In comment to the previous post, I replied to questions about deer-as-pests issues. I then thought of more, so here's another post.
Yes, I have had 15 years of struggling with our deer in the current house. I expect the guys at the new house to be even bolder, since we were brash enough to build our home on their feeding ground. Whatever will we do with the deer?
Talk about dilemmas. Husband and I really, really like watching the deer. The deer really, really like eating my lilies. (Not to mention all the other vegetable matter they favor, like tomatoes!) What to do?
- Plant anything that will grow in our conditions that the deer simply don't like. For instance:
- Ornamental chive
- Butterfly weed, Butterfly bush
- Spice Bush
- Lemon Balm
- Plant (heirloom) tomatoes on the balcony above the courtyard.
- Plant deer-delectable flowers in the courtyard only, block courtyard with decorative tall fence and gate.
- Hope they don't eat so many of what they like that I can't have color throughout the season.
I'll consider those last sacrificed to feed our deer-watching habit. You know; bird seed to attract the birds, plants to attract the deer.
Turns out, there's a nursery that specializes in deer-resistant plants and strategies right here in Michigan. It's not close enough for me to go shopping regularly -- it's roughly located on the palm just above the love line, under the driving finger -- but they deliver, which is good enough for me. It also has a forum, so all my gardener friends might want to take a look.
As long as I'm hyping sites, I should add Old House Gardens, which I am happy to support. This site has an interesting frittilary I may add.
Both companies have interesting stories. The Deer-Resistant nursery was started by a gardener in Michigan country land frustrated enough by the constant fight with deer that he decided to learn which plants they would NOT eat, and only plant those. From that came a business. He does not guarantee a deer-free garden; he points out that if deer are hungry enough they will eat anything. But he's had decent success with what he's planted. One of the secrets is to go for heavily aromatic plants. Which does not explain why they like lilies for desert. I guess it depends on the aroma.
Old House Gardens was started in Michigan by a fellow who bought a Queen Ann era house in a district with historical preservation rules. He wanted to put in a garden that would have existed when the house was built -- and found that most of the plants were extinct, or as good as extinct. He started to hunt them down, which led to a degree in Landscape preservation, which led to his business. His purpose is to create a market for the original stock of as many of the old bulbs as he can -- rather than their modern hybrid counterparts. He not only sells the bulbs, but entices small growers to take on some of the stock and become suppliers, thus increasing the life expectancy of these bulbs. They are simply beautiful, and OHG believes in nothing but the highest quality possible.
As always, I'll be blogging here about how things proceed. Meantime, let's talk about moles, mice and cut worms ...