Thursday, April 08, 2010

Oh, Deer...

"Is it even possible to keep deer from gobbling the garden?"
Allium, Catnip, Chives... There are lots of perennials and annuals that smell terrible to deer. But, a couple of flowers are rarely enough to send them elsewhere. At our place, mass plantings do the trick.

I was awakened before dawn by the noisiest of neighbors.

The Sandhill Cranes are back ~ bugling up a storm ~ with little regard for the lazy human who happens to live next door.  [In the mood to share my pain? Click here and listen to their song.]
Sandhill Cranes are BIG - too big, if you ask me - 4 feet tall and very noisy. Bad Dog prefers to keep a safe distance. Me, too! When I see these cranes walking across the meadow they remind me of hungry velociraptors in that movie, Jurassic Park.

Watching them out the window, this morning, got me thinking about how every gardener has a wildlife problem of some kind. I suppose the most unpopular pest is deer.

Poppies, poppies and more poppies! Our deer hate poppies so I plant them everywhere. These three are guarding cherry tomatoes in the background.

Strange, but true: I never see deer in my gardens ~ odd since I live across the road from a huge nature preserve where deer, elk and other garden gobblers come and go all year long.

Marigolds, Lavender and Sage encourage deer to walk on by.

Boatloads of Daffodils send deer elsewhere, long before irresistible goodies start to sprout.

Six Hills Giant Cat Mint makes a pretty flowering hedge, though our deer disagree. 
They can't stand the fragrance.

I think that's because I plant dense strips of Six Hills Giant Cat Mint and other truly horrible-smelling flowers (from a deer's perspective) around the perimeter of my yard. One whiff and they decide to visit my neighbors, instead.

So there you have it! Hot tips for keeping deer out of the garden.

PS: I certainly hope you don't consider this free advice. No, no... now it's your turn! How do I get rid of those #!#%! sandhill cranes?


Kiki said...

Hi Kate! sure have alot of adventures in the garden!! I dont have any kind of animals or cranes visiting..nothing too exciting anyways!! very interesting to read about others garden woes ! Best of luck ! I LOOOVE the photos though..they are all so beautiful! But not in the garden!
Have a fabulous day!

Anonymous said...

Hi Kate~~ I'll give you my "tips" [read: pure dumb luck] and just as quickly the deer will find a "work-around." LOL The only thing that has worked for me is a six foot tall fence walled off so the deer can't see what's inside. They are pretty free-range everywhere else around here.

Your deer photos are amazing. Baby animals are soooo sweet!

Uh, the crane...not so much. Scary.

I love your catmint row--beauty and function!

Spice said...

Love all the pictures. They're so beautiful!!!!

GardenJoy4Me said...

Kate girl I can't imagine the noise of those cranes .. that would drive me batty .. could be even more batty than the raccoons since we can at least get rid of them .. but the cranes are there to stay ?!! LOL
I think those plantings do the trick too : ) I love Walker's Low nepeta .. its shape is gorgeous and I shear it back for a fresh flush every few weeks in the summer. You are a smart cookie and keep the wild life at arms length with the intelligent methods verses the redneck ones ? LOL
Sorry .. it just popped into my head that way .. hehehehe

GardenJoy4Me said...

I forgot to remind you .. only 205 days till HALLOWEEN !!!!!!!!

Kate said...

Thx, Kiki!
No critters in your garden? Lucky you! I'd be happy to send you some of my cranes...

Kate said...

Good tips, Grace;
I suspect that part of my good luck in keeping the deer away is the fact that my neighbors have a very tasty garden and I don't tell them my tricks... :))

Kate said...

Thanks, Spice!

Hi, Joy -- Nah, I could never be a redneck with those pretty little darlings. :))

Friko said...

Sorry, can't help with deer or cranes; we don't have any. But we have rabbits, squirrels and badgers; the rabbits take anything and everything, all that helps is shooting them.

Wendy said...

oh my gosh - are those your photos of the deer? They are sooooo incredibly precious!!

Liz said...

I like birds, and big birds have always fascinated me. But I would be a little scared if they were in my yard.

Shady Gardener said...

You DO have the most unusual wildlife situations! Utah... hmmm. ;-) Do you get many sandhill cranes? There's a huge migration in Nebraska. I'd like to see it sometime. We saw a few fly over on a visit to Wisconsin a couple of years ago. They make the most unusual sound! Deer? Dogs might help.

Granny J said...

Too close to downtown to have a deer problem, tho that never made a bit of difference to the javelina...

jan said...

I did not know that deer were particular about what they smell! Once I had an infestation of moles burrowing through my yard. I mixed up a recipe of castor oil and a bit of detergent and sprayed it with a hose end sprayer. It worked! All the moles went to my neighbor's yard! (the drug store person sure looked at me funny - I bought all the castor oil off the shelf!)

Anil P said...

Aside from the pain of seeing them uproot your garden, how lucky you are to be able to peer into those vulnerable eyes, and cute as a button face good enough to melt a heart :-)

Imagine having Sandhill Cranes as neighbours. Wow.

Melanie said...

Sorry to hear those cranes are so disruptive. Although from my perspective they look interesting and unique :)

Noelle said...

I'm sorry, but I don't have advice for either problem - the only deer in our area are at the zoo and sandhill cranes probably want to be in areas with sand? With young deer so cute, my kids would be inviting them into our garden to view them up close :-)

sweet bay said...

I'll swap you the Sandhill Cranes for the neighbor's noisy guineas that have multiplied and wandered back onto my property.

Did you take the pictures of the fawn? Those are amazing!

donna said...

We have sandhill cranes around here, too. Not in our neighborhood though. Your photo is amazing.

The first photo of the fawn is so cute that I can hardly stand it.

The deer might hate your poppies, but I luv them. Gorgeous color.

Gosh, it looks so summer-like there. Enjoy.


Monica the Garden Faerie said...

My cats were freaking out when I played the sandhill crane calls. Do you get blue herons there, too? Similar in size and looks, but quieter. At least when I've seen them. Cats also love that six hills catmint, by the way. I had that in the cat garden I once kept, too. My garden enemy (besides buckthorn) is (or was, knock wood, haven't seem them yet this year and I know they're up from hibernation) the groundhog.

Kate said...

Hi, Monica;
My cats are freaking out, too, but they're hearing the live serenade. :)

Thanks, Everyone. I'm sorry, I didn't respond to any comments on this post.

I'm not rude. Just stupid. I got a fancy new phone that allows me to publish comments on the go! I just can't figure out how to respond to said comments. Argh... :D