We moved to our five acres west of Red Bluff over 20 years ago. The land, once an open area, had a few native oaks, toyons, and game
Grasses. The former owners had planted grassy lawns around the house (they still are) along a large-leaved privet hedge
the road in front, 12 feet of hedge in the back (we never got the purpose, deer fodder?), a magnolia tree and an ash tree
Tree in the back, a few camellia bushes (which are being eaten by the deer) and four rhododendrons along the back of the house (all
died years ago), four mulberry trees in the front yard (we took two out), a couple of apple trees, a plum tree, a peach tree, and a fig
Tree (the deer love them) and half a dozen rose bushes at the west end of the house.
Overly ambitious gardeners that we were (remember this is almost 25 years ago) we added 1,000 scotch pines to sell for Christmas
Trees and various other conifers – a couple of cypresses, a couple of sequoias, an incense cedar, a couple of Douglas firs – a big one
Garden to sell products on the Famers Markets until the deer discovered it, an apricot tree, a pear tree, different types of irises, among others
a couple of butterfly bushes (Buddleja davidii), a couple of amber (Liquidambar), a silver dollar eucalyptus, three eastern ones
redbud (you know, free if you join Arbor Day), nearly 100 rose bushes and other plants worth thousands of dollars, most of them
which turned into deer fodder.
Now to the point of my story – we have pests – large four-legged pests, some with horns. We also have turkeys, and quail
other birds, rabbits and squirrels, which can also be a nuisance.
I have now grown roses, rather poorly, in wire cages and have to wire cages almost everything else, except for Iris – YAY!
However, I have seen these hungry deer jump up with their front feet, push the wire down, and chew off. I’ve seen them brush
through the wire cage to knock it over and then go back to nibble on my near-award-winning roses.
In these drought years, the deer make their way to our water and then make themselves comfortable in our yard. If i’m honest i am
personable because they were here first as we actually took over their home.
For years we kept the deer at bay a bit when we had dogs, but unfortunately our dogs have all achieved their great rewards. I also tried it
Zest Soap – Try hanging bars of soap from 100 rose bushes. I’ve tried human hair, all cuttings from a local salon. We tried shiny
Cake pans and shiny ribbon. I tried different sprays, even expensive mountain lion urine that my husband had read about. So now me
must hold a large stick by the door or a water hose.
My advice to gardening in Hirschland – build a fence FIRST – a high fence. Much luck.
The Red Bluff Garden Club is a member of the Cascade District, California Garden Clubs, Inc., Pacific Region Garden Clubs, Inc., and
National Garden Clubs, Inc.