By Susan Stone
Many of us are already in the garden centers shopping for flowers. Just this week I ran into a shopper who was very discouraged by the deer in her neighborhood. Everything she bought last year became deer food. Believe it or not, you can have a beautiful garden and flower display even with deer around, if you choose wisely. Like it or not, your yard is their home too. But that doesn’t mean you cannot coexist happily. There are many flowers and plants that deer will not eat, there are even more that they will occasionally nibble on and then there is the long list of deer candy.
Here is a list of my personal favorite deer resistant flowers. Most of them I have never seen deer touch…a few of them have been tasted, but not preferred, so I will include them as well.
In no particular order; Plumbago, Ginger (including the variegated), Oyster Plant, ornamental grasses, Yarrow, Monarda (Bee Balm), Setcreasea, Lantana, Vinca, all the Salvias, African Iris, Flax Lily (Dienella), Farfugium, Zinnia, Phlox, Cleome, Gaillardia, Echinacea, Rudebeckia, all the Sedums, Coreopsis, Canna, Sun Flowers and Marigolds.
Squirrels too can be a challenge. I have found that a layer of loose stone or sea shells (make sure they are free of salt) on top of the soil will keep them from digging in the flower pots. For more information including an extensive list of deer resistant plants, visit: http://www.almanac.com/content/deer-resistant-plants.
Please send your gardening wisdom and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org if you are asking about a particular disease or pest; please include a photo if possible.
Recipe of the Month: DEER REPELLENT
This one comes from Janie Torrens on Hilton Head. She says it’s tried and true!
1 Gal. water (I put it in a plastic milk bottle) beat up 2 eggs and put in water, add 1 cup of Murphy’s’ Oil Soap. Set out in the sun for 2 days. Works without sun but only if it’s hot out. I then put it in a pump spray bottle. Smells bad but the odor slowly goes away. The deer do not like the taste of it. Reapply after a heavy rain.