My Gardens

I’d love to show you some amazing garden pictures.  I have a few…many of my flowers are looking pretty good…

But if you look closer, they don’t look as good as they could.  See that space there?

I had what I now believe were deer in my garden.  See the divots?  I think they might be deer prints.  UGH!

I try not to focus on that and instead see the beauty that’s left.

My hummingbird feeder has been a popular place for the birds and for the kids.  They love watching them out the window.

My planters around the house look pretty good.

I am completely in love with the pink flower in the foreground.  I planted it last year and look how big and pretty it is.  It’s at the end of it’s season.  I bought it clearanced out last year.  It’s a type of coneflower.  I hope it comes back.  It’s a perrenial but still they don’t always come back.

The front edge of my garden is looking good.  I’m so glad I put the work into it this spring.  It’s the best it’s ever looked.  (The brown building in the back is the neighbor’s)

I am in love with this hydragena.  This is it’s second year.  The first year it only had about four blooms.  I love how it’s turning pinkish.

From the angle of the this picture one would think everything looks nice here at the front of the house but you’d be wrong.

Check out my flower box.  Deer got to it too.  UGH.  I was so sad.

This pot was filled with impatiens too…all gone.

Check out this picture…This is how my flower box looked just 12 hours before the deer came.  It was filled out and HUGE!

Now it’s not.  Here’s a picture of the house as I came home from a morning walk.

Notice the icky looking flower box.  Such a bummer.  I’ve honestly never seen a deer in town but I don’t know what else it would be.  A neighbor said they have seen them.

Here is the southwest corner of the house.  The morning glories did just what I hoped they might.  I had wanted them to climb the tellis and then twine into the lattice of the privacy fence.  The other plants looks nice earlier in the year….now they are past their blooming stage.

Don’t look too close to the morning glories though.  I’ve had an infestation of Japanese Beetles.  Oh I hate them.  We’ve NEVER had them here before.  I didn’t even know what they were.  In early July they started showing up.  I’ve but up traps and went out and hand picked them off the plants but they just love to eat the morning glories.  So sad.

I have three of these traps out.  Carver and put new ones out on a Friday and the next Wednesday night two were filled and needed to be changed.  The other was close to full.

It is so sad to see the work I did to make everything look nice be taken over by bugs and deer.

Here is the back of the house.  I redid this in the spring too.  I’m pleased with how it looks…minus the Japanese Beetles.

The garden has had some beetle troubles too.  Mostly it’s just the egg plant and basil that have been attacked.

Besides that, I’ve had a VERY productive and worthwhile garden this year.  In general I am VERY pleased with it.  Minus the Japanese Beetles, it would be close to perfect.

I had this post written and scheduled to post.  I went on a walk early the next morning and look…Those darn deer took out more of the plants.  I’m going to put some deer repellent out tonight.

It’s so frustrating.  At the prime of the season, I lost them.  UGH.

There is always next year…I am already making plans of what I’ll change and do differently.  I just love gardening-even with the dumb beetles and deer.

48 thoughts on “My Gardens”

  1. When living in upstate NY we lived by a heavy wooded area and every year just as my tulips were ready to bloom the deer would come out and eat every one of the flowers. My neighbor suggested hanging small jingle bells around the area and they worked. Just that little tinkle was enough to scare them off.

  2. Move the beetle traps far away. They attract the beetles.

    We lived in a home backed by woods for ten years. Everyone, except me, saw the deer. I heard them but never saw them.

    1. My house is surrounded by woods. I order mint scented Deer Off spray available from Amazon and it does keep them away. I usually spray at night around dusk. Give it a try

  3. How frustrating to be attacked by both deer & Japanese beetles in your flowers & garden! My newly planted garden was attacked by Japanese beetles last year when my seeds were just sprouting – so frustrating! Thank you for sharing such beautiful pictures! All your hard work shows and your completed landscaping sets your house off so nicely.

  4. Deer love Impatience so I have give up on them. Instead I have been planting Begonias instead. The deer won’t eat them. I had beautiful impatience planted below my windows and the deer ate all of them – nothing left. My neighbor told me about Begonias and they haven’t eaten them. I do have Deer Off to spray on my roses and hostas as they love those too (guess how I know). They have also been known to eat my hydrangeas too.

  5. I, too, have deer issues in VA. I have yet to find a solution. Have tried to only plant things deer don’t like. Have had great luck with marigolds and mums. Your flowers looked beautiful!

