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Re: Amer. Gardener article/Wild Greens


Well, mine had a nice smorgasbord of yew and azaleas as well at just
the perfect height for them.  For about 6 years I saw virtually no
azalea bloom.  Oddly enough, there were only a couple of
rhododendrons they chomped and they left most of them alone.  For
years, my poor yew hedges had little green tufts at the top of bare
stems...not exactly the look I had envisioned when planting them. 
Luckily, they seem to be coming back tho' slowly.

I tried that thin black mesh netting, too and agree - it is a royal
pain in the derrihre.  I have miles of it in the garage; hate it. 
Had better success with that heavy green mesh plastic garden fencing
attached to metal garden stakes.  Used to erect it around all
vulnerable shrubs in the fall and remove it in the spring as the deer
really only hit the azaleas in the winter - too many other nice,
tender items for them come spring, I guess.  My DH said the garden
looked like a concentration camp in winter with all the fencing
around everything.  It was a major chore to erect and remove
annually.

The heavy duty black plastic deer mesh is easier to work with and
works better than the light weight stuff, but it is still a pain to
put up and take down every year.  That can be tied to tree trunks
around groups of plants if trees happen to be in the right place for
this - or trees and stakes can be used.  Draping it on plants doesn't
really work.  The only time using it as fencing around plants doesn't
work is in deep snow, when the deer can get up high enough to reach
over it or the snow weighs it down too far.

Fencing azaleas works best if you keep the fence a foot or so away
from the shrubs and then cover the top with the heavy weight black
deer fence mesh.  If you make the 'fence' around the shrubs at least
5' high, they can't get their necks over it far enough to do too much
damage.  They won't jump into the middle of a bunch of shrubs if
they're fenced in as a group, either, because they fear they won't be
able to get out; only works if it's solid shrubbery, tho'...if
there's a clear spot in the middle, they'll jump the fence into it.

My herd never hit my big Pieris by the front deck, but they did
nibble some smaller ones I have out in the holding beds.  Never
touched Miscanthus at all nor Carex.  Carex foliage is often really
sharp; you can get a paper cut from it, so that might be one reason
they don't eat it.   Or, maybe it just doesn't taste good to them. 
I've never heard of them eating any of the species, actually.

I've finally lost my last 'Powis Castle'.  The last lot of cuttings I
took didn't take and my last plant was completely mangled by a
falling gutter and collateral damage:-(  Need to get another one and
I've been rather looking and not finding, but I haven't really
concentrated on it.  

You're right - Aquilegia is another plant my herd did not eat - I
have them popping up everywhere.  They never hit my Epimediums either
nor my prickly holly - they will eat Ilex crenata with gusto.  Now,
your friend's experience with holly just proves that they will eat
anything.  They never touched my Junipers, yet I have read many
accounts from those whose Junipers were munched to nothing.  Deer
have leather mouths.

Well, we got another inch or two last night on top of the ice but the
roads are pretty clear.  Just a challenge to get up our drive.  I am
sick of winter at this point and Feb. is usually the month we get our
heaviest snows...ack!  Hope you didn't get too much of that white
stuff!

Marge Talt, zone 7 Maryland
mtalt@hort.net
Editor:  Gardening in Shade
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----------
> From: Aplfgcnys@aol.com
> 
> Maybe mine are lazier because there are so many more tasty things
for them to 
> try  - they don't have to bend down.  A mother and two half-grown
offspring 
> were finishing off what's left of the azaleas this morning.   I
have covered 
> that one cluster of azaleas with black plastic mesh some years, but
when spring 
> comes the azaleas grow right through the mesh and you do as much
damage 
> getting it off as the deer do by eating.   
> 
> A list of things deer don't eat is always interesting.  One local
garden club 
> put out such a list a few years ago.  One of the safest plants,
they assured 
> us, was Pieris andromeda.   Well, I invested in three nice ones to
put at the 
> bottom of the slope, and within weeks all three had been eaten to
sticks.   I 
> have planted Maiden Grass (Miscanthus) in that place since, with
good success. 
> 
>  
>   Our small pond is bordered on one side with large clumps of a
sedge.  I 
> haven't a clue as to what kind,  It was here when we came - I'm
sure 
> self-planted, but I like it and have left it.  This one makes
two-and-a-half to three-foot 
> fountain-like mounds of fine, grassy foliage, and the deer never
touch it.  
> I'm sure this would require a very moist setting, as its feet are
in water 
> during the spring when the pond is high.  Maybe someday I will find
time and 
> energy to research the species.
> 
>   Yes, 'Powis Castle' has always survived the deer, but last summer
mine did 
> not do well.  I believe it didn't like the dank, humid, sunless
weather we had 
> any better than I did. I will replace it this year, anyway (It's
marginally 
> hardy here, so I usually put in new ones every spring) because it
is a 
> favorite.  I love the fragrance of the leaves.  I don't believe
they have ever eaten 
> the plain old S. officinalis, either.  And the same bed where that
grows is 
> full of the native Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis), which rarely
gets nipped.
> 
>  I don't even try to grow tulips and hyacinths except for a very
few in my 
> fenced 'vegetable' garden.  Some years ago for some reason I had a
dozen 'Orange 
> Emperor' Tulips.  I don't really like the 'Red Emperor' tulips, and
orange is 
> not a favorite color , but I planted them right at the base of the
fence.  
> They have multiplied, as tulips don't usually do, and bloom
spectacularly each 
> spring - that is they have in the past several springs.  After this
winter, who 
> knows.   But daffodils are a specialty - I have hundreds of them.  
> 
>   Epimediums are pretty safe, and I am developing a collection of
them, but 
> one patch did get eaten last year. 
> 
>   As for prickly things - they munch on my friend's holly bushes. 
I have 
> never grown hollies for some reason I can't explain.They are pretty
iffy here, so 
> I guess I just haven't thought they were worth the effort.
> 
>   I hope the snow doesn't cause you too much trouble.  At least
where you are 
> it will disappear before too long.  So far we only have a light
dusting, but 
> it is predicted to be heavy tonight. Weird weather!  Stay warm
> Auralie
> 
>
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