I adore our neighborhood! It is quite common to see families of deer walking through our yard or resting under our pine tree. But with the good comes the bad and I have quickly learned that deer will destroy my best gardening efforts. In an attempt to have fairly maintenance free garden that is not all that tempting to the wildlife, we have slowly planted deer-resistant plants in our beds. I thought I'd share our favorites!
Let's be clear. Deer will eat anything if they are hungry enough. They have shaved our impatiens to the ground, nibbled our hostas to stubs, and sheared our roses completely, including the thorns. But these are some plants that tend to be eaten less, if at all. Also, we are zone 6 and most of these are planted in spots that have a minimum of 6 hours of sun. Also we aren't blooming yet around here. I'll try to update this post as each flower blooms.
Not only are these deer resistant, they are supposedly drought and wind tolerant too which works for our summers which can be very dry or filled with Nor'Easters.
This is my second favorite next to hydrangeas. Columbine comes in so many pretty colors but these purple/blue ones are so cheerful. They are actually members of the buttercup family! They will grow taller and bushier which is cool with me.
This seems to be a popular flower to plant in a deer resisstant garden. They have long spikey blooms in shades of purple, blue, and pink although I see the purple around here the most. Salvia also fills out and grows bushy and tall. They attract butterflies too!
These come in all shades of reds and pinks and grow to about a foot tall (or word on the street..we'll see). They are hardy through hot spells, as well.
In most areas these are all done blooming but they are the first to show their faces in the spring and they are always so happy looking! We have loads of them in our neighborhood because of their deer resistance and I potted some after their blooming season because I needed to have them around longer. They are doing fine, too! These are a bulb so they should be planted in the fall for spring blooms.
We also have tons of this around. It grows bigger and fuller each year and blooms with tall spires of lacy purple or pink flowers. It isn't my favorite but it never gets eaten and it fills out a garden nicely. Seems to be super easy to grow and does better in part-sun/shade.
I am so happy that the deer tend to leave them alone because I am loading up our property with them. To be honest, I would need to grow nothing else! I adore them! I have a lace cap that is doing nicely but my favorite are the mop heads. The one on the right is called a Doolley and it basically looks like any run-of-the-mill blue mop head. But the other one is a called an Incrediball and it grows these immense white mop heads. I can't wait to see this one bloom! Hydrangeas love morning sun and afternoon shade with well-draining soil.
Clearly, a mop head of a different kind.
These also grow long, tall flowers but they attract butterflies like mad. I didn't love them at first but now I adore them. They line my front path and I am treated to butterflies at my door all summer. They are very hardy and I have to do next to nothing to keep them going. I do thin them out mid summer because they can grow a bit wild.
So there you go! My favorite deer-resistant plants for a summer garden that won't get eaten to the roots! If you have had success with others, please comment and let us all know! We can always use more suggestions!