Deer-proof Plants Part II

In my front garden  are deciduous trees and shrubs that I’ve chosen in hopes that the deer won’t devour them.  They do sustain varying degrees of damage but if I judge that the plant is unable to grow faster than it’s being browsed I  transplant it to the back yard.  Right now I’m growing:

Berberis 'Crimson Pygmy' fall colour

  • Acer platanoides (Norway Maple);
  • Oxydendron arboreum (Sourwood) which they nibble but it’s outgrowing them;
  • Styrax japonica (Japanese Snowbell) same as above…grow baby, grow;
  • Corylus avellana contorta (Contorted Filbert, Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick);
  • Berberis (Barberry) thorny, tough as nails, and I have several different varieties.  Fortunately it doesn’t seem to be as invasive here as I understand it can be elsewhere.
  • Spiraea, supposedly very deer resistant but they’ve been sampling them;
  • Acer palmatum ‘Fireglow’, which is clinging to life after being nearly debarked by a young buck rubbing the velvet from his antlers, and
  • Syringa patula “Miss Kim” (Korean Lilac) which is lightly browsed.
    Corylus avellana contorta
    Corylus avellana contorta

Broadleaf Evergreens are probably the trickiest class of plants because their foliage is at risk during winter when there is little forage.  In the front garden I’m growing:

  • Rhododendrons, I planted several varieties and have
    Nandina domestica ‘Firepower”

    found that my deer enjoy eating the small-leafed dwarf types.  Larger leafed varieties they have left alone – so far;

  • Pieris japonica (which has too many common names to list!) is absolutely untouched, and grows extremely well here so I have several;
  • Buxus (boxwood), again

    Pieris japonica 'Karenoma'

    absolutely untouched by furry vultures;

  • Nandina (Heavenly Bamboo) which isn’t bamboo, and they taste it occasionally;
  • Cotoneaster dammeri ‘Streib’s Findling’;
  • Ilex (Holly) too prickly to eat, and
  • Mahonia (Oregon grape) again, the prickles!

    Mahonia 'Winter Sun'

And of course there is Heather, both summer and winter blooming varieties.

Next time I will show you the ornamental grasses, perennials and annuals I am successfully growing in my front garden.

Calluna ‘Firefly’
The Heather bed

About hortophile

I am a very opinionated, slightly obsessed gardener with decades of experience in the retail nursery industry. A lucky resident of the "Wet Coast" of British Columbia I tread a muddy path between practicality and beauty, with my veggie patch, herb garden and fruits vying for position with the beautiful trees, shrubs and flowers that I can't resist. DON'T ask me to choose between them! I believe in environmental responsibility and common sense.
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7 Responses to Deer-proof Plants Part II

  1. I love the shape of that “Corylus avellana contorta”. Great colours in your heather bed too. nice work.

  2. Jodi Harding says:

    Your Syringa patula “Miss Kim” (Korean Lilac) was lightly browsed? My first one was eaten with gusto…My second one is behind a tall ring of 1 inch chicken wire!

  3. I love the heather bed. What a wonderful display of colour!

    Pieris japonica ‘Karenoma’ This is one of my favourite plants…can’t seem to grow them here in portugal. Think it is too hot 😦

  4. Pingback: Mahonia bealei | Find Me A Cure

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