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Miss Floribunda: More advice for handling deer

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Posted on: May 15, 2016

Dear Miss Floribunda,

I live right next to Magruder Park, so I can relate to how last month’s letter writer feels about trespassing deer. Your suggestions for ground covers that repel deer give me hope. Can you recommend deer-resistant plants for other areas of the garden?

I’m practically starting from scratch, or as my husband calls our yard, “ground zero.”  I’m considering native plants for their low maintenance but wonder if deer would be drawn to them. Whatever I have to choose from, I’m hoping to keep the cost down and to get fairly quick  results.  

I’d hope for something to flower this summer or at least next summer and to keep doing it every year. Anything you can suggest would be welcome.

In Deer Straits on 38th Street

Dear Straits,

Deer will devour some native plants, particularly those with honey-like fragrance or tasty berries. Nonetheless, there are many that they eschew rather than chew.

Native plants, as you mention, are low maintenance and they provide food and shelter for bees, birds, butterflies and many beneficial insects. Native-plant expert Aunt Sioux, whom I often consult, brought me the list of plants being offered at the upcoming Hyattsville Elementary School’s Native Plant Sale. She pointed out quite a few perennial beauties that ruminants find repellent, and assured me they  will flower next spring and summer if planted soon. You can choose among various sizes and a rainbow of colors:  orange milkweed;  wild blue indigo; New England and aromatic asters; scarlet cardinal flowers; blazing stars, which are dramatic purple liatris; ethereal blue wood geraniums;  mauve & minty bee balm; striking penstemon digitalis whose snow-white flowers contrast with their black stems; orange and purple coneflowers; goldenrod, columbine and our own state flower, the black-eyed Susan. I haven’t exhausted the list by any means.

At the sale photographs and descriptions of each variety are posted to guide you in your selection and experts are available to answer your questions. As for the prices, they can’t be beat!

The sale will take place on Saturday, May 14 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the school gymnasium. The school is located at is 5311 43rd Avenue.

Be sure to come early because demand is great.

There will be no meeting of the Hyattsville Horticultural Society in May because our members will be arranging flowers for the 37th Annual Hyattsville House Tour on Sunday,May 15. Tickets for that popular event may be purchased at the Hyattsville Municipal Building or Franklin’s General Store.



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