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.
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. . .
That’s terrible! Your poor hostas.
We haven’t had deer trouble here so much, but we sure did in Orlando. The one that munched my nearly-ripe pineapple was of the devil, I tell you. AND ….it didn’t eat the pineapple. It munched the stalk and the pineapple fell over.
What a jerk-face thing to do to me AND to you.
I’m so sorry to hear about this and seeing it in photos is awful. My Sil has a herd of 20 or so deer that figured out how to get over her fence and decimated both her flowers and vegetables, so she tried Deer-B-Gon. It was semi-successful but you apply it as a spray and have to re-apply after rain. She used Bobbex Deer Repellent Formula this year and thought it worked better. She said it smelled pretty bad after application so I don’t know how this would be for working in your garden or sitting out enjoying it. I would think that some sort of physical barrier would work better. Fingers crossed you find something that works.
Ugh. People around me deal with this all the time but I haven’t . . . so far. I think Dale would gladly volunteer as tribute to come, errrr, take care of those deer for you.
We live on a wooded lot near a public golf course. There are deer.
My DH sprays a deer & rabbit repellant on my hostas, autumn sedum, and lilies once a month during the summer. It stinks enough to make him gag, but it seems to work. We missed last month and sure enough the hostas are chewed ;(
Oh, no… How disappointing! I hope by spring you’ll have a plan of action to keep them out of your sanctuary!
I am so sorry. 🙁 we’ve got a huge bold chipmunk population right now that are tunneling and ruining the relatively new walk. We trap them and relocate but they are relentless. And the same – they just look at me from the feeder while stuffing their little chipmunk cheeks as I wave my arms and yell at them like a banshee.
I’m so sorry about the deer and your garden. We have no garden and have highways behind us. I saw 2 deer once years ago and not since. We occasionally have a fox or coyote go through.
People who don’t have gardens love deer (me – among others). I’d love to say send them over to my house but we are, unfortunately, not neighbors. Maybe you can try an ultrasound device which I recently saw on the Internet. Seems like it might make sense, although you may have already researched them. Good luck, Kym
Most of my friends that live near deer pathways never plant a thing as it’s too heart breaking to see it munched! Deer can be ultra destructive to tender plants. I have faith that you’ll find a way to keep them at bay! Your garden must endure and thrive!
Although I have on occasion seen deer in my neighborhood (and they looked very lost and very confused), they’re not something I have to deal with on a regular basis. But we do have rabbits and squirrels who like to help themselves to our plants, so I share your frustration. I hope that you can come up with some effective deterrents — you’ve got the winter ahead to scheme!
Oh no! My heart wrenched at these photos! My neighbor had good success this year with some really smelly deer stop. And I mean really smelly… as in we could smell it. But they left his garden alone. I am not sure how much he invested into it (my guess is a good bit) because he re-sprinkled every morning.
Good luck on your deer deterrent plotting! (perhaps a gift of some new evergreens to the neighbor!)
Our dear are very cheeky as well. With our new landscaping, it’s all theoretically deer resistant although I wake up every morning to find deer wandering around checking stuff out.
Oh boy oh boy! Sounds like you have a dilemma on your hands. I use a deer and rabbit repellant that helps keep rabbits and squirrels away. If I consistently use it after rain or watering at the beginning of the season, it seems like they learn to sort of stay away. Best of luck finding a solution.
I try to just enjoy the deer that wander in my yard. If they eat the hostas which they did this spring i console my self by saying that I really don’t love the hostas and besides they only ate the common green hostas not the fancy variegated ones or the beautiful giant leafed ones. Last year they ate my sunflowers. Each year I plant them in a different spot hoping they won’t find them but last year was a battle with me replanting several times. But still I remind myself it isn’t that important and I love their visits and watching the fawns play in the yard. This year when I planted the sunflowers I put 3 whirlybird gigs that I bought at the border of that bed and once or twice a week I moved them around. I also hung wind chimes in a nearby tree. And for the first time I did not have deer eating the tops off all my sunflowers. All this to say instead of spraying chemicals these whirly gigs I bought at the dollar(+ a quarter) store worked for me and next year I will buy 4 or 5 more and see if it will keep the deer away from the hostas or what they think is a salad bar that I planted just for them to enjoy!