In the spring of 2014, I posted on my old blog that 2014 would be the first year my entire garden would be outside the fenced area of our farm. The previous fall I had handed over my last plot of fenced land to the other farmers and expanded the large perennial garden outside our house that I have been building over the past few years.
So, growing cut flowers with no fence in an area overrun with deer. You might think I was a bit crazy. But I approached this project very tentatively. I spent a few years experimenting with finding just the right plants that the deer won't bother and that I can use as cuts in the studio.
Based on that experience, here is my top 5 deer-proof plants for the cut-flower garden:
1. Peonies - no matter what's going on, the deer won't eat my peonies - either the flowers or the foliage. I planted a few in the middle of their path to be extra sure, and not a single nibble!
2. Dahlias - the deer will very occasionally nibble some of the darker pink and coral varieties but haven't done any damage to my cafe au laits or white dahlias.
3. Fritillaria - all varieties do well; I've seen the odd nibble on the growing tips of F. Meleagris but that's all.
4. Hellebores - I have a number of varieties around the garden and again, not a single bite on the flowers or the foliage.
5. Foxglove - all varieties are deer proof.
In my Garden to Vase digital course, I share more flowers and types of foliage to consider if fencing isn't an option where you are.
Image by Kelly Brown