Finally, I’ll show you which ornamental grasses, perennials, bulbs and annuals I’m growing in my front yard. Ornamental grasses are great, the rabbits on steroids haven’t touched my:
- Fargesia murielae (Umbrella Bamboo), which I keep in an oak barrel even though it’s not supposed to be a runner;
- Stipa tenuissima (Mexican feather grass);
- Miscanthus sinensis (Maiden grass), or my
- Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’ (Black Mondo grass).
There are a few herbaceous perennials in the garden that seem to be doing alright, like;
- Lavandula angustifolia (English lavender);
- Peonies, several varieties;
- Erysimum (Wallflower) ‘Apricot Twist’ and ‘Fragrant Sunshine’;
- Agapanthus (Lily of the Nile) we’ll see if it has survived the winter;
- Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’, they nibbled on the coneflowers in their first season but left them alone last year;
- Perovskia atriplicifolia ‘Little Spire’ (Russian Sage);
- Monarda (Beebalm);
- Veronica spicata ‘Royal Candles’;
- Dianthus ‘Frosty Fire’;
- Aubretia variegata;
- Primula ‘Wanda’;
- Pulsatilla vulgaris (Pasque flower);
- Ceratostigma plumbaginoides (Leadwort);
- Lithodora diffusa;
- Solidago (Goldenrod) ‘Golden Baby’;
- Coreopsis verticillata ‘Moonlight’, and
I’ve also planted bulbs, corms and tubers including:
- Narcissus, a good selection of different colour, form, size and blooming time because they are toxic and aren’t eaten (although occasionally a stupid fawn will bite off their heads and spit them out!)
- Crocosmia (Montbretia) ‘Lucifer’;
- Colchicum (Fall Crocus or Naked Ladies), and
- Allium (Flowering Onion) ‘Purple Sensation’.
- Annuals that the walking venison ignore most of the time are:
- Geraniums, and
- Wow, when I look back at this list it’s a little embarrassing! It’s really not a big front garden. There isn’t very much lawn though, and if I had my way (and I will, eventually) there would be no lawn.
The internet is a great place to find lists of deer resistant plants; poke around and you’re sure to find more info. One resource I like is from Rutgers University.
Landscape Plants Rated by Deer Resistance is helpful because it rates plants using these categories:
- A = Rarely Damaged;
- B = Seldom Severely Damaged;
- C = Occasionally Severely Damaged, and
- D = Frequently Severely Damaged
I hope this post is helpful for those of you who have serious deer problems like me. Most of these plants should be unattractive to rabbits as well, if that happens to be your scourge. But I must repeat – this is what MY deer don’t like, so far… Your deer may (and probably do) have different tastes. Trial and error, that’s what gardening is all about! And if the deer absolutely demolish something in your yard, don’t waste your time and effort trying to save something that clearly won’t succeed, move it somewhere safe or get rid of it, and voilà, you have a good reason to try a new plant!