Oh, Deer!

deer looking at garden
Well, look who’s here.

While I’ve battled with a variety of four-legged marauders over the years, including voles, moles, pocket gophers, beavers and rabbits, I’ve always counted myself lucky that we did not have deer nearby. Until now.

We live near drainage ponds near a natural area that leads (eventually) to the Carleton College Arboretum. In the 11 years we have been here, we’ve never seen deer except at a long distance. Earlier this spring, I spotted an injured deer on the walking path near our house. The poor thing had a bad leg, and it was clear it had wandered out of its normal range to die.

The other night, my husband and I were taking the dog out for her last walk of the evening. Suddenly, Lola got was straining at the leash, as a deer rounded the corner near our house and headed off toward the more rural area nearby. The deer was walking on a pretty major thoroughfare through town. Then on Sunday, we saw the deer pictured above, meandering around my vegetable area, checking out what I had planted. Shoot.

Deer are notorious for ruining hosta plantings (of which I have a few), but they also eat tulips, pansies, daylilies, dogwood, garden lilies, hydrangea and impatiens among many other things. At least I don’t have impatiens. Battling deer often involves tall fencing (not practical in my location), repellents, and choosing plants deer don’t like — mostly things with big ol’ thorns. I’m still hoping this is an aberration, but I’ll be watching.

3 thoughts on “Oh, Deer!

  1. I have noticed more deer who are becoming bolder in visiting my garden in recent years. I chalked it up to the fact that I no longer have a dog, but now wonder if it isn’t a general trend? I haven’t heard of a larger deer population in my area ( plenty still like to hunt in these parts), but th eevidence points to an increase. I’ve had tulips ravaged – but not much other difference.

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