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Not Now, Deer

posted Jan 13, 2013, 11:09 AM by Garima Fairfax

by Garima Fairfax 

I just found a book called DEERPROOFING YOUR YARD & GARDEN by Rhonda Massingham Hart. It starts with eye-opening facts about deer that help you understand their perspective, as well as their strengths and their beauty, and their incredible senses of smell, hearing, sight, and survival.

You can read about every type of deer deterrent, from fencing to rattling scarecrows to foul smelling rotten egg sprays (homemade or store bought), complete with all the pros and cons of each. As an example, you might have heard that scented bars of soap hanging from trees can deter deer from feasting on tasty garden flowers and greens. But did you know that it takes 450 bars of soap per acre to be effective? And that these same bars of soap can actually attract rodents?

Well, maybe after reading all of that, you want to try planting known deer-resistant plants. Here are a few that I have personal experience with that do well in and around Lyons, Colorado. (The book includes every area of the country.) If your garden is near a natural area, be especially careful to plant only native plants, OR if you plant non-native plants, chose only non-invasive species.

TREES
Ash   (Fraxinus spp.)
Birch   (Betula spp.)
Catalpa   (Catalpa spp.)
Douglas Fir   (Pseudotsuga menziesii)
Spruce   (Picea spp.)

SHRUBS
Forsythia   (Forsythia spp.)
Juniper   (Juniperus spp.)
Lilac    (Syringa vulgare)
Oregon Grape   (Mahonia spp.)
Spirea   (Spirea spp.)

GROUND COVERS
Ajuga   (Ajuga spp.)
Snow-in-summer   (Cerastium spp.)
Thyme   (Thymus spp.)
Wild Strawberry   (Fragaria spp.)

PERENNIAL VINES
Clematis   (Clematis spp.)
Grape   (Vitis spp.)
Trumpet Creeper   (Campsis radicans)
Virginia Creeper   (Parthenocissus quinquefolia)
Wisteria   (Wisteria sinensis)

HARDY BULBS
Daffodil   (Narcissus spp.)
Grape Hyacinth   (Muscari spp.)

ANNUALS
Cosmos   (Cosmos bipinnatus)
Marigold   (Tagetes spp.)
Poppy   (Papaver spp.)
Salvia   (Salvia spp.)
Snapdragon   (Antirrhinum spp.)
Sunflower   (Helianthus spp.)
Sweet Alyssum    (Lobularia maritima)

HARDY PERENNIALS
Beardtongue   (Penstemon spp.)
Beebalm   (Monarda spp.)
Blanketflower   (Gaillardia spp.)
Black-eyed Susan   (Rudbeckia spp.)
Cinquefoil   (Potentilla spp.)
Columbine   (Aquilegia spp.)
Coreopsis   (Coreopsis spp.)
Gentian   (Gentiana spp.)
Iris   (Iris spp.)
Lupine   (Lupinus spp.)
Phlox (Phlox spp.)
Poppy   (Papaver spp.)
Russian Sage   (Perovskia atriplicifolia)
Santolina   (Santolina spp.)
Violet   (Viola spp.)
Wild Buckwheat   (Eriogonum spp.)

HERBS
Catmint   (Nepeta x faassenii)
Chives   (Allium schoenoprasum)
Coneflower   (Echinacea spp.)
Hyssop   (Hyssopus officinalis)
Lavender   (Lavandula spp.)
Mints   (Mentha spp.)
Oregano (Origanum vulgare)
Sage, garden   (Salvia officinalis)
Thyme   (Thymus spp.)
Yarrow   (Achillea spp.)

Some of these stronger smelling herbs like sage and thyme can be planted amongst other plants in your garden that deer are eating, to help cover up their appeal and deter deer from dining there.

I highly recommend this book if deer are an issue in your garden and you want to learn more.

Source:
Hart, Rhonda Massingham, 2005, Deerproofing Your Yard & Garden, Storey Publishing, MA.

The Common Juniper

posted Jan 13, 2013, 10:42 AM by Garima Fairfax   [ updated Jan 13, 2013, 10:45 AM ]

We have in our woods here in Colorado a prostrate juniper called Common Juniper (Juniperus communis subsp. alpina). Less than 3 feet high, it forms a low, spreading clump. You’ve probably seen this coniferous undershrub in our forests, but you may not be aware of how common it really is. It turns out that it is the most widely distributed conifer in the world, and the only circumpolar conifer in the northern hemisphere. That’s enough to warrant a closer look.

This Common Juniper is an evergreen shrub with short, sharp needles, with female or male cones generally on separate plants. The female cone scales are fused together to look like round berries, green at first, then ripening to a dark blue with a grayish “bloom” or coating. The male cones are very small, and can be found at the tips of the branches while they form pollen. After they release their pollen, they disintegrate.

The female berries are an important source of food for birds and small mammals in our woods, and have a long history of medicinal use by Native Americans coast to coast, Europeans, and Northern Asians. This low, spreading juniper, which is found sprawling under Ponderosa Pines of the foothills and all the way up to Bristlecone Pines in the subalpine, proves itself to be a valuable and adaptable member of our ecosystem.

Sources:
  • Benedict, Audrey DeLella. 2008. The Naturalist’s Guide to the Rockies: Colorado, Southern Wyoming, and New Mexico. Fulcrum Publishing, Golden, Colorado. 
  • Kershaw, Linda; MacKinnon, Andy, and Pojar, Jim. 1998. Plants of the Rocky Mountains. Lone Pine Press, Canada.
  • Lanner, Ronald M. 1999. Conifers of California. Cachuma Press, Los Olivos, California. 
  • Weber, William A. 2001. Colorado Flora: Eastern Slope. 3rd ed. Univ. of Colorado Press, Niwot, Colorado.

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