My Gypsy Garden

As you know, if you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, we live in a ‘wild kingdom’ of sorts: rabbits, squirrels, deer, heron, osprey, turtles, birds…did I leave out anyone?? Oh, and raccoons.

For years, I’ve had a love-hate relationship with the deer.  They are beautiful, and I could never, ever harm one. But it’s so discouraging to find the remains of a plant that was a late night deer snack.

Last year, I was searching on Pinterest for fence options with every intent on having some sort of fence installed by this spring. I happened upon a suggestion to string fishing line around the area you’re trying to keep off premises to deer.  The thought is that they can’t see the line, and when it touches them, they’re frightened and don’t attempt to enter that area.

Before you wonder about them being harmed by trying to cross the fishing line, please note that this line would easily pull up the stakes to which it’s attached  if any weight were to be put on it (or against it). And the areas where I use it aren’t ones where the deer would be running and get caught in it.

So, that being said, welcome to my ‘gypsy garden’, where you’ll find all sorts of gadgets, stakes, etc., to which I attach the fishing line.

This is an area where I wanted to plant a thunbergia (black-eyed Susan vine), which, evidently, is deer candy (or perhaps French Fries).  I planted it in front of that black trellis, and I also placed a pot of red Gerbera Daisies at the base of the tree. Deer also love those plants. The old coffeepot stake serves as one of the anchors for the fishing line.

This next area is beside our deck.  The fishing line here is protecting my garden phlox and some primrose.  In the past,  as soon as they were a few inches tall, the deer mowed them to the ground. The phlox (dark green foliage to the left behind the old washtub) still has a cage around it that I used to protect it last year. (Thank you, Motor Man, for building those cages.)  I can probably remove that now that the fishing line fence is in place.  The blue butterfly solar light stake is being used to anchor this end of  the fishing line. Mr and Mrs. Duck wanted to be in the picture, too corn.

One end of the fishing line in this next area is attached to this old, rusty butterfly stake and the other to that old primitive white chair. The fence is protecting the gladioli in the background. However, there will be a problem when the glads to the front of the bed start blooming. The deer will be able to just munch on them over the ‘fence’. I may have to come up with another plan before then, because I do love glads.


This kitty’s expression could be interpreted as: “Whoa! Do you think you have enough fishing line strung, lady?”.  (Good thing I’ve been collecting those decorative garden stakes for years.)

In another area near our deck, the fishing line has done a great job of protecting my hydrangea AND a yellow climbing rose bush (back right corner). I’ve probably had that bush for 15 years, but it’s been several years since the deer have allowed it to produce any foliage,  much less bloom. It’s doing great this year, thanks to that fishing line. The deer completely ignore the irises, the fragrance being too strong for the deer. (If only all flowers had that sweet ‘perfume’.)

And deer aren’t the only critters we’re trying to keep ‘at bay’.

Up until a couple of weeks ago, every morning, we were finding our bird feeders on the ground, and the shepherds’ hooks they were hanging on bent or badly leaning. We thought, to do that much damage, the culprit  must be deer. But we wondered how they could get past the fishing line without breaking it. So we invested in a trail camera, and the very first night caught several images similar to this:

Now…. if only a fishing line fence could keep out the raccoons. Since that isn’t an option, we just bring in the feeders every night and put them back out in the morning. Problem solved.

We now have bluebirds nesting in one of the hanging geraniums on the front porch.  Many Facebook friends have warned me to be on the lookout for snakes attacking the nest. A Google search shows that, apparently hopefully, a slinky over the chain (or pole/post) will prevent that. I sure do hope so.

Do you have a ‘gypsy garden’? How to you deter critters from your flowerbeds,  bird feeders and/or nests?

~These Days Of Mine~



10 responses to “My Gypsy Garden

  1. Well I sure did have a gypsy garden some years ago but when I cut back on all the garden spots that needed maintenance I resorted to deck railing planters, big pots of flowers/perennials on the deck itself and pots of things on my front porch. So far at least, nothing has bothered any of those plantings for years. I do miss a “yard garden” sometimes but then I sure did hate having to replace all the things that went the way of SNACKS for the visitors! Fishing line and slinkies seem to do the trick for you so far………………..YAY!!


  2. how wonderful, i love your gypsy garden

  3. Your plants sure have a worthy warrior defending them in you. Pretty clever idea, and that fishing line sure smells better than deer stink! Hope it all works for you. If so, you’ll have amazing color all summer.

  4. What a great pictorial of of your haven!! L9ve that you have yellow roses and phlox so lushly (is that correct usage)?

    What a success story on the fishing line, and has to be just about invisible to the human eye, so doesn’t distract from your beautiful yard.

  5. Marsha A Henegar

    I love your determination to protect your garden while not harming the critters. Just one more tip to deter deer: Place pieces of Irish Spring soap (original scent) near the flowers deer particularly like. I heard about this last year and tried it with my day lilies that the deer were decimating, and it seemed to work. Good luck, especially with the Slinky!

    • Thanks, Marsha! I’ve been using Irish Spring recently, more for the rabbits, who just last year, discovered they LOVE zinnia foliage! But, I’m thinking you have to reapply that after rain….??

      • Marsha A Henegar

        Dianna, I found that the scent lasts as long as the soap. Yes, it will gradually melt after quite a few rains, but it does so slowly.

  6. Shirley Matthews Dunn

    What a lovely Gypsy Garden. So glad the fishing line is working. 💐

  7. I see Wild Kingdom has opened a raccoon roller coaster !

  8. I love the gypsy garden, formerly known as the deer smorgasbord, in Dianna and MM’s Wildlife Refuge. Hopefully, that fishing line works. 🙂

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