Deer-resistant gardening made easy
Three easy steps to deer-resistant gardening
(Page 2 of 2)
Select deer-resistant plants
Clausen believes the best method for dealing with deer is growing deer-resistant plants.Skip to next paragraph
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As she notes in her book, “Some gardeners seem to shy away from the term 'deer-resistant plants,' almost as if such plants must be the runts of the litter. Nothing could be further from the truth. Deer favorites such as roses, daylilies and tulips are not the only showy, attractive garden plants around.”
Clausen proves the truth of this statement in the beautiful pages of her book, by showcasing a variety of garden plants with bold flowers, lush foliage, and a traditional cottage garden look.
One theme among many of the plants is fragrant foliage, such as that found on many herbs. One design scheme suggested in the book is to combine purple-leaved basil (such as ‘Osmin Purple’) with silvery lamb’s ears (Stachys byzantina), and an accent of dusty miller (Senecio cinerarea) or ‘Moonshine’ yarrow (Achillea millefolium ‘Moonshine’) for a splash of brighter flower color.
Ferns are also given their due here, with many design combinations suggested. [See first photo at left for a deer-resistant shade garden.] For woodland gardens, the ghostly Japanese painted fern (Athyrium niponicum) could be paired with silver-spotted lungworts (Pulmonaria) and maroon-leaved selections of coral bells (Heuchera).
The book mentions a number of annuals (signet marigold, castor oil plant), bulbs (allium [first photo at top], snowdrops), and flowering perennials (peonies, false indigo).
However, Clausen doesn’t ignore the back of the border, where taller plants such as Japanese spirea, cutleaf stephanandra [see second photo above; click on arrow at right base of first photo], and beautyberry [see second photo at left] are suggested.
While the varieties profiled are not unusual or exotic, homeowners will delight in having beautiful, easy-to-find selections that will most assuredly be successful in the landscape.
Using Clausen’s hand-picked varieties, it would be hard to fail at creating a cohesively designed deer-resistant garden that is a pleasure to spend time in.
Genevieve Schmidt is a landscape designer and garden writer in the redwoods of northern California. She shares her professional tips for gardening in the Pacific Northwest at North Coast Gardening and on Twitter. To read more by Genevieve here at Diggin' It, click here.