Thursday, October 22, 2009

Harmony with Wildlife

By Skeeter
This little fawn is not laying on the grass in my Georgia yard. This Fawn called my parents yard in Tennessee home this summer. Each day this cute fawn comes into their yard and lays under the bird feeder while nibbling on corn feed.

Deer have been visiting their yard for many years and look how tame some of them are with people around. Click the video above to see the baby and mommy deer watching the neighbor mow his grass. This amazed me as the deer just watched and never ran off into the woods. I took this video the last time I was in TN. I am not sure if the fawn is still coming into the yard during the daylight hours as deer habits change during the Fall Season.

Deer are wonderful creatures to observe but a bit of a pain for Gardeners. After reading the post on the Potato Vine and Morning Glory a few weeks ago, my mom tells me that the deer eat them in their yard! They don't touch them in our yard. I wonder why? Maybe Tennessee deer like them when Georgia deer don't. Hum, something to think about.... Rabbits are another cute animal which are a pain for a gardener. Even the Botanical Gardens of Georgia are not immune to these visitors in their beautiful gardens. Look at this little bunny we spotted in the garden on the hot day we visited. Cute as they are, they can cause much destruction in a garden.

We have both deer and rabbits in our garden but luckily for us, they don't do too much damage. I must keep on my toes though as I have lost some prized hosta in the past. I have noticed that some tags on plants in garden centers are now showing if a plant is deer resistant. I look for those tags while browsing the items.

Some one passed along a list of items that may not become a meal to a rabbit. I thought I would also pass along this information to anyone which has major problems with rabbits in their gardens. This is just a guideline but may be an asset to keep on file. I am sure some things are exception to the rule as the Morning Glory and Potato Vine are not touched in my garden while they are in my parents. We enjoy animals so much in our yard that we try our best to have HARMONY WITH THE WILDLIFE, In the Garden...


Aconitum Monkshood
Alchemilla Lady’s Mantle
Aquilegia Columbine
Artemisia Wormwood
Astilbe False Spirea
Baptisia False Lupine
Bergenia Saxifrage
Calamagrostis Feather Reed Grass
Campanula (some species) Bellflower
Cimicifuga Bugbane
Convallaria Lily of the Valley
Cortaderia Pampas Grass
Corydalis Yellow Bleeding Heart
Digitalis Foxglove
Dononicum Leopard’s Bane
Epimedium Barrenwort
Eupatorium Joy Pye Weed
Euphorbia Spurge
Geranium Cranesbill
Helleborus orientalis Lenten Rose
Hemerocallis Daylily
Kniphofia Red Hot Poker
Lanium Dead Nettle
Leucojum Snowflake
Lysimachia Loosestrife
Miscanthus Maiden Grass
Monarda Bee Balm
Nepeta Catmint
Panicum Switch Grass
Papaver Poppy
Polygonatum Solomon’s Seal
Pulmonaria Lungwort
Saxifrage Strawberry Geranium
Sedum Stonecrop
Solidago Goldenrod
Stachys Lamb’s Ear
Trillium Wake Robin
Tricyrtis Toad Lily
Veronica Speedwell


  1. Thank you Skeeter for this post and for the list of plants! I think not only deer's habits change during the fall, but its taste, too. Recently, a deer ate nasturtium leaves and tomato tops in my garden. It ignored these plants in summer.

  2. The deer are so cute! And thanks for the list.

  3. Hi Skeeter, Those innocent looking babies always tug at our heart strings! We have just begun to see the deer in our neighborhood...They were displaced by a new shopping center and have moved into the woods behind homes. I've also noticed bunnies for the first time! I guess the salad bar looks good! gail

  4. Skeeter,

    Wonderful photos! Having wildlife in the yard is a great thing to have! We seldom get rabbits, but then again we live in the woods.

  5. Awwww Skeeter, how cute. Who could resist watching those lovely little critters. Wish I had some here in my city garden in Fl. I love to watch the natures wild life.
    Quite a list of plants there. Will have to save it for reference.
    My happy place turned out ok.
    Hope all have a glorious day.

