too You can buy big cat urin, that will keep the deer from eating any plant you don't want them to eat. But the smell is strong. I feed all the critters too, hence animal lover.

animal lover, quilt lover said...

Hubby just brought me a catalog from Gardens Alive and in it you can find a product called Deer Off Repellent, that will probably work as well and be more available.