Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Deer proofing

We have a client who has a deer problem. They live on a 16 acre property in the middle of Wilkesboro. He loves roses, as do his herd of deer. The extensive gardens in this park like deer refuge are bare.

I was asked What to do around the pergola beds, once filled with roses, now, just a large mulch patch. I suggested making the beds along the pergola smaller, planting a parterre of dwarf boxwood around the border and planting inside the beds with herbs, particularly scented geranium. Deer don't eat boxwood's and they don't eat the fragrant furry leaves of most herbs.

Enclosing a garden with boxwood is a great deterrent and was most likely why they are so often used in ancient landscapes. The boxwood variety Justin Brower is my preferred variety for a parterre because they are smaller than the traditional English boxwood when they mature. This variety is not susceptible to nematodes and blight. We started small with a one gallon size, since we needed 70 of them for the parterre. We planted at a close 1.5' spacing to get the border started. In a few years we will remove every other one and create another parterre as they mature and need more space to grow. They're mature height is 3.5-4 feet. They need no clipping or trimming. Easy!

The perspective in this photo is deceiving.
The beds run parallel to the side of the structure, and actually look more in scale with the building. New grass will soon be up where we fixed the bed lines. (Notice in the picture how Finn follows Mike everywhere? Puppy Love it is.)

Pruning the climbing roses on the top of the structure was a bit of a challenge, who knows when they were pruned last, if ever, but so worth the trouble. We bled...Finn hated being left down below, but they will be beautiful in May. We also pruned the Corkscrew Willow on the left corner....much better~

Next we will begin working in the massive cut flower garden. The only thing the deer don't eat are the Lavender, Rosemary and the Agapanthus. A challenge, but we don't mind, it is a lovely estate. With plenty of running room for Finn & Mikes dog Callie.

But first we have to finish building a pond and waterfall in Blowing Rock. I'll post some photo's of that project soon. Lot's of transformation is going on daily. I am enjoying my new art classes too, I hope I do not get too tired from building walls and gardens to keep up with the assignments.

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