Garden Dilemmas, Delights & Discoveries, Ask Mary Stone, New Jersey Garden blog

Springfest Lecture : Deer Resistant Plants

Mary Stone, Garden Dilemmas, Ask Mary Stone, Gardening tips, Garden Blogs, Stone Associates Landscape Design,deer deterrents, Springfest Garden Show

Hello fellow readers,

There was standing room only for our talk on Deer Resistant Plants You May Not Know About at the Springfest Garden Show. Thanks to all of you for being there. It was a joy meet you!

We started our presentation with a rant of antics we do to keep deer at bay. Like decking our gardens with Irish Spring soap, dryer sheets, human hair, and cotton balls drenched in predator pee. Then there’s the homemade recipes with rotten eggs and chili pepper and other such distasteful things. Or the store bought sprays – some that smell like cloves and others like a dead animal or a bad septic on a hot day. If the foul smells don’t keep you from enjoying your garden, the hanging arsenal of deterrents can surely impede your pleasure! Rather, let’s enjoy beautiful deer resistant gardens; an herb garden is a great place to start.


My colleague Marty Carson, of Three Seasons Garden Designs, shared ‘deer generally are most uninterested in tasting many types of herbs; including thyme, sage, rosemary, fennel, lavender, oregano, and chives. In addition herbs are healthful, delicious, and easy to grow.’ She went on to say ‘you might enjoy adding annuals to your herb garden. One of our favorites is calendula, commonly known as pot marigold. Calendula is essentially an herb, with many healing qualities, but it possesses a lovely, brightly colored daisy-like flower as well.’

Marty demonstrated that ‘borage and dill make marvelous garden partners. Borage has fuzzy foliage with a mild cucumber flavor. Its lovely blue flowers will be a wonderfully charming addition to your herb garden especially, when partnered with dill.’



We shared many other less known deer resistant plants and how to place and combine them; and referenced the Rutgers Deer Resistant List as a go-to source.

Mary Stone, Garden Dilemmas, Ask Mary Stone, Gardening tips, Garden Blogs, Stone Associates Landscape Design,deer deterrents

Desperate Measures

Of course I couldn’t help but share a few desperate measures of deer deterrents learned from others. The best was Liz from Sparta who admits using Shoprite bags to cover her plants overnight. She couldn’t send a photo though as her husband ‘wouldn’t allow’ her to do it before dark. So for the purpose of demonstration I reenacted her charade on the remains of a blue holly devastated by deer this winter. The bright yellow bags puffed with air gave us all a hard chuckle. Better laugh than cry.

Garden dilemmas?

Mary Stone, Garden Dilemmas, Ask Mary Stone, Gardening tips, Garden Blogs, Stone Associates Landscape Design,deer resistant plants

Three Seasons Springfest Garden Display using Deer Resistant Plants

Mary Stone, owner of Stone Associates Landscape Design & Consulting. As a Landscape Designer, I am grateful for the joy of helping others beautify their surroundings which often leads to sharing encouragement and life experiences. These relationships inspired my weekly column published in THE PRESS, 'Garden Dilemmas? Ask Mary', began in 2012. I dream of growing the evolving community of readers into an interactive forum to share encouragement and support in Garden and Personal Recoveries - seeking nature’s inspirations, stimulating growth, weeding undesirables, embracing the unexpected. Thank you for visiting! Mary

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