I know, I know, there’s no such thing. I suppose if they were really starving they’d eat anything. But my overpopulated neighborhood provides a great test of what is usually ignored by deer.
So I thought I’d share some of the plants that my deer have left alone. Mind you, if you live more than a block away you may find that your deer enjoy browsing different plants, so don’t blame me if these selections don’t work for you!
Conifers are, in my opinion, much underused plants, and there are many different conifers that deer do not care to eat. In my front garden I have:
- Spruce seem to be completely inedible so I have several, some are tiny, some will be large trees, in time;
- Abies (true fir);
- Taxus (Yew);
- Cryptomeria (Japanese cedar);
- Chamaecyparis(false cypress), and
- One lonely juniper (deer don’t like them at all, but neither do I, much).
There was one chamaecyparis, my treasured dwarf Hinoki Cypress, that they did chomp on one cold winter so I moved it to the back. It is recovering but still looks like an example of poorly pruned bonsai!
These conifers are invaluable to the structure of my garden, especially during the winter when so many other plants “disappear”. When you are planning a garden, don’t neglect conifers, there are so many interesting options, varying in size, shape, colour and texture. Conifers are often overlooked in favour of flowering shrubs and trees, but they more than pull their weight in the garden, offering structure and colour throughout the seasons, and are undemanding as long as you meet their basic needs.
Next post – Deer proof deciduous and broadleafed evergreen trees and shrubs.