The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Deer friendly flower bed

Crocus bulbs

The biggest reason I rushed to harvest my carrots is because I had that spot earmarked to turn into a flower bed. Two bags of crocuses have been waiting for months to go into the ground there. So as soon as the carrots came out, the crocuses went in.

Black cat

Huckleberry "helped" with the project, which means he sat on the carrot tops and made it difficult to use them as mulch over my crocus bulbs. I eventually got the job done anyway.

Well, except for deciding what else to plant in my new flower bed for summer and fall color. Ideas for useful or at least low-work perennials to plant in a very deer-trafficked spot?

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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The deer, rabbits, voles and slugs seem to leave alone the wild foxglove and California poppies, and established calendula and nasturtiums, all of which are prolific with seeds to save for next season. The oregano, garlic chives and lavender remain pretty much untouched, but need protection to give them a fighting chance to overwinter. Of course be very careful that you don't ingest foxglove (digitalis) and you may want to skip it all together if you're growing comfrey (aka bone-knit). There is an old story here about a couple who mistook foxglove for comfrey - not a good outcome.
Comment by PNW Jenny Sun Nov 11 09:06:50 2018
Huecheras have beautiful foliage almost year-round. They grow well in shade or moderate sun and critters leave them alone!
Comment by Emily Springfield Sun Nov 11 10:40:30 2018
Herbs that flower are great pollinators and easy to maintain. I like chives, oregano, hyssop and sage as bed accents. I also have some purple and white irises that the deer leave alone. I also throw in a lot of marigolds because they dont like their scent. I have TONS of deer so anything delicious to them is always chewed to a nub like my tulips. I am experimenting with planting tulips
Comment by Torina Sun Nov 11 12:53:50 2018
We live in an area with lots if deer and have had good luck with coneflowers and Bee Balm.
Comment by Pam Kaufman Sun Nov 11 13:30:46 2018
Black eyed susans aren't bothered by deer and require no care. But don't plant phlox which are also easy - deer eat the buds off the top and they don't get to bloom. Deer don't seem to like my salvias, either perennial or annual.
Comment by Anonymous Mon Nov 12 22:28:17 2018

Nice to finally meet you today. This might have been the last post that I read. Well this one or the one with the wood chips....time flies.

You and Mark will have to come to our place for dinner after the thaw!


Comment by Ron Young Sat Feb 2 11:36:37 2019

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