Thursday, 29 April 2021

In The Garden


Over the past two years the local deer have 'dined out' on our flower filled garden urns. In late spring, just as the plants mature and flower, the deer arrive and completely demolish them. But how to defeat them? From what I have read there are very few plants that deer will not eat, but I did find two perennial plants, supposedly deer averse - Nepeta and Lupins, so we decided to give them a try.  We set off early one morning to a garden centre in the valley and found exactly what we wanted.  With time to spare we decided to take a walk along the nearby canal tow-path. 





















There is something very peaceful about walking besides these gentle waterways, the bird song sounds clearer, the bees buzz seems louder, the banks strewn in wild flowers, and the occasional puttering noise as a boat glides past through the water.

Years ago the bridge keeper would have been busy all day long opening and closing this white swing bridge using a hand-cranked system, but today the bridge is motor powered. As boats travel towards the bridge, they trigger an alarm in the keeper's house which alerts him to press the bridge opening controls so that they can continue on their journey up the canal.


This marina now resembles 'barge city'. There were many more boats than I have ever seen there before. I did wonder if maybe some had been purchased during the Pandemic as a means of escaping safely into the freedom and tranquility of the countryside.

Time to return back home, fill the urns with new plants, and here's hoping they survive.

48 comments:

  1. Good luck with your new plants, hoping they will do the trick.
    Peaceful it looks, beautiful scenery Rosemary..

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    1. If they do gobble them up then they will have feasted magnificently - the plants costs us a small fortune.

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    2. Fingers crossed that those plants do well then. Some plants are expensive these days even down here.

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  2. If the local deer are hungry, yes they will dine out on your flower filled garden urns, even if you tell the deer to go away and eat elsewhere. So fill the urns and hang them high on the walls and fences, higher than the tallest deer can reach. Those pink flowers are too beautiful to waste on deer that will be perfectly happy to eat crappier plants.

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    1. Unfortunately our urns are antique and made from lead so extremely heavy even to move. I hope the information that I read is correct and that the Lupins and Nepeta are not to their liking.
      The pink flowers are apple blossom so they at least are safe from any browsing deer.

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  3. On visits to England I have visited a couple of these tow paths and as you say they are tranquil and lovely - except for one boat filled with raucous, beer-swilling yobs, I 'm afraid. I hope that your deer-resistant plants are effective, Rosemary. These beautiful animals can wreak havoc in a hurry!

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    1. I really do hope that do survive the deer David, the plants they were not cheap.

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  4. Wonderful shots of the boats...it must have been great to walk along the canal. Sending my wishes that the deer eat elsewhere and your plant choices survive!

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  5. Let's hope the deer look elsewhere for their sustenance!

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  6. Deer and gardeners are never the best of friends. I hope the deer-resistant plants do the trick. I've always enjoyed canal-side walking, though there are very few local to me.

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    1. I do hope that they do prove to be resistant John.

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  7. Dear Rosemary,
    It would be nice if we could all get together and begin a list of plants which deer don't like. I know that my Hellebore have been safe from them. We have a huge deer problem. The only thing that works is forming a "hood" of chicken wire and securing them into your planters and urns. After a while deer will give up. It's not the prettiest solution but from afar the wire does not show.
    Love your first canal photo...so peaceful and serene calls, for a picnic along the banks.

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    1. Dear Gina - I didn't realise that you too suffer from a deer problem. Last year we had lovely pink begonias in a stone trough which we were really enjoying and suddenly they were gone and we were left with a trough full of red stalks. My hellebores never get eaten by the deer either. If these plants I have bought defy the deer then I will be very pleased.

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    2. Dear Rosemary,
      We have several large herds who make the rounds day and night. The have become an enormous problem. A doe had twins behind our barn last Summer. Now I send Sadie out. She doesn't hurt them just likes to see them jump over the fence.

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    3. I think that I too need a Sadie Gina.

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  8. Hello Rosemary, I have heard of a number of deer repellents. I am guessing they work to a degree, depending on how hungry the deer are. Is that apple tree is your garden? If so, what variety is it? DO you have any other fruit trees?
    --Jim

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    1. Hello Jim - yes, the apple tree is ours, it is a Cox's orange pippin. We have another apple tree, a pear tree and two plum trees. Just enough to supply us with enough fruit to make pies, crumble and jam.

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  9. Dearest Rosemary,
    Lovely blossoms and also the photos from the canal tow-path. You mention the handcranking of the bridge but the tow-path in ancient times got used for very harsh manual labour!
    Hugs,
    Mariette

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    1. Dear Mariette - yes, you are right. The original purpose of a towpath was to allow horses or a team of human pullers to tow the boats or barges along the canal, that is, until mechanisation.

