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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Deer alley

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.


  1. Great post, Joanne. It must be so nice to get a variety of animal visitors.

  2. I have deer in the woods that border my back yard, but so far I have been very, very lucky that none have used my yard as their favorite restaurant. The cows from the farm across the road are another story though.

  3. I'm glad I don't have deer in my yard and it's nice that they limit their intrusion to one side of your house. lots of my plants plant themselves while i dither where to put them permanently.

  4. You'v got yourself a 'deer run'. Chipmunks are far less organised.
    Jane x

  5. Excellent observation and conclusion.

  6. All these visitors in your garden, what fun, well maybe not they do treat your garden as lunch dinner and tea.

  7. Maybe you could set-up a deer toll booth. Any tick problems? My MIL is constantly warning us about ticks around her place in Michigan. We have seen them on people there so it can be a problem.

    1. Serious tick problem. We have nightly tick checks of animals and kids. Only the cat seems immune.

  8. It's a shame to put your plants behind wire, but your grandkids have invested so much time on them that it would be a shame to have a deer eat the lot before it ever hits the streets.

  9. How nice to discover the deer have an actual trail they don't deviate from. Now you could have more roses, far away from the deer trail. The hen and chicks is looking great, my mum used to love those and had a whole bunch in a big old bath tub under a tree in her back yard.

  10. I made the mistake of bringing my hen and chicks inside last winter. Killed them all. They grew upwards, probably from lack of sun and then died. I don't have a lot of luck with succulents. My neighbor had all of her roses eaten by deer so I would never try those!

  11. Crazy deer! Don't they know about the cornfields down the road?

  12. Good thing the house wasn't built on an elephant trail... I've read that they walk right through !
    Lovely rose for Laura.

  13. Hari OM
    Hey Joanne, thank you for dropping by My Take and it's a pleasure to discover your blog! There is mention of tick trubs in the comments here - have you thought of using plants that will help minimise the infestation? My garden was full of scented pelargonium and particularly lemon geranium - Jade and Jasper used to roll about in them and they had few itchy problems!

    Hugs, YAM xx

  14. Oh my gosh! I forgot about the deer tick problem. Lyme disease is just awful.

  15. Lost all of my roses to cold. I think I would have preferred deer!