Across the Fence

with Ann Brooke

Tag Archives: deer control

Gardens and wildlife: everything loves to destroy a garden

Years ago, I kept a list of plants that deer really liked to eat. It was not a long list, and I only consulted it when working in the outer suburbs, where 2-acre homestead lots were starting to encroach into the woods.

Now, I have a list of plants that deer don’t eat. It is an even shorter list, and I refer to it everywhere except in Brooklyn, where I have yet to see wild deer. Here’s the list:

  • boxwood
  • lilac
  • lavender
  • butterfly bush
  • decorative grasses
  • herbs

That’s it. These are the only major plants that I’ve never had nibbled. Deer are everywhere, including in the middle of sizeable towns and old, heavily built-up residential areas. The only real way to keep them out is to fence them out with an 8’ fence, and there are many arguments against doing that.

In the spirit of valuing what you have, it’s more friendly, less frustrating, and definitely less expensive, to use the really quite wonderful plants on this list, plus some others that you’ll discover work in your area, and have a garden that you like to look at and the deer ignore.

(Other things love your garden, too – rabbits and groundhogs and cats and dogs, either to eat, to use as a litter box, or to dig up in the hunt for even better dietary items such as worms and insects. There are some things you can do about these critters, but I’ll address that in another blog.)