Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Go Away!

After seeing several blogger's front yards that were no longer front yards, I decided that is what mine should be like as well. I don't think it will ever be as beautiful as Lori's garden in South Austin, or Cheryl's in North Austin as I just don't have that much dirt over the rocks. Both Lori and Cheryl as well as Philip at ESP have the perfect front yards with no grass and just so beautiful. Low water needs and no mowing either.


The grass never did grow well in our front yard so I decided to bring in more dirt and put in native plants or plants that are well adapted to our heat and that would be drought tolerant when established. There was also a path from the front steps toward the back shop, right through the front yard. It was made by the dogs as they tend to go in straight lines and not follow paths. Lyn and I had decided to dig up the limestone curbing we had put in so many years ago and put a path through that section of the yard and redo the limestone to match. Here is the project with the path fixed and more dirt brought in and a few plants in.

We do have a problem that Philip, Lori and Cheryl don't have and that is the deer. It will take some serious thought and planning to have a beautiful area with nice plants that will not be ravaged by all the deer here. People that visit comment on how deer wouldn't come up this close to the house. Yeah, they will.

While eating supper a couple of nights ago I looked out and the "Queen", of our local deer herd, just came walking through the front garden, sniffing around and looking for a snack. I picked up the camera and took one through the screen. She would sniff this plant and then that plant and walk a little further. I walked to the front door to take more pictures without a screen in the way.
You can tell by the long head and roman nose that she is a very mature deer. She raises twin fawns every year and takes no guff from other deer.


My choices in plants so far must be good as she took nary a bite. Yeah, me. She finally turned and went on around the house, I guess to get the last of the plums that have fallen over the back yard fence.

8 comments:

Tabor said...

Deer seem to try everything at least once. They originally fear and then become bolder with time.

Pam/Digging said...

Bob, check out Cameron's blog Defining Your Home Garden Travel: http://definingyourhome.blogspot.com/ She's in N.C. and has lots of great ideas for deer-resistant plants for sun. Many of them will grow here too.

What's working for me is Mexican oregano, yucca, bamboo muhly, Sabal minor, gopher plant (a couple of nibbles), 'Senorita Rosalita' cleome, rosemary, copper canyon daisy, Salvia guaranitica, Sparkler sedge, nolina, Texas betony, heartleaf skullcap...

katina said...

It could be worse...you could have mountain lions that sleep on our deck like the mountain states...

Paul said...

Of course it could always be worse! That's not the point.

The Scarecrow line of motion activated sprinklers may help. They can be pricey, but worth the investment if you've already invested alot in your landscape.

I also suggest, if possible, growing unsavory stuff on the edges of your landscape (wormwood,yucca, agave, cactus) and then spray the *hell* out of your delicate/tasty plants with a decoction of materials that are extremely bitter or spicy. I use the same wormwood, calea (bitter grass), habanero, tansy, and cloves. Applied regularly, it will repel all but the most determined and hungry deer as well as keep a lot of other pests at bay. GOOD LUCK!

RBell said...

You're a brave man, Bob. Don't think I'm ready to get rid of the lawn yet. Of course, presently still trying to create beds to fill shady areas where the lawn grass won't even grow! Good luck with the deer.

Patchwork said...

Ah, yes...our deer little friends.

We've only been here a couple years. So, I'm learning what works, and what won't. The problem there is, what works, isn't always the same. Things they didn't touch last summer, during the severe drought, they're nibbling on this year.

But, we gardeners are stubborn. We won't give up.

Good luck with your new beds.

~~Linda...

Amy said...

I agree...It would be nice to be lawn free. I am working on making the grass area smaller. Maybe eventually I will get rid of it all. Yours looks great...I think it is a lot more interesting without the grass.

Cheryl said...

Aw, you're a sweetheart Bob! I do have St. Augustine still thriving, though the summer may kill it yet!

What happened to ya last week? You still need to come by for a drinky winky at the bar!