Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The latest in garden decor?

What do you think?  Modern art?  Sculpture de plastique?  An obstacle course?


No, it's my latest attempt to protect my plants.

Yes, that's right.  Little Miss Emmy (as I've named our resident yearling deer) has been munching on all my newly-planted plants.  Remember the Cuphea I planted on Sunday?  She ate about 1/3 of one Cuphea the first night.  Then she nibbled on another one.  And by the time I bought these milk crates and got them out there this afternoon, she'd sheared them all way down to the base.  And she ate all the bloom buds off of the 3 mums, too.  She did leave the Mexican Oregano alone, though.

Sigh.


I'm hoping that the only reason she ate the Cuphea was because it was young and tender and newly planted, and that she'll leave them alone when they grow a little bit.  After all, I thought the mums would be safe because I have two of them that have lived in the same spot in pots for a YEAR untouched.  They are big ones, so, I'm crossing my fingers and hoping they grow big and woody and taste terrible!

See how little she left me?

While I was planting all the plants for the deer to eat for dinner on Sunday, I also dug up several volunteers and potted them.  The first two, L to R, are probably not going to make it, but the last 3 are Crape Myrtles and should be a beautiful fuchsia color if they came from the seeds of the nearest tree.  (Though I do have a row of white ones far away -- just my luck -- these will be white when I want them to be fuchsia!)


14 comments:

getgrounded said...

Diana,
I'm so sad about your new plants! How frustrating - I used to have deer when I lived in N. Austin, right after moving here from Dallas (where we never had deer in the yards). I remember how devastated I felt when I eagerly went out the following morning after planting all day, and all of my flowers had been topped off! At least the Oregano isn't to their palate, perhaps they aren't of Italian heritage.
Robin

Annie in Austin said...

Good luck with the crates, and count your blessings if the Mexican oregano survives, Diana!

At my previous NW Austin house I grew both Mexican Oregano and Mexican Mint Marigold but never saw a flower and the plants stayed small because the deer nipped them short. They also ate the society garlic and some of the lavender. I heard that if we can eat it - so can they!

Now I can use the Mexican oregano for Black beans and the Mexican Mint marigold for tarragon-style chicken soup.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Lisa at Greenbow said...

What a bummer. Miss Emmy is a sweet name for such a pest. I would probably be calling her $*!%@.

Diana said...

Robin - it is frustrating, especially when I plant things that I think they aren't eating at the moment!

Annie - So far, the deer haven't eaten my other 2 Mexican Oreganos or my society garlic or marigolds. But I know that doesn't mean a darn thing! My Mexican Mint Marigolds were beautiful last year and this year they were giant shrubs that blocked the water from one of my vines all summer and now they aren't even blooming for me. I'm mad at 'em! They're moving!

Lisa - oh, don't think for a minute that I don't call her that, too!!!! It's just when I get a peek of her out there in the woods nibbling on grass, she's so delicate and fragile, it's hard to stay mad at her. Besides, don't you think that as gardeners we inherently like to beat our heads against the wall?!

Annie in Austin said...

My Mexican mint marigolds didn't start yet - they've bloomed in October and November for me in previous years.

Annie

Diana said...

Annie - oh good - thanks for telling me that. I planted them for the first time last year and didn't remember the late blooming -- that gives me hope that I will at least see them look good before I YANK them out of the ground! More than anything, I want good vines on that fence, so they are thwarting my plans ;-)

Bonnie said...

OK, can I just say...ingenious. Why have I never thought of that?????

I know, deer are over here eating things that they have never touched. I need to move my sweet broom. And I have 2 yuccas CHEWED TO THE GROUND!!!!!

Diana said...

Bonnie - thanks! Well, I used to make these little tube-like cages with chicken wire which is a PAIN to mess with and I hate it. So it figured this is a pre-made cage that water and sunlight can get into. I am so hoping that once they grow the deer will leave them alone. So sorry about your yuccas - that's dramatic for them to eat that.

Lancashire rose said...

Oops. Posted in the wrong place so here's a copy.
I'm sorry for your deer problems having had my own this week. Maybe it is just the nursery taste but I have to say they are getting pretty desperate this year with so little native stuff to eat. I have never seen so many ribs. I caught mine eating Confederate jasmine clippings. Surely that white stuff can't be good for them. I wonder if you have ever seen the list of companion plants which can be planted to protect ones they will nibble. Don't leave the crepe myrtle pots out there or that will be the next to go.

Pam/Digging said...

Jenny's comment makes me feel a little sorry for the deer, but I know that in my next garden I'll be thinking unkind thoughts about them. Perhaps I'd better start with the back yard, contrary to Carol's advice, rather than the front, to put off the frustration a little while.

Diana said...

Pam - I've got mixed feelings - I do water the deer and they eat our bird seed, so I want them to live, I'd just rather they ate less of my plants! All I can say is buy chicken wire or milk crates BEFORE you plant out front!

Layanee said...

Diana: I have had a huge deer problem here and they can be kept at bay with deer repellent such as Liquid Fence or Deer Stopper. While they are beautiful to look at, they are very destructive. Once a month or so is often enough to keep them from munching on your plants. I do spray the perimeter of the garden to detract them. Good luck!

Diana said...

Layanee -- Ok - I didn't think that stuff worked, but I am gonna go buy some TODAY! If nothing else I can put it around my fresh plants until they get hearty and/or woody and the deer just aren't interested any more! Thanks so much for the tip!

Anonymous said...

Whatever you do, do not plant roses. So far they have only eaten roses-- that I've had for 40 years. The roses look very strange with the bottoms of the roses eaten to bare sticks and the tops, where they can't reach, blooming.