Great Garden Combo: 3 Awesome Plants for a Deer-Resistant Screen

Many challenges are faced by gardeners. The need to screen neighboring houses is a common one in urban lots and is typically dealt with a 6-foot-tall weapon or a combination of arborvitae or comparable columnar trees. However, this situation can be a chance to turn into a problem area to a garden highlight. Rather then construct a barricade, include layers of deciduous and evergreen trees and shrubs, then accent them with seasonal color for a gorgeous focal point you may want to look at.

In rural gardens deer could cause substantial harm and try the patience of even the very wildlife-loving gardener. The first strategy is to select plants that are generally considered algae resistant. I also have found that this sort of obstruction planting are able to continue to keep the deer off from some plants which may otherwise be considered caviar. Dense layers appear to require too much effort for the deer to permeate, and they wander elsewhere to hunt for their treats.

The most gorgeous planting combination below will flourish in full sun, average soil and a temperate climate, and consists of deer-resistant plantings. Considering that the hardiness zones are given for each plant, start looking for comparable substitutes if one of these drops out of your range. Just follow these principles to make beauty regardless of the beast.

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The top screens are the ones which don’t appear to be screens at all; this is a perfect example. Layers of deciduous, evergreen and seasonal color make this an eye-catching combination if it’s used to make some privacy, keep deer or simply capture interest as a striking vignette.

This calming monochromatic scheme relies on varying foliage textures and forms for interest. A canopy of golden locust tree (Robinia pseudoacacia ‘Frisia’) leaves rustles in the breeze, towering over dwarf Japanese cedar (Cryptomeria japonica ‘Elegans Nana’), while a strong vertical accent provided by fragrant lilies(Lillium ‘African Queen’) fills in the middle plane.

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How to Get the Look

1. Start with the showstopper.

Golden locust tree (Robinia pseudoacacia ‘Frisia’)is once seen, never forgotten; this really is a shrub that will always be on your favorites list.You have only to endure under the golden canopy of foliage that is translucent to feel bathed in sunshine even on a cloudy day.

This fast paced shrub tree is shunned by deer, as a result of the thorns across the branches. It has fragrant white flowers in spring, although they’re slightly hidden by the foliage, and it is remarkably tolerant of poor soils. Maybe its main drawback is that the branches are brittle and can break in strong winds, therefore placing it into a somewhat secure area is recommended.

USDA zones: 4 to 9 (find your zone)
Water condition: Low once recognized
moderate requirement: Full sun for best color
Mature dimension: 30 to 50 feet tall and around 20 feet broad
When to plant: Plant it into well-drained dirt in spring or fall.

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2. Add a lower tier.

Dwarf Japanese cedar (Cryptomeria japonica ‘Elegans Nana’) always reminds me of a fat small dumpling. It has a rather loose mounding shape and a soft, feathery texture.

I adore evergreens that alter somehow during the entire year; this one does this nicely, with blue-green summer foliage that takes about a purple throw during winter. Being evergreen, this conifer offers year-round interest.

USDA zones: 5 to 8
Water necessity: Moderate
moderate requirement: Full sun or partial shade (therefore it’s Perfect for planting under a deciduous tree)
Mature dimension: 7 feet tall and around 7 feet broad
When to plant: Spring or fall

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3. Fill in with accents that are interesting.

African Queen lily
(Lillium ‘African Queen’) is your filler here; Oriental lilies are a fragrant garden highlight in mid to late summer. With each bulb supplying multiple blooms over several weeks, you receive a lot of punch to the buck.

‘African Queen’ is one of the tallest cultivars, and its melon-colored trumpet-shaped flowers are really stunning. Grow these massed on your edge for best effect — they will continue to multiply each year.

USDA zones: 3 to 9
Water necessity: Average, but avoid soils that stay moist during winter
moderate requirement: Total sun
Mature dimension: 5 to 6 feet tall
When to plant: Plant bulbs in spring, about 6 inches deep and with the pointed side up.

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4. If you prefer, expand the combination. Add color contrast and an extra layer by adding darker foliage for example ‘Grace’ smoke bush, shown here. This can help to fill in between the golden locust shrub and conifer whereas the lily grows and continue to include construction when those blooms have ended.

I have found that deer may nibble smoke bushes somewhat but seldom do significant harm. In this compact planting like this, I would not expect a problem.

Banyon Tree Design Studio

Botanical name: Cotinus x ‘Grace’
Common name: ‘Grace’ smoke bush
USDA zones: 4 to 9
Water necessity: Average
Light requirement: Total sun
Mature dimensions: 10 to 15 tall and broad, but I love to cut it back hard in spring. This prevents flowering, produces larger leaves and keeps it about 8 feet wide and tall.
When to plant: Plant it into well-drained dirt in spring or fall.

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By continuing to include layers of lush and colorful foliage, you can develop the combination to attain the desired degree of screening.

Deer disclaimer: The phrase “Deer will eat anything if hungry enough” is often quoted. Personally, I would rather say “Deer will eat anything if expensive enough.” In any event, the suggestions here are based on my deer battles and those of many references that are highly dependable. Fantastic luck!

More: Things to do in your garden now

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