Roses are undeniably a favorite plant the world over, and Tehachapi has a great climate for growing many beautiful varieties.
The only drawback to trying your hand at them here is that the deer love them. Think of your favorite desert… that is how I relay how much deer enjoy rose blossoms. In my garden it seems that they wait and watch for the buds to swell and just start to open, then denude the plant in one fell sweep, taking every last one!
Needless to say the frustration that has brought me has caused me to declare war!
I have moved most of my roses to the back yard that is fenced, and is the domain of my lovable Swiss Mountain dog, Sadie. But even a big dog and a fenced yard is not a complete guarantee.
Last spring I was surprised to hear Sadie barking emphatically in the back, and then running to the sliding glass door and barking at me, then running back toward some bushes and barking like crazy. I felt the need to investigate. I went out back and peeked around the bushes to see what was going on. There on the lower path was a large doe standing her ground and staring us down. Sadie looked at me as if to question what she should do. I promptly encouraged her to go chase that doe out! What happened next really took me off guard. I would not have believed it if I had not seen it with my own eyes. Not only did that doe not budge, she reared up on her hind legs and brought her hoofs down on Sadie’s back! Sadie ran away whimpering and the doe leisurely bounded over the fence as if this were a normal everyday occurrence. To say I was shocked would be putting it mildly. If a fenced yard, and big dog don’t keep the deer out what’s a gardener to do?
It is a product that I bought online and it works! The best part is that it smelly like mint! Yes, you heard me right, MINT. If you have ever used the products that repel deer you know that mint is the last thing they usually smell like. Dried blood, or rotten eggs mixed with garlic is the usual smell of these products, so mint is a refreshing alternative. I used it all last summer and into the fall, and the deer left my roses alone.
What have you found that works for you to keep the deer away?