I have inadvertently conducted a great deer experiment over the summer. Non scientific, no double blind, nothing like that. But I’m convinced.
We had a great deer fiasco many years ago, when the deer ate all the rose bushes on the east side of the house. Tom’s garden is on the east side of the house, and there are no beans except those he fences off from deer.
Laura’s sunflowers are on the east side of the house, and now behind a fence for protection.
When the children and I began our great garden project, featuring the salad bowl, I wondered how safe all the tender young leaves of everything would be from deer. But I hear from Jan the only deer in that front garden was a lost fawn, followed closely by mother hissing “Get out of there! Get out of there! Mr. McGregor will find you!”
Animals do come through and help themselves liberally to the pansies on the bottom step. More than one night a skunk’s odor has wafted in my window. We have one very fat chipmunk that must augment his seeds, nuts and berries with pansies. No evidence of deer. No footprints, no droppings in the front garden.
Deer briefly crossed my mind when Laura admired a rose bush while we were out plant shopping. I bought it for her regardless; some pretty roses for Laura, a tasty treat for the deer, for the summer. I only put it in a pot to save the bother of digging a hole to plant it.
I just realized the rose is blooming its fool head off and the only plant routinely nibbled by night marauders remains the pansies on the bottom step. A Eureka moment. The deer come up from the wood on the north, straight down deer alley on the east side of the house, and disappear into the wood on the south side of the road. Of course they will stop to nibble a sunflower directly in their path. Or beans. They just don’t stray from their road. Mr. McGregor could be in wait. It’s called an animal trail.
When Hamilton comes home from band camp I’ll have him dig a hole for the rose to move into the garden. And speaking of plants that found their forever home, the hen and chicks have put down roots, too.