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  10. Hello Rosemary, I do hope the deer stay away from your new plants. The canal looks like it will be very busy this summer with all of those colourful boats in the marina.

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    1. Hello Lorrie - I suspect that you are probably right as many people are having a staycation holiday rather than travel abroad. Lots of enterprising people living in lovely countryside spots are putting up shepherds huts and yurts etc where people can stay for a summer holiday.

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  11. There are two reasons why I try to keep deer out of my garden. Firstly, they are great nibblers of any fresh new growth, tasting all the plants that have been carefully watched for bud and flower. Secondly, they carry and can spread the ticks that cause Lyme disease and since I garden in shorts whenever the weather is suitable I don't want to have to be constantly checking my skin. We have erected a wire above the fence that marks our boundary and, so far, this seems to be keeping them out!

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    1. My husband is always picking up ticks when he walks on our Common even wearing long trousers, but they don't appear to like me. I have the feeling that they are attracted to certain pheromones that different people have. But you are right to be cautious. We had two young deer here today - I think that I need a haha to surround the garden.

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  12. All so beautiful, peaceful and stress-releasing photos - thanks dear. Only thing better would be being there oneself! Sadly we have had to cancel May/June visit - just not safe enough yet. Looking now to come over Sept./Oct.
    Deer here have continued to visit at night, however don't seem to be nibbling plants currently - perhaps because I sprayed deer/rabbit repellent around! Have one gigantic bunny and he seems to just nibble the grass which is OK.

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    1. Strangely Mary, life here is beginning to feel almost normal again apart from the masks. The deaths are now down in low double and single figures which is such a relief.
      I don't mind the deer coming in as long as they leave my pots and urns alone once they are in flower. They nibble on the hedge which I don't mind, and I do like them. We don't have any rabbits here as our ground is made up of Oolitic limestone so they cannot tunnel into it.
      Take care you twoX

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  13. A nice part of the country that. Our canals, while attractive places to walk and cycle do not have the matrix of infrastructure that the French or English canals have- country pubs, busy basins, barge and canal side shops etc and can look very spartan and bleak by comparison. But they are quiet and empty for long stretches. I think you are right about more folk moving into the country, buying barges, vans, houses etc. Apparently very few locals on the Scottish Islands like Skye or Mull can afford to buy a house there as many properties are not year round lived in and are rented out to Airbnb which has had a huge impact even in popular cities like Edinburgh. Half of Skye is now Airbnb rentals. A growing trend everywhere.

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    1. Many properties here are now owned by second home-owners who are mainly absent thus preventing the young from being able to get onto the property ladder. It is happening in so many places, here, Devon, Cornwall and the Lake District too.

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  14. Looks like warm temperatures have reached England, I always enjoy your photos of the beautiful landscapes . Interesting to see if the deers will leave the lupins and Nepeta in peace.

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    1. I shall be delighted if they do Jane - I do actually like Lupins and Nepeta so hope they do well.

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  15. I always enjoy strolling along a waterway. Interesting looking boats. Sounds like the bridge keeper has an easier job these days.

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    1. They are traditional narrowboat barges.

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  16. That is a very busy marina. Years ago I knew a couple who lived on a barge, it was lovely but as they got older it became too cold for them, they moved into a house. I hope the plants work.

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    1. I think people are tending to live in them more than ever, but I know the cost of their upkeep is far greater than many realise. Having to lift the boats out of the water every year with those huge cranes to check their undersides can cost an arm and a leg.

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  17. I hope the deer keep away from your new plants. I loved our holidays on narrowboats.

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    1. I have never had a holiday on a narrowboat, but I did once have a birthday on one of them with just family members and one or two friends.

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  18. Dear Rosemary - Beautiful, peaceful walk in such a bright sunshine. Reflection is fascinating. I love walking along waterways, too. Japanese Andromeda (Pieris japonica.)is sure to be deer-resistant, but it doesn’t mean the plant can stop deer to enter. Deer damage plants near Japanese Andromeda. Let us know someday how the new plants are effective against deer.

    Yoko

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    1. Dear Yoko - there is definitely no way that I can stop them entering - I just hope that my urns and pots that I fill for the summer do survive them as they add a huge amount of extra colour to the garden.

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  19. Oh so beautiful and I would love a boat trip on the river! I hope you find some flowers deers don't like Rosemary...
    Have a great week!
    Titti

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    1. I do hope that the plants that I have chosen survive, having checked our various plants on some websites. When I drove into our driveway yesterday, two young deer came frolicking down the garden.

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  20. So beautiful photos from lovely place.
    Have a nice time.

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