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Deer...you love them or you hate them, but no matter what deer have an appetite for delicious plants we plant in our garden and around our home. You've seen the residue in the morning: spiked hostas, chomped impatiens, mangled hydrangea. How can an animal that cute be so hungry? Fences and sprays and dogs just don't go far enough and most people stop short of venison surprise for dinner. What's a serious gardener to do? Gardening in Deer Country answers this question by presenting descriptions of trees, shrubs, annuals, perennials, ground covers, herbs, bulbs, and vines that deer don't like to eat. Drzewucki presents over 130 detailed plant descriptions including size, texture, habit, culture, and hardiness for each plant with accompanying illustrations showing full size, flower, and stem. An additional 100 plants are included in a list, rated by their level of deer attractiveness from "best" to "forget it." The 23 page introduction discusses the problems, possible solutions, and planting techniques that every gardener who lives with deer should know.
Vincent Drzewucki Jr. is a horticulturist, lecturer, and director of the Long Island Nurserymen's Association in New York State. Vincent has over 30 years experience in the horticulture industry. He is a New York State Certified Nursery Professional, a New York State DEC Certified Commercial Pesticide Applicator, and a US private pilot. Advanced degrees include an AAS in Ornamental Horticulture and Nursery Management from SUNY Agriculture and Technical College, Farmingdale, New York, and an MBA from Adelphi University, Garden City, New York. Vincent lives with his wife in Wantaugh, New York.
Posted March 17, 2000
A major portion of Gardening in Deer Country is devoted to providing descriptions of deer resistant plants and their growing requirements. The novice gardener will find these descriptions extremely helpful. However, color pictures of the plants would be immensely helpful. The one thing I find annoying about this book is it defines the probability a plant may be eaten by deer as: Rarely, Seldom, Occasionally, Frequently or Absolutely NOT. I question the legitimacy of such detailed breakdowns, as deer are very similar to people regarding food. First, both people and deer have regional food preferences (e.g., Italian food verses Chinese). Deer in my neighborhood may love the same plant that deer in your neighborhood hate. Second, individual deer, like humans, have their own preferences. For example, I love garlic but my mother hates it. As such, it would be much more accurate and useful if the author categorized plants into one of three groups: Rarely, Occasionally and Frequently. This would also help eliminate discussions between confused gardeners and garden center staff trying to quantify the difference between rarely, seldom and, occasionally.
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Posted April 20, 2009
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