Growing up in MD, I had my own garden from early on. An oval where my parents would let me plant whatever I wanted. My ten-year old aesthetic sensibilities tended towards an explosion of color and textures, so that’s what I planted. Tulips, irises, gladiolus, daffodils, black eyed susans, roses, crocuses…in a riot of every shade under the sun.
These days, that garden contains a staid and decidedly smaller variety of plants and shrubs due to the 30+ deer family that has set up shop in the area. The gladiolus, once a two-foot deep wall of color, long ago succumbed to their appetites. The tulips - catnip to the herd that roams my parents’ yard.
So, what’s left for a DC, MD, VA gardener when it seems there isn’t anything that a DMV deer won’t eat for breakfast (or lunch, dinner, and snacks) anymore?
Here is a list of flowers and plants that seem to be avoided by the deer population in MD currently based on personal experience. Some flowers I’ve seen on other lists, like black eyed susans and hyacinths, are enjoyed by the deer I know - perhaps ours are hungrier than others. No guarantees on any of these, as it seems each year the deer become less and less picky, but as of December 2013 these are on the avoidance set list for the deer population I come into contact with. Have any to add? Leave it in the comments!
Most folks seem to have caught on to this one, judging by the rivers of daffodils that pop up each spring in the DC suburbs. A lovely and relatively inexpensive way to get color despite the roaming deer masses.
Thankfully, the deer seem to completely ignore these fluffy beauties. Probably the biggest, showiest flowers you can plant with (relative) impunity.