Aren’t the deer sweet

Date Posted: 20 December 2017

This blog is written by an average amateur gardener. This means that I do not necessarily have all the answers and what I say should not be taken as read. The information given in this blog should not be interpreted as advice as in essence it represents the musings of a gardener about some of the issues faced in dealing with the problems and opportunities encountered throughout the seasons. The joy of gardening is what this blog is all about. The advantage I do have is that I have the advice of my very professional gardener Gary, so Gary the Gardener’s thoughts will very much form part of what I write.

My wife and I have lived in the same house in Chichester for 35 years. Our house which faces due south overlooks a huge field that runs for almost half a mile towards the sea. We love to see the changes which the seasons bring. In winter just wondering what the farmer has planted this year – we have had linseed (a stunning field of blue), rape a haze of bright yellow, maize (sweet corn to you and me), wheat and barley. Sometimes it seems that overnight the field has sprung into life and changed colour.
Roaming around in this scene are varying numbers of our deer friends. Ranging from lonely single females to groups of up to 10, presumably families – stags, does and fawn. They look so innocent and attractive grazing in the open and when startled, looking up and freezing on the spot before taking fright and galloping away.
Yet these beautiful creatures have a voracious appetite for many types of garden plants and their ability to completely destroy a small tree that takes their fancy is quite staggering.

One night this healthy green 8 foot high fir tree was visited by deer and reduced to what you see here. But that is not the only tree to come in for the deer treatment.

Here for example is the treatment meted out to one of the young fruit trees in a small orchard we have.
I have never been able to grow roses other than in pots close to the house because just when the buds are appearing they are neatly cropped in another overnight raid.
Over the years we have tried every possible suggestion- lion poo sprinkled around the margin of the garden, bags of human hair at strategic points, rags soaked in Hartshorn oil and hung on the hedges and even human urine! None of these has worked and so about 6 months ago we had a 2m fence erected all round our property – and so far no deer have even got into the garden let alone done any damage.