Today’s tale from the garden . . . is a tale of woe. In fact, I feel like I should re-name my blog garden series . . . Nightmares From the Garden.

Because that’s what I’ve got going on right now.
A Nightmare.

Although I have some very nice foundation garden beds at the front of my house, most of my real gardening . . . takes place behind a fence in my backyard. It’s kind of magical, actually. Most people aren’t aware of the . . . extensive-ness . . . of my garden until they are invited back beyond the garden gate. I love it. It’s like having a secret garden.

And so far, in my nearly 20 years of gardening in this space, I’ve kept that garden secret from the neighborhood deer, too!

I know that deer CAN and will jump fences, but they usually don’t IF they’re not quite sure what’s on the other side of the fence. And most of my back garden beyond the fence is . . . tricky. There are structures or trees or my neighbors’ swimming pools on the other side of my fence, so the deer just demolish my front beds and haven’t bothered with my garden-garden in the back.


They have discovered a weak spot in the fence line. My neighbors have a berm on the other side of my fence. . . and if a clever deer climbs the berm, it is a quick and easy jump right over the fence and into . . . HOSTA HEAVEN. (Before selling their house last summer, our previous neighbors dug up some unattractive-but-effective deer-screening evergreens from that berm. Now . . . it’s just a wide-open berm with sparse plantings.) (Sigh. It’s an open invitation now I’m afraid.)


Here I am.

I know it’s fall. My garden is, essentially, finished for the year. Within a couple of weeks, all of these plants will succumb to frost anyway. But . . .  it’s distressing. Because deer . . . destroy gardens. And if they’re hungry (and clearly they are), they will feast. And fences don’t do a whole lot to stop them.

I’ve generally noticed that the deer in our neighborhood have become much more bold over the last couple of years. JoJo’s alarm-barks don’t deter them in the slightest anymore (and trust me . . . she barks). The deer come right up to my front door to munch my hydrangeas — and chomp my ROSES, for crying out loud! — and don’t even back away when we open the front door and wave our arms at them!!! This is new. They used to be afraid, timid even. They nibbled at the edges of things, but were never bold enough to come right up to the house.

And, like I mentioned, I’ve never had them feasting in my back garden.

So. Here I am. Plotting ways to deter the deer from jumping over my fence.
(Now that they’ve figured out just how to do that!)

Wish me luck. . .