A friend called not long ago, and she sounded desperate.
“I am going to join the N.R.A,” she said in a tone that suggested she had just committed herself to scrubbing the floor of Grand Central Station with a toothbrush. When I asked her why a normally peaceful person would want to do such a thing, she told me the whole sad story.
It seems that my friend had just bought a fall-blooming anemone that was gorgeous, healthy and-best of all-on sale. Lovingly installed in her Westchester garden, the anemone lasted exactly one day. A deer apparently ate it during the wee hours of the following morning. This was particularly ironic for my friend because just recently she had seen her anemone’s name on a respected publication’s list of “deer proof” plants.
The myth of the deer proof plant is only one of several that I have been reminded of recently. In truth, a hungry deer will eat just about anything, even if the act results in distress of one kind or another. Unfortunately deer have rather large stomachs and rather small brains.
Thinking about deer reminds me of another myth-that the presence of a dog or cat will keep squirrels, racoons and other marauders out of the garden. I have three cats. One is an excellent mouser and another is as big as an average cocker spaniel. Neither of them is able to intimidate the horde of bulb-stealing, plant chewing mammels that troop through my backyard on a daily basis.
The truth is that even if the average domestic cat or dog performs effectively during the day, it probably won’t be patrolling the yard all night, when many varmints are out on the prowl. While you and the cat are snuggled on the sofa listening to Mozart or watching Survivor, the mice, voles and groundhogs are rifling through theRead more on backyardgardener.com