You’ve heard me complain about deer before. I can hear you saying, “Oh they’re so pretty. Look at that mother and baby. Wow.” You’re speaking in an awed, reverential tone, because nature is so cool.
And I can totally agree with you up to a certain point. Nature in the forest, in the parks, in the preserves is amazing. Beautiful deer walking in the meadow are fun to see. Deer in my garden, tearing down my fruit trees, eating my vegetables, and nibbling on my flowers evoke a different sentiment.
So when a friend of mine gave me a printout on controlling pests with essential oils, I was eager to give it a try. Now, my friend sells high quality oils for human use; I decided not to be so picky when it came to keeping away the deer, slugs, ants, mice, and bugs of all kinds. Of course, the essential oils I had in my craft supplies were more about smelling good, so the only oil from the list I had on hand was patchouli.
Last Saturday, before I headed off to a day at the knit shop, I mixed up a bowl of water and several drops of patchouli oil, I added a length of garden twine, and merrily went off to work. When I walked in the back door that evening, I was certain we had a problem. Did the trash need to be taken out? Had someone forgotten to run the disposal? Did something get spilled under the sink? What was that horrible smell? Turns out it was my bowl of string which promptly found a home out on the deck away from my nose.
Yesterday morning broke bright and fair, so I grabbed my scissors and stinky string and visited some of the straggly plants that need protection. We have a delphinium that’s stripped bare and a red-twig dogwood that will never catch up with the rest of the row if it keeps getting nibbled.
Maybe a length of string will protect the geraniums the MR planted and keep my columbine blooming.
To be fair, patchouli is supposed to protect against slugs, aphids, and fleas, so I really don’t know if deer will mind it, but hey it’s free, so why not? I certainly wasn’t enamored with the smell.
Meanwhile this week, everyone is in town. Baby Girl came home from school last week, the MR’s parents arrived on Sunday, and Sweet Miss came home after her new job training on Monday. Papa Willy has been out twice, and Our house is full of people, laughter, and excitement.
So while us girls went wedding dress shopping on Wednesday, the MR planted a dozen lavendar Papa Larry picked up for us. Over the wet winter, we lost some of our larger plants, but at least the deer don’t eat them. They’re a welcome addition to the steep slope below the well room. We’re always in search of that swath of purple.
At our last two homes, we’ve had rose campion growing in the untended areas. It can take over, but maybe it’s just what we need for the meadow and some of the slopes. We were rather pleased to see a pocket of it near the Russian sage and the retaining wall.
This week we’re welcoming summer, high temps, and new adventures.