Many gardeners have had a bellyful of brazen deer. Once they target your yard as a delectable deli, they hop fences, ignore scare tactics, and show up like clockwork to devour plant after plant. They'll trot right up on a porch to chomp off the roses, or stretch high to nibble the Clematis you thought was safe on an arbor.
Hungry deer will eat almost anything -- including occasional forays into the foods listed on our "won't eat" list. It partly depends on what else is available and how hungry the deer are. Deer in different regions have different palates. And the deer in your backyard might be the only one in the neighborhood that enjoys gobbling morning-glories.
But you'll tempt trouble by planting deer favorites, which are often smooth, tender, and flavorful plants. A few taste-bud tantalizers can be enough to lure them into your yard. Some typical deer favorites include:
- Shrubs/trees: arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis); azalea (Rhododendron); balsam fir (Abies balsamea); berries; dogwood (Cornus mas); Fraser fir (Abies fraseri); fruit trees; Norway maple; redbud (Cercis canadensis); yew (Taxus).
- Flowers: Chrysanthemum; clematis; daylily; Geum; hyacinth; rose; Trillium; tulip.
- Other: Apples; beans; broccoli; hosta; lettuce; peas; raspberry; strawberry; sweet corn; Vinca minor.
If you have any of these plants in your landscape, consider replacing them, or at least surrounding or camouflaging them, with some of the choices on the following pages.
Continued on page 2: No Free Lunch