  6. OMG, that little fawn is a darling. Even if he could polish off an entire garden! I totally need to plant more rabbit-proof plants!

  7. The rabbits have not been a problem this year for us. I look for those rabbit resistant plants and plant my non rabbit resistant plants with them. The other thing that has helped is the rain. All the rain kept the clover alive throughout the summer and rabbits like clover!

  8. Great post Skeeter, I am amazed that the deer are so tame in your mom's garden. We seldom have deer, but oh the rabbits!! One would think with three dogs that my yard would be last on the list to visit! Nope, seems my salad bar is a favorite. Love the list of plant material, looks good!

  9. Can't believe how tame those deer are. I live on a farm but have no trouble with deer or rabbits. I do see them in the fields and they always run when they see people.

  10. I'm not surprised by the friendly deer. It is that way here, too. Just yesterday, I took Charm out into our meadow and four deer came closer and continued to graze. I can tell that these were born here on our property since we've been here. The fawns hang out around our place during the day while mama doe goes off to forage. So, we're very familiar to them.

    The rabbits are a problem in early spring until early summer, but then nature (hawk and fox) controls the population during the midsummer to fall season so that I rarely see a rabbit.


  11. Tina,
    Thanks for the list, it is helpful indeed! And you managed to get my heart rate up this morning. Even though I think the deer and bunnies are cute, they make me stress out sometimes.

  12. Good Morning everyone!

    Tatyana, The deer are not in our yard much during the daylight hours now. They have so many nuts to eat on the woods floor plus it is rutting season so they are on the move…

    Dawn, thanks! I thought that list might come in handy for some with wildlife issues…

    Gail, if you are starting to see deer and rabbits, you’d better get ready for the feasting to begin! They do tug at the heart strings and I so have to restrain myself from not taming them to the human hand…

    Randy, We live in the middle of the woods also so we consider us invading the animals space. We try to live in peace with them and do a fairly good job. That is why my yard is not so full of expensive plants….

    Lola, be careful what you ask for! LOL we had so wanted the deer to find our yard so we could enjoy observing them. Then once they found the yard, they also found the hosta and young dogwood trees amongst other fun plants to nibble. Am glad you Happy Place went well. My Happy Place was okay this go round as well. Now we just wait and see what is next to come…

    Lzyjo, I find it difficult to become angry at the wildlife when they wreak havoc in my garden. The deer are so darn adorable at the fawn stage in their life. Plus the rabbits so cute in the spring….

    Dave, Be Ware! Those deer will find the resistant items right in the middle of your non-deer items. I have watched them walking into my Semi-Formal Garden and nibble on certain things, making their selections so carefully. Those cute stinkers! We don’t have clover in our yard so none for them to enjoy. My parents have lots of clover and I enjoy watching the deer nibble it when I am in TN…

    Janet, I was shocked as to how tame the Doe and Fawn were with the riding mower so close to them. They just seem to know that no one will harm them in the yard. The street in front of their house is another thing though. They loose many deer to the speeding cars. Maybe the list will help you out with the rabbits. And yes, I would think with three fur babies in the yard, the bunny would not be an issue. Maybe they have a friendship of sorts and have a Bunny Doggie pact with each other hee hee…

    Marnie, We mostly see the deer in our woods but we do feed them corn in a certain spot at the woods edge. We think that may be why the deer don’t do more damage in our gardens. Deer don’t seem to stay put in one place for too long so they keep on the move once eating their corn. But then again, I have seen them come into the yard and stay for long periods of time as if waiting for the bus to arrive…

    Cameron, The deer are so fun to observe in our woods but not in my garden. We rarely have to run them out of the garden areas as they mostly stay near the corn we feed them. We have seen them bedding down in our yard on many occasions and this summer we saw 6 fawn at the same time! That is a record for us as we have only seen 4 in the past. The same with us on the rabbits. We see them in the spring then come summer, no more rabbits. Plus now we have two neighbors cats in our gardens so I doubt we will see any bunnys next spring…

    Rosey, Skeeter posting today, sorry for the confusion and for your stress this morning. I do stress over the deer and rabbits in the yard as well. I have been using the liquid fence around prized items such as the hosta and Black elephant ears and so far, so good…

  13. Ironically, I just came from Garden Girl's, who has posted all the damage done to her garden by critters. Luckily, I haven't been bothered by either deer or rabbits much, so I can marvel at how cute they are instead. The little fawn is just so sweet--I would be willing to give up a few plants just to have it sit in my yard every day. My grandkids would love it!

