IN THE FIELD: Natures’ Salad Buffet
There are many types of deer resistant plants available for the home gardener. Although if deer are hungry enough, even these are not always safe from their dining pleasure. Hosta plants are no exception. There must be some kind of invisible coded message embedded in the leaves saying “Eat this. It’s chock full of vitamins, a good source of fiber and you’ll like it.”
Many folks, ourselves included, have tried with no success I might add, to growing and cultivating many varieties of hostas up here on the mountain. The scenario goes like this.
Day one. Travel to garden center and pick out the most captivating and healthiest of plants. Drive home and plant them in prime shaded areas of the garden. Water well and enjoy fruits of labor.
Day two. Neighbors visit and admire the lush foliage added to the gardens.
The deer apparently have some kind of telepathic methodology or secret coded message system they relay from herd to herd throughout the region describing in detail where to find the freshly planted specimens.
On day three, most of the hosta plants now resemble stalks of celery. While humans and pets slept, the resident herd of 25 or so deer have crept silently around the gardens and visited the “open all night” salad bar.
I truly hope the deer feel a bit guilty at times when visiting a newly planted garden. Because you see, they never eat ALL of the hostas at one sitting. They save some for another day. And just when the homeowners hopes are raised, they visit again when least expected and finish where they left off. And, there are a few deer that don’t even wait until it is dark to feast on these leafy plants. We have even seen yearlings on our front porch peeking in the windows, as if to see if the coast is clear.
We do have a few plants that survive their gorge on the free eats. This is probably due to a plant nearby not to their liking. The hosta in this photo is one that has remained under the radar and still has all it’s leaves. I swear, I swear, I swear.