We have masses of dead cedar in our woods, in various stages from just dead to very dead. And we also have lots of deer. Turns out cedars and deer are one of nature’s juxtapositions: if you have deer, you are going to need lots of cedar to keep them out of your gardens.
It is amazing how light and how strong cedar is. With the right engineering, a protective pyramid can be built around bushes and young trees that deer can’t leave alone.
I have taken to placing cedar not only as a screen, but am trying to interfere with the deers’ footing down below. On the back of this circle branches with mean short limbs are pointing up. The red bush is nandina which deer do not eat, but behind it is a snowball bush, which they love. The snowball looks very shabby and lifeless this time of year, but it will be magnificent in the spring.
So all manner of cedar branches are helpful, and cost nothing. I know that is a pine to the right. It was just so straight, and it will be helpful as a base. True, it will disintegrate before the cedar, but all these gardens have to be refreshed every year or so. The deer knock the branches out of place.
Gardens like this are spotted along the sandy driveway with woods on either side. They have either azaleas (very small now) or loropetalum in them. Some of these gardens do not get enough sun. The size of the bushes vary dramatically. These gardens do not need pyramids as the deer don’t eat loropetalum, and only rarely bother azaleas ( there is some crunching now and again).
The loropetalum are full of buds here.
I painstakingly worked to propagate 12 slips of pyracantha last summer. It wasn’t going well. Ended up buying a small one, which is now protected by a pyramid of cedar. Only one of my slips survived and it was doing sooooo well once it was placed in the ground. The deer had not discovered it yet, and I was hoping that the new little garden where it lives would remain undiscovered to them. NOT!
I had to resort to a milk crate for its protection. A tiny pyramid simply would not do. That bad deer ate three inches of its hard fought four inches!
- Bring in the Reinforcements! (leemalerich.wordpress.com)