    I like the list of plants that rabbits "probably" won't eat:)

  14. Rose, Poor Garden Girl, I know she must have been devastated to see all the damage the critters did to her beautiful gardens. We do enjoy seeing them in our yard and yes, at the expense of a plant or two at times. We have been observing the deer and rabbits for 8 years at this house and we still get excited to see them! Oh, the grandkids would love them for sure!

  15. Those deer are really most tame. Just hanging out for sure. I am so glad we don't have any in my yard. Rabbits come occasionally but don't last long with the dogs and cat. I take care of a friend's garden and she has an issue with rabbits. They eat hosta for sure. It kind of stuns me to see hostas I planted nibbled down when you can't do anything about it. Grrrr. They are cute but no thanks. Right now we are having issues with voles munching heucheras and other perennials. Double grrrr!

  16. Oh Skeeter they are so cute but I know they can do a lotta damage. You do get such good photos for us to all enjoy.

  17. oh I love to see it ! hugh Kathrin

  18. Skeeter, where did you find the liquid fence & does it kill grass or just ward off critters?

  19. We don't see either in our yard so it's easy for me to think they're cute. I know I read a lot about frustrated gardeners dealing with these visitors. I can't believe how tame the deer in your video are. They don't seem to notice the mower at all.

  20. I have plenty of friends with 'tame' deer populations in their yards. We chose to live in a neighborhood that isn't covered in ponderosa pines and consequently doesn't have a deer problem. Good for the plants, but less fun for the kiddos with no Bambi's around!

  21. Tina, We too are dealing with underground critters. This is the mole digging tunnels all over the place. They are on all sides of the yard with grass. I dont care if they stay in the mulch areas but why the grass? Arggggggg, they make me so mad and I am tired of doing the Mole Dance in the yard. You know the Mole dance, stomping the hills down.... lol... It is so frustrating at times dealing with the wildlife around us. I so enjoy them but not in my gardens!

    Jean, Thanks, I enjoy snapping pics of the wildlife. I only wish the video were better but without a video recorder, that is about the best I can do…

    Kathrin, I am glad you enjoy this. It was fun seeing the deer with the mower so close by…

    Lola, I found Liquid Fence at Tractor Supply Company (TSC) It is very expensive but does seem to work. It is stinky but only for a day then you no longer smell it. Kind of garlic and stinky feet odor. LOL. It does not harm the grass that I know of. I just spray it around the plants I know the deer and rabbits eat then reapply once we have a heavy rainfall…

    Catherine, I would enjoy the wildlife in our yard more if they would not eat my goodies. LOL but such is life when you life in the woods and a country setting. We do our best to live in harmony but it is frustrating at times…

    VW, the kiddos would love it each spring when the Bambis come out of the woods! They are so adorable with those big dark eyes. I would like to tame them but I know it is not in their best interest so I refrain from getting to close to them. We prefer to observe them from our sunroom windows….

  22. And they both look so cute, don't they? And yet, they wreak havoc. My uncle used to have similar problems with rabbits when he used to live in the countryside. He got rid of the problems by presenting rabbit stew everytime we visited him.

    I'm not making any suggestions, by the way :-).

    Great post and lovely pictures.

    Greetings from London.

  23. Cuban, I have never tried Rabbit Stew before. I tried Grilled Rabbit one time at the Rod and Gun Club while living in Germany but I did not care for it. It seemed a bit greasy to me. I am sure it was my psychological Bambi and Thumper thoughts keeping me from liking it as well as the deer meat. lol...