Three Things I Hate to See
Living in the woods is great, but sometimes you have to pay dues. We've had a tough winter, with deep snow and ice cover for more than two months. And not much to eat for the deer, especially since there were almost no acorns in fall. I've defended my garden with a vast deer fence to keep the critters out, but the trouble is, in winters like this one, starvation leads them down the driveway--it's an easy meander because the plow has cleared a path--that leads right to my salad bar, er, garden.
Just a couple visits can do a lot of damage. If the deer are hungry enough, they will eat almost anything green. Don't believe those lists of deer-proof plants you see. There's no such thing as a deer-proof plant. I've seen them eat hellebores to the ground. And then there are the bucks, who delight in rubbing their antlers against small trees with a caliper of one- to two-inches. They've killed many a sapling here--magnolias, Japanese maples and more--by girdling the tree, rubbing off the bark all the way around. They didn't do that to this striped maple (Acer pensylvanicum), which I hope will survive. Lastly, bucks and does alike add insult to injury by leaving little mounds of their calling cards everywhere.