  6. Jo, Get your self some Irish Spring Soap and cut it up and put it around your plants….The deer don’t like the smell and usually leave them alone…..Sorry they ate all your lovely flowers, they were beautiful…..I have given up trying to have flowers, as we live in a wooded area in Pa. and there are a lot of deer around…..Dot M…

    1. Yes …I always used Irish spring soap in my veg garden & the deer stayed away from the pepper plants…we would buy a big bar & dad would cut it in 4s & put dowels in a hole in the bar & you can stick them were you want or shave it & sprinkle them were ever…remember we are all gods creatures, he created the flowers for us to enjoy & for others to eat…

  7. Carmen Montmarquet

    Your flower gardens are simply gorgeous despite the deer or beetles. Really lovely! Thanks for sharing them!

  8. Kathleen R Robin

    I have a friend who swears by Bobex you mix it up and spray it generously on your flowers apparently the deer do not like it one little bit. It is smelly I am told so be warned.

  9. Jo you put my flowers to shame. Don’t hang beetle traps the scent of the trap is attracting beetles. I used to hang the traps then the word got around here in KY that the traps were attracting the beetles so I stopped using traps and my number of beetles decreased drastically.

  10. Jo, you had such a beautiful setting/garden. Your flowers were so beautiful. It is so sad that the deer are now invading our cities. My niece who lives in city also had deer spoil some of her flowers. My sister will have a herd of them in her yard in evenings (although not so much this year because there is a field of soybeans between her yard and her woods) and it is sad the damage they do to plants. Here in Michigan we have too many deer even though so many get hit by cars. My grand nephew “got” two in season last year from my sister’s. I’m told the deer around here are good food because they eat corn and love the soy beans!

  11. P.S. Irish Spring soap is suppose to help repel deer and other pesky creatures. One can grate it or just cut in small chunks and spread it around near the plants.

  12. for a deer repellent you can use a third of a bar of dial soap wrapped in a piece of nylon net that is stapled to a stake about 18″ high. dial or irish spring smell like humans. where i put it, the deer ignored my tulip buds, but where i ran out toward the end of the row, they ate every bud.

    the nice thing about this was that the rain washed away the old soap and renewed the scent.

  13. Spray special pots with deer repellent ….hate the beetles ..knock off into a pot of soapy water..traps attract more than they kill…we used milky spore on our grass a few years in a row..seems to help keep the numbers down

  14. Your gardens look wonderful…even with the deer and beetle invasion. For the 2nd year we have harvested very little from our garden due to critters. I’ll have to try the soap and deer spray.

  15. I’m so sorry about your impatiens. I know that feeling too well. Deer would devastate our gardens in Virginia and we were living in a big town with a fenced yard. We had to spray many perennials and put our vegetable garden behind a tall fence. Between them and the woodchucks it got to be no fun.

  16. There are still LOTS of pretty flowers, especially those in front of the neighbor’s brown barn. I remember having a little trouble with Japanese beetles in VA back in the early 80’s. I planted an entire hillside of iris in CO but the dear got ALL of them. But they aren’t here in TX, not that I know of anyway. The boys’ quilts are so cute!! I have 2, maybe 3, hummingbirds but they are always so busy chasing each other away from the feeder, I don’t know if they ever stop for a drink. Silly birds.

  17. Have you tried powdered sulphur dusted on your morning glories? We had really bad Japanese beetles all over our grape vine leaves. Our leaves looked like lace once the beetles got to them. I’d throw the powered sulphur over the leaves early morning while the dew was still on the leaves to help the sulphur stick. Worked like a charm! I did reapply after it rained. That year the grape vines looked great!

  18. Shirley. Hartley

    Your gardens are just beautiful Iam jealous as we have had no good rains all summer. Love your blog’s

  19. Your garden is beautiful! Those awful deer. I mix rubbing alcohol and Murphy’s oil soap 50/50, and spray it on my plants, it keeps the deer from eating. It also keeps slugs away.

  20. Your flowers are beautiful!! Do you fertilize them? I am so sorry the deer have visited. What a green thumb you have!!

  21. Deer used to love to eat my Hostas down to the nub. I bought some spray called “Deer Off”. They left all my plants alone. Just sprayed the plants every couple days.

  22. Beautiful gardens!
    Understand about the deer and bugs. Fortunately the deer don’t come into my yard but the grasshoppers have been terrible this year…they have even eaten my iris leaves!! I’m in Texas.

  23. Yeppars…the deer repellent spray from Home Depot is the best…it’s not to late to save the rest of your beautiful garden. My dilemma is a ferrel cat that seems to be scaring away the birds from my feeder…

  24. Jo, I lived in Mich. And the beetles are awful. I agree with the others get rid of the traps. All the beetles are now coming to your house attracted to the trap smell. Deer are bad here too and were eating all magnolia buds every spring. Someone said get some of those cheap small solar lights that change colors. The changing light scare away the deer. it worked for 3 years until the deer got used to them. Then had replace them with lights that were slightly different and it worked again to keep away the deer.

