Deer-proof plants – yeah, sure…

When we first moved to Montana we didn’t realize how hard it would be to live with the deer, in terms of gardening, that is. After a few years of gardening in denial, I finally realized that I was going to have to fence whatever I didn’t want the deer to eat. I used to buy plants that have that nifty little symbol of the deer in the red circle with the line across it, meaning the deer wouldn’t eat that plant. Yeah, right.

Bleeding Heart. They grow well with ferns as both like shade and moisture. And they grow really fast!

The only things my particular deer population won’t eat (so far as I’ve discovered) are Bleeding Hearts, ferns, daffodils and lavender. And sweet woodruff, which is a groundcover that has pretty white blooms. And lambium, which is also groundcoverish and has pretty pink blooms. So okay. There are a few things I can get away with outside my fenced area, and in 14 years this is all that I found that is safe. Luckily, all the greenery looks good against the cedar-stained siding of my house. I could also have white daisies but they are considered a weed here and they take over everything so I now pull those without ceremony.

We’re on a deer super-highway here, meaning that their daily migration pattern goes smack dab through our property. It’s most evident in the winter when you can see the trail they use. My big garden complex sits right in the path of their trail, of course, but I’ve got it properly fenced and white-flagged, and they leave it alone. Someone once suggested planting orach for the deer, which is similar to spinach, but I didn’t think it would be a great idea to give them an excuse to hang around more. I’ve had deer walk up on my front porch and eat my potted flowers! I mean, I like the deer and all, but really…



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