Archive for July, 2012


Deer Fence Examples

July 17, 2012

Pretty deer fence #1

Pretty deer fence #2 — designer !

Pretty Deer Fence #3

Deer Fence #4. The buck stops here.



July 16, 2012

Just 50 years ago, we could not have taken a hike to enjoy the Indiana countryside and been fortunate enough to encounter the now familiar white-tailed deer bounding across a cornfield or disappearing into a woodlot. By the 1930s, the whitetail, an abundant species when the settlers arrived in the early 1800s, had been pushed to extinction in deerIndiana. Now, the Hoosier state can boast of a healthy and productive herd. Our pride in this herd is well-founded, because it is a symbol of the success of our wildlife management and conservation efforts.

In 1934, the Division of Fish and Game (parent agency to the present Division of Fish and Wildlife) began restocking with about 400 deer which were trapped and transferred from Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and North Carolina. Nearly all releases were made on state and federal properties of the southern hills. Deer immigrating from Michigan helped rebuild the herd in northern Indiana counties. Animals moving up and down the major drainage systems began dispersing throughout central Indiana. Biologists accelerated the dispersal by trapping deer from public lands and moving them to counties with few or no deer. In conjunction with wildlife biologists’ dedication to re-establishing deer, conservation officers worked around the clock to protect the new herds. Our restoration efforts have been generously rewarded. Today, deer inhabit every county in Indiana and provide recreation and enjoyment to all types of outdoor enthusiasts.


Einstein’s Garden Tips

July 15, 2012

Einstein’s definition  of insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

For several  years now, I’ve listened to the complaints of gardeners around Bloomington bemoaning  the loss of plants to deer and rabbits  who they say are  devastating their gardens. Every year , they sigh, they watch their hostas nibbled away.   Hostas?  Sure,  I love hostas, too, and have some wonderful varieties in my shade garden, but . . . .

At first I was sympathetic.  After all, I’m a gardener, too, and I do everything  myself,  planting, weeding, tending, trimming, etc., and therefore have not only mucho mega-$$$$ involved in the plants I buy and fertilize, but a lot of “sweat equity,”  and I do mean, SWEAT.  So, yes, it’s disheartening to watch your favorite plant gone in the flash of a second.

But  then  I realized that every year I was hearing the same complaints, and I began to wonder why.  Not why the deer were eating the plants, as predicted, but why gardeners kept planting and tending the same thing over and over! (See Einstein’s definition again above.)

So here’s what one gardener did. Upon discovering  the  massive plantings of  my prize day lilies were being chomped out front, I decided to try something else.  First, I read that deer like the buds, not the blossoms, and I had a choice to cover the buds. Nah, too much work. So  I just dug them all up  and put them around back behind a small fence where the deer don’t seem to visit.  Day lilies were replaced with other plants that I selected from extensive lists of deer-resistant plants, and so far, so good.  

Yup, it’s really as easy as that. I went to the local co-op and began researching native and deer-resistant plants. Quick aside:  the bunnies are also active chewers.  And my tomatoes suffer from  assaults by chipmunks, birds, and squirrels, though there’s plenty to go around, and until I put a small fence around my greens, Bugs and his pals had a field day out there eating salad.

Rethinking a garden is necessary every so often, anyway, because of changes in weather, shifts in shade patterns, etc. So last year I decided to learn more about  native plants, as well as deer-resistant plants  So what do I grow, you say? Just about everything.This  year  both my gardens (back and front) are  flourishing. There are even  ome of my hostas tucked out back away from Bambi. But out front where a small deer family roams, they are leaving everything alone.  Here is a partial list to help you get started:


1)      Monarda (bee balm) in regal red, pastels like lavender, white, and pink, etc.

2)      Yarrow (gorgeous blooms in all sorts of colors float above feathery stems)

3)      Iris  (all colors)

4)      Peonies (all colors)

5)       Echineaccea (and now you can move beyond the traditional pink to gorgeous salmons, reds, whites,  yellows, and even greens!)

6)      Liatris (colors galore)

7)      Gladiola (right now the reds are blindingly beautiful)

8)      Astilbe

9)      Swamp milkweed

10)   Eutrochium(commonly called  Joe Pye-weed), flowering, herbaceous plant

11)   Lavender

12)   Anise hyssop (so many colors to choose from, it’s a veritable smorgasbord)

13)   Coreopsis (gorgeous, floaty)

14)   Butterfly bush and butterfly weed (and you’ll have butterflies and hummingbirds everywhere!)

15)   Salvia (wonderful purple/blue flowers on long stalks)

16)   Russian sage (smells super good and looks a look like lavender)

17)   Rose campion (beautiful colors)

18)   Helleborus (gorgeous shade plants)

19)   Foxglove (all colors, tall stalks, bell-shaped flowers)

20)   Hardy geranium

21)   Bleeding heart

22)   Rose of Sharon

23)   Black-eyed Susan

24)   Daisies (tall shastas are some of my favorites)

25)   Cardinal flower (bright red)

26)   Hydrangea

Bushes like yews, boxwoods,  evergreens, etc., thrive like crazy.  It’s also fun to organize plantings in ways that deer are less likely to pester. I still grow things deer love, but close to the front of my house where my comings and goings keep them at bay, and I hide plants behind things they don’t like.   So actually  I do have day lilies that bloom out front, but they’re in the middle of plantings and just too much trouble to get to.

Like most wildlife, deer are opportunistic feeders.  It’s not personal!  


Put together by Alyce Miller


Why the Buck Does NOT Stop Here

July 15, 2012

Why the Buck Does NOT Stop Here

Deer-Resistant Gardening Creates Lush, Colorful Options


Why the Buck Stops Here

July 15, 2012

Why the Buck Stops Here

“It’s hosta heaven . . . .”


Books of Interest

July 14, 2012

Hi all – I thought I would list a few books that I think would be of interest to people interested in this website:

City Form and Natural Process by Michael Hough – he has updated this book recently and I think it is a classic since he talks about natural areas in the city and the benefits both environmental and economic of those areas.

Better not Bigger by Eben Fodor – he makes the case that we need to address the growth problem (both of development and population) in our cities and surrounding areas.


Wildlife Corridors and Urban Planning

July 13, 2012

Wildlife Corridors and Urban Planning

How wildlife corridors benefit plants, too!