Oh how I love this time of year! My gardens are filling in and each day brings a new surprise. Nature has always been a comfort to me and source of inspiration for my design work. The plants and flowers in my garden have been sketched and photographed numerous times; often resulting in popular stationery designs in my shop. I live in a part of NJ many don’t know exist. Preserved farm land, mountains, natural springs; not the way you pictured NJ is it? Wildlife such as deer, black bears and foxes are common visitors in the yard. The deer, while majestic in their own right, sure do like to eat my plants! I have found some tricks to keep them at bay from some of their favorites. I have planted some of the tastier plants amongst plants that seem to be safe. (Seem being the operative word, hungry deer will eat anything.) I have some black eyed susans (rudbeckia) and balloon flowers nestled in with coreopsis, irises and lavender. While this helps, I have come out to take a garden walk to see these plants decimated by a hungry beast. Many gardeners spray (and spray and spray) deer deterrent every night on their plants to varying degrees of success. My trick? Shaved Irish Spring soap. I simply use an old vegetable peeler and every few weeks walk around shaving the bar and sprinkling it on the ground while pulling weeds or dead heading. The aroma of the soap has turned this task into a calming routine; it has become a favorite task for my children too.
I recently read a trick to rid your yard and garden of moles… you bury empty bottles (beer, wine, decorative) and leave the top and neck exposed at varying heights. As the wind blows it makes the classic sound of blowing into a bottle, this noise and vibration keeps the moles from coming back. This is one pest we have not encountered, but the solution sure does bring a new meaning to “Beer Garden”.