Saturday, November 29, 2008


DEER Welcome! It was a very long time before I thought I would ever hear myself say that. It was a constant battle to keep them away from my roses which I sprayed with a diluted egg mixture, every five days. This I found to be the best deterrent, but it took extreme dedication.
It became too much, and if I missed, low and behold, all my precious new shoots would be gone the next morning. I am sure a lot of you know how it feels. We finally decided to splurge on a deer fence and move all the roses, except climbers and a few high standards to the back garden, where we would install the fence.
This was the BEST thing we could ever have done in the garden……..and to have more roses in a smaller area makes a much greater impact - so it was a very good move. We have two gates into the garden, and woe-be-tied anyone who leaves them open. It has not happened yet, but I always worry I may be the one to do it!
The downside is that our front garden has deteriorated greatly. It used to be quite beautiful, but the deer have multiplied like crazy, as I am sure they have all over North America. They are eating most things in sight. But we said that we will never chase them away again, and we do love to see them happy and grazing and not skittish……also to see the fawns frisking about like baby lambs in the summer is heart lifting. One of the great splashes of colour in the front garden, besides roses, came from my vast collection of geraniums. I could always depend on geraniums, but the deer are eaing those too. The picture(2006) here shows, the last time that I was able to grow them in that spot. I will get away with them in hanging baskets and hopefully a few tubs and pots etc, but I will definitly have to spray anything low enough.
So the front garden really needs re-landscaping with deer in mind and I am sure it can be done and still look decent - a future project. The deer really are close in my thoughts right now as I look back on the great summer we had with them and how tame they are getting. Most mornings in the summer months, they have enjoyed a huge feast of rose petals, blooms and leaves, which they greedily devour. I think it was their favourite meal of the day. I dump them right beside the compost and just wait and within minutes while I am peeking through the gate, they come swiftly for their nosh.
Apart from grazing on the grass, they seem to eat a lot of ivy too, but I notice how much the ivy has diminished already, when it used to last them nearly all winter.…..and I do worry about them in the winter especially if we have snow on the ground. This does not happen that often, here in the Pacific Northwest, so they usually can find something. Up to now anyway!
Here are last winter's babies!


The girl from 132 Queen Street said...

Ahh Pauls, they are so cute, you have captured some awesome moments, your gardens are the nicest I have ever seen.

Lexi's Omi said...

The deer are certainly photogenic & adorable, Pauls!

I echo Splenda's comment about your gardens having been lucky enough to stroll thru them ... twice! :)