  25. Rabbits eat my flowers. We tried all kinds of bait in live traps but they seldom get in there. Short Zinnias, marigolds, petunias never get to bloom because they eat the buds. This year I ordered 2 sonic animal repellers on stakes (online) and they seem to work. Solar powered motion activated. I never hear a thing but close neighbor said he’s noticed a ping or two.

  26. Your home and gardens look lovely. I wouldn’t know you had problems unless you told me or I examined each plant. Growing up in DE my mom always had a separate rose garden, each summer those Japanese beetles would attack the roses. As children some of us would pick them off into soapy water. No spray ever effected them. Even the DDT the city sprayed in our yards did nothing (it was the 60’s).

  27. You’ve had several people mention Irish Spring soap. My brother cut up a bar of the soap into quarter size squares. Then he took bamboo plant stakes and nailed the soap onto the stake. He says the soap has to be nose height. When his day lilies grew taller the deer ate the tops above the soap.

  28. When I lived in Delaware I used coyote urine bought at the local Southern States farm store Smelled horrible but kept rodents and deer away from my flowers. Dogs chased squirrels away but there was one brave squirrel that came to back door for peanuts

  29. Ugh I know how your feeling , I planted some pumpkin seeds . I was thrilled to see pumpkins , watching them get bigger was so much fun . The other morning I went out , something had eaten parts of the pumpkins . Mad mad mad . Everybody thinks a groundhog .

  30. Jo, you have a gorgeous yard and all those flowers are stunning. I’m sorry to see the deer and beetles helping themselves to your flowers, what a shame. I hope you find a solution for them both

  31. I live in western Iowa and we’ve had the Japanese beetles for a few years. My understanding is that they are migrating across the United States. There were a lot less around us this year (which I am very happy about) The bags will attract them. I’ve used DEMON for years and that kills them. I would suggest it instead of the bags. You only want to use it on flowers or fruit and vegi plants that are done producing for the year. I use it on my cherry trees because the beetles show up after harvest. I get it from my local farm supply store.

  32. I learned the hard way about beetle traps. They make things worse. I get a small infestation sometimes that I go after with a spray from the plant nursery. I gave up planting tulips which the bunnies love. I stopped planting tomatoes which some critter would eat the bottom of. Heartbreaking. I just go to the farmers market now. I agree about begonias. Last all summer unharmed.i

  33. Aw, Jo … I feel your pain about deer damage. I was thinking “how beautiful are Jo’s flowers” in recent posts. For 36 years we have lived and gardened across from an 800 acre farm, and small herds (10-15 does and fawns) are usually crossing the busy road from there and wandering around our yard and the neighbors, foraging as they go. I have tried all the folk remedies, but have found that the best is a deer repellent spray I get from the garden center. It smells of cinnamon and garlic when first sprayed – on a dry and windless day – but when dry there is no smell. Even better is the 8′ high heavy duty deer fencing we had to erect around the veggie garden. So much easier than trying to match wits!


    Jo, your pink coneflowers are perennials. When the seed heads dry , take the seed head apart to get the seeds. These can be planted late this fall or after the last spring frost. Pink coneflowers are very expensive, usually $6 for about five seeds. They are VERY EASY to grow from seed. You really got a bargain. I have not been able to afford to but them, I am also a widow on a limited budget. I would love to have some of your pink seed and would be willing to trade. I have purple and white, also have some seed I plan to plant this fall. I you would like to do some trading let me know!

  35. About the Japanese Beetle traps. Our experience is that they have been helpful. Our first infestation was about 4 yrs ago. I picked them off, putting them in a jar of soapy water. There were way more beetles than I could keep up with. We heard about the traps and put them out. They quickly filled up several times over, and in a bit of time there many fewer beetles on our plants. Each year when we first see the beetles we put out traps. Over the years we have had fewer and fewer beetles, and the damage is not as serious as it used to be. We have the traps a distance 10 or 15 feet from the gardens. Likely we draw in beetles from the pastures around our yard, but we figure they all need to be gone. We are grateful for the way the traps work. Every year they do some damage to the plants, but once we get out the traps, the damage significantly decreases. As the plants grow, the damgage becomes less obvious.

  36. Buy a pack of Irish Spring bath soat and shredd it into tiny pieces ans spread it in the flower beds. Animals don’t care for the scent and will avoid eating anything near it. Fir the beetles, use a spray bottle filled with water and a squirt or two of Dawn dish soap. Add soap afer bottle is filled with water. Spray the beetles and they won’t be able to fly away and will die off. Been doing this for two years now and it works here in Davenport, IAa

  37. The only thing that has keep the deer from my garden flowers is DEER SCRAM. I bought it from a nursery and it is expensive, but so is my time and cost of the plants.

  38. Barbara A Wegner

    maybe if you put wooden sticks (that are used for food) with the pointed end up! the deer may be discouraged from eating the plants! I have not tried this but hear it works!

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