If you live in the country, having a snowball bush as seen below is a simple act of generosity to the deer.  They love viburnum.  And so do I.  Keeping this bush is a test of wills between my nature and theirs.    Below is my bush several years ago, first without protection, and then with a tree-pee over it to keep the deer out.

circular garden before teepee


The tree-pee works.  I also have them protecting a mimosa tree, needed only during the childhood of the tree, and two pyracanthas.   With the pyracanthas and snowball bushes, the bush and the tree-pee are becoming a single element.  No need to think about removing them, and it probably would be disastrous to do so.

entire tree-peeAbove is last spring’s bloom of snowballs.  Their green cast means this is a Chinese viburnum (snowball bush). And this bush is an early spring bloomer; the grass is not even green in the yard.  Below is my future with this bush if the deer will let me.


This bush is protected too, by an iron fence!

1-fall flat blooms

Above is today, late September.  This bush did this last year as well.  Several blooms have popped out, but they are not spheres, they are flat circles of flowers.  Cannot find anything on the web about this phenomenon.

fall bloom

Interested to nature’s response to climate change?  I recommend Barbara Kingsolver‘s “Flight Behavior”.  Amazing book.


  1. Hi! I wish I could determine where you live! Magnolias in snow? It would be great if it were at the top of your post. There is absolutely no way deer would be deterred by your tree- pees here. They would laugh and eat away! We live in Dogtown/Bolinas just north of SF. Different deer perhaps? We have to cage everything because they will crawl under or over. No mercy

    • Leslie, I live in the northmost part of the low country of South Carolina. I have no idea if we have different deer. Perhaps ours are more genteel here in the deep South! I have Oak Leaf Hydrangeas caged here seriously. I know the deer would take them down to a nub in one night. Have had that experience. Also in my gardening experience, I have found that laying brick patios, which is easy here because our ground does not freeze, deters deer from places I don’t want them. Thanks for reading!

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