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Beautiful Plants That Deer Rarely Damage

As a landscape designer, I’ve seen my fair share of gardens ravaged by hungry deer. It can be downright heartbreaking to watch your carefully curated oasis transformed into a deer buffet overnight. But fear not, fellow gardeners – there are plenty of beautiful plants out there that deer tend to avoid, and I’m here to share my top picks with you.

Scents That Deer Despise

One of the first lines of defense against deer damage is choosing plants with strong scents that they find unpalatable. Take nepeta, for example – also known as catnip or catmint. This fragrant, silvery-green perennial is a deer’s worst nightmare. The pungent aroma is so off-putting to them that they’ll typically steer clear, even in times of food scarcity. I love to use nepeta as a natural barrier, planting it around more vulnerable plants to deter the deer.

Lavender is another aromatic gem that deer tend to avoid. The distinctive floral scent seems to be a real turn-off for these pesky browsers. I’ve found that strategically placing lavender plants around the perimeter of a garden can help create a formidable deer-resistant border. And let’s not forget about the classic, pungent aroma of garlic and onions – these kitchen staples are also on the deer’s “no-fly” list. Planting a few garlic or onion plants (or even burying some clippings around your garden) can be an effective deterrent.

Prickly and Toxic Wonders

When it comes to deer-resistant plants, thorns and toxins are your friends. Take a look at hollies, for instance – their sharp, spiny leaves make for an unappetizing snack. I’ve seen deer completely avoid a 6-foot prickly holly, even during the lean winter months when food is scarce. Roses are another thorny delight that deer tend to leave alone, despite their delectable blooms.

But it’s not just thorns that can keep the deer at bay – toxins can also be a powerful deterrent. Daffodils, for example, contain compounds that are poisonous to deer, so they’ll typically steer clear. Foxgloves and poppies are other blooms that deer avoid due to their toxic nature. While we wouldn’t recommend snacking on these plants ourselves, their ability to ward off hungry deer makes them invaluable in the garden.

Textures That Deer Dislike

Believe it or not, the texture of a plant can also play a role in its deer resistance. Take lambs ears, for example – the soft, fuzzy foliage of this perennial is utterly unappealing to deer. I love incorporating lambs ears into my garden designs because not only do they provide a unique visual texture, but they also help create a deer-resistant oasis. Yarrow, with its feathery, aromatic foliage, is another textural delight that deer tend to avoid.

Ferns, with their delicate, lacy fronds, can also be a great addition to a deer-resistant landscape. I’ve had excellent luck with ostrich fern and maidenhair fern – their unusual textures seem to be a real turn-off for deer. And let’s not forget about grasses – the tough, fibrous blades of ornamental grasses like blue fescue and switchgrass can be a real deterrent for these hungry herbivores.

Seasonal Stunners

One of the best things about deer-resistant plants is that they come in all shapes, sizes, and bloom times. That means you can create a stunning, year-round display that’s virtually impervious to deer damage.

Take creeping phlox, for example – this delightful, mat-forming perennial bursts into a vibrant carpet of color in the spring, and deer tend to leave it alone. Shasta daisies are another spring and summer stunner that deer usually avoid, with their cheerful, white blooms that last for weeks on end.

As summer transitions to fall, deer-resistant perennials like anise hyssop and geranium take center stage, providing vibrant color and attracting a parade of pollinators. And let’s not forget about the evergreen options, like boxwood and plumbago, that can provide year-round structure and interest, even in the depths of winter.

Deer-Resistant Designs

When it comes to creating a deer-resistant landscape, it’s not just about choosing the right plants – it’s also about how you arrange them. I often use a strategy of surrounding more vulnerable plants with a hedge of deer-resistant species, like nepeta or lavender. The strong scents emanating from these protective barriers can be enough to deter even the most determined deer.

Another clever tactic is to strategically place deer-resistant plants along the perimeter of a garden or property, effectively creating a natural fence. By blocking the deer’s main entry points, you can discourage them from venturing deeper into your carefully curated oasis. And don’t forget about the power of physical barriers – a well-placed fence or hedge can go a long way in keeping those hungry herbivores at bay.

A Deer-Resistant Future

As development continues to encroach on natural habitats, the deer population is only increasing, and their foraging pressure on our gardens is becoming more and more intense. But with a little creativity and the right plant choices, we can create beautiful, deer-resistant landscapes that thrive, even in the face of these persistent pests.

At Today’s Gardens, we take pride in our ability to design and install stunning, deer-resistant gardens that bring joy and tranquility to our clients. So, if you’re tired of watching your hard work become deer fodder, give us a call – we’d be happy to work with you to create a lush, deer-resistant oasis that you can enjoy for years to come.

Today’s Garden is Garden and Landscape Company, provides all you need about Garden and Landscape Design to get better garden decorations.

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