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F%#king deer

October 4, 2022

One day last week I went outside to discover this.

Something – I’m assuming a fawn, as there are leaves left on the top – had climbed on to the deck overnight and eaten most of the hydrangea leaves.

Yesterday I went outside to have breakfast, while the weather is still warm enough to do so, and discovered this.

Obviously junior had tipped off Mum, who came back to finish off the hydrangea leaves. And have most of the windowbox geranium leaves for dessert.

This has never happened before. Deer have never climbed on to the deck for a nibble. I thought they understood the deck plants were OFF LIMITS. Clearly not.

Okay, I understand times are tough. After a long, dry summer there’s barely a blade of green grass left on the island. So, in extremis, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. But… Goddamnit.

Well, I suppose I will have to cart the hydrangea down to the garden in the hope that it might survive and produce new leaves and flowers next year. But, goddamnit, I spend more time on the deck than I do in the garden and that’s why I wanted the hydrangea there. 

In late July, a few days before I was heading off to the UK for three weeks, I thought I was going to miss out on the butterfly bush and the hydrangea flowering, but one morning I went outside with my coffee to discover they’d both burst into bloom overnight.

This made me so happy. Goddamnit.

And where in the garden will I put it? (Not that I want it in the garden.) Too close to the fence by the road and mama deer will just poke her head over for a nibble. There isn’t really anywhere else that makes sense. Oh, well.

And what can I replace it with on the deck?

When I was visiting my cousin Peter in England, I noticed this flowering shrub in his garden.

What particularly caught my attention was the number of bees feasting on the flowers. Which is why I asked him what it was. A “hot lips” salvia, apparently. Made a mental note to get one for the garden (and the bees) next spring.

Then a few days ago I went for a production meeting at the home of one of the stage managers. It was a nice day, so we sat out on her deck where I noticed some gorgeous purple and red flowers in a large pot which attracted constant visits from hummingbirds. What, I asked, are those?

Turns out salvia also comes in purple and red varieties.

Much nicer than my cousin’s. There is a possibility, which I intend to investigate, that these might be found at one of the garden shops on the island. If not, I shall have to beg someone heading for a garden shop in town to help me out. 

Oh, and guess what? Deer don’t like salvias, which are a member of the sage family and thus have a strong sent, which, like the other herbs I can safely leave by the back door, puts them off.

So, a lovely addition to the deck next year for the bees and the hummingbirds.

But, oh, my poor hydrangea. Fucking deer.

  1. Susan Yates permalink

    I’m with you – I say an annual deer-roast and save the endangered salmon, next on the bbq should be the blinkin’ turkeys!

  2. I like deer, i like watching them, especially the babies. But yes they are good at getting into things they shouldnt. Those Salvias are pretty, would def bring vibrant colors to a garden.

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