Today, I’m sharing an update on our continuing battle with the deer in our yard, specifically in the flower beds.
Several weeks ago, Motor Man and I installed a fence, which I soon realized was much too short to deter the deer. Motor Man most likely realized this from the beginning, but humored me, something he seems to do quite a bit.
So now we have what I’ve often referred to as a “Gypsy garden”. With various ornamental garden poles, shepherd’s hooks,etc, we tied fishing line at a level higher than the fence. Worried that the deer wouldn’t realize the fishing line was there and injure themselves, I strung inexpensive (Dollar Tree) cotton lace all along the fishing line.
And, taking someone’s suggestion on a neighborhood community web-site, we began putting a bird feeder OUTSIDE the Gypsy garden fence, so the deer have access to the feed. So far, and I say that very cautiously, I think the combination is working.
These photos were taken last week from our kitchen window. I believe the birds and squirrels are in cahoots with the deer to drop plenty of bird seed on the ground for them.
Notice all the sunflowers growing INSIDE the fence??? And over to the right, there is garden phlox foliage.
I apologize for the white streaks in the photos. That’s one of the downfalls of Windowpane Wednedsay: the reflection of the “grill” (slats) in the window.
By the way, in the bottom photo, look at the deer on the far left. See his tiny antlers? I was excited to see that, because we rarely see a buck in our yard. Doing a little research about ‘antler velvet’, I learned that the velvet protects the antlers during the summer while they’re growing. And antler tissue is the fastest growing of any tissue.
Here’s an excerpt from the “Hunt Wild PA” website:
Antlers, like trees, grow from the tip (not the base) and it takes about 160 to 170 days to complete an antler growth cycle. As the summer progresses and day length begins to decrease, testosterone production increases. This triggers mineralization or hardening of the antlers. The soft tissue is transformed directly into bone by the depositing of minerals within the cartilage matrix through that extensive capillary network hardening the antlers from the base to the tip.
We might not notice the shortening of days yet, but the deer endocrine system does. Antler-hardening starts in mid-July and finishes up in mid-August.
Velvet, the fuzzy covering on growing antlers, stays on until the antlers are completely hardened. Blood flow is then interrupted, and the tissue dies. Dead and dry, the velvet is rubbed off.”
I’m looking forward to hopefully catching a glimpse of that little guy when he becomes a full grown stag.
~These Days Of Mine~
Clever ‘solution’ to your deer situation. I’m not quite sure who won! Deer are definitely smart when it comes to ‘invading’ our space for their meals. Loved the info on the antler velvet. We have several deer who make their way through our field/yard around 7:00 every morning.
We love seeing the young bucks too……..and the “Bambis” as David and I call the tiny deer when they’re super young with their spots. We hoped when we built this house on a treed lot that we’d see lots of wildlife – and we sure do – now that we confine our “garden” to the back deck and front porch we no longer operate an “all you can eat buffet” for them!
I don’t think that buffet ever closed, did it? Ha!! Glad you found some kind of solution to keep them away from your plants.
Really enjoyed the antler lesson ! – I’ve never really wondered about it or heard anyone explain it before – & glad to see that the deer are coexisting with the flowers ; )
Love the gypsy garden and what a good ideal to put bird seed on the outside of the fence. Hope this continues to keep the deer away.