Gardening on Westport Island: An Interspecies Game
Score: Wildlife 10, This Human 0
Last night, I suffered the latest in a spate of critter attacks on my gardens. Yet another plant has been removed from my list of “surefire” deer-resistant plants: coral bells. “Nevermore” plants for my garden include: hostas, tulips, day lilies, phlox, sweet williams (dianthus), asiatic lilies, coreopsis, winterberry, mountain laurel, holly, ivy, coral bells…and hydrangeas.
I tell Justin Reynolds, Horticulturist, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens: My yard is like a scene from Dr. Dolittle. Chipmunks munching on bulb plants; turkeys on whatever; and deer on pretty much everything.
The only plants that Island animals don’t seem to eat are: catmint, lavendar, peonies, daffodils, heather, moonbeam coreopsis, bearberry, and iris. Do you have other suggestions for plants that deer will pass by — or suggestions for detering bulb-munching chipmunks?
Justin’s advice: To deter chipmunks: plant daffodils, scilla, and crocus tomasianus. Take a look at lists online for both chipmunk and deer resistant plants, starting with: Dave’s Garden. If you want to plant bulbs that are appealing to animals, consider planting a large area and covering it with chicken wire.
Hmmm… In a last ditch effort to save what’s left of this year’s hydrangea blossoms, I’m turning to:
Amanda’s Mom’s Deer-Be-Gone Spray
- 2 cups water
- 2 eggs
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 T Tabasco
- 2 T VERY HOT ground pepper
Put all in blender and puree. Decant into bottles or jars. Let sit for 2 days. Pour, sprinkle or spray on and around anything you don’t want the deer to eat.