Deer don’t usually eat daffodils-but they love tulips!

March 17, 2011

Here in southeastern Wisconsin, the biggest garden enemy is a mammal:  the white tailed deer.  It always cracks me up when people wax poetic about the first deer they see on their property.  A few months later (and may be a few hundred or thousand dollars later), they curse them like the rest of us saner folk.  So if my photos of tulips have just been bumming you out, here are some gardens that can honestly be called deer hell.  This is a full shade site with a herd of deer that travel through on a regular basis.  We have taken some (humane! I promise!) measures to discourage deer, which I will blog about later, but we still don’t plant their favorites.  Here is a tulip-free, early-spring garden, still blooming with color, in deer hell, in full shade:

Those daffodils are companion planted with thicker-leaved (thus more deer resistant) hosta.  As the hosta mature, the foliage hides the daffodil foliage.  Here is another from the same garden:

If you must have tulips, here is a strategy we have employed with some success.  Surround the tulips with daffodils:

Alchemilla Mollis (Lady’s Mantle) is companion planted and will cover the daffodil and tulip foliage later on.

If you want help with your gardens in Lake Geneva or the surrounding area, give us a call at 262/248-7513.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Nichole Gladney March 17, 2011 at 8:00 pm

Each time I look at the photos I feel inspired to get out this weekend and pull back the leaves and mulch on my flower beds. Is it too early yet? I’m eager to get started. Cause this non-gardener needs all the jump start I can get.


Danniel Ward-Packard March 17, 2011 at 9:17 pm

If the soil is still wet, it is too early. The last thing you want to do is compact your soil. If you are as impatient as I am, see what you can do from sidewalks and paths, without stepping in beds or on the lawn. Use the time for planning.


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