What plants can I use??

justcaroleSeptember 1, 2008

I would like to landscape a piece of my folks yard with plants as a gift. But I'm up against very specific restrictions, so I need help finding what plants to use.

I would prefer to plant in the spring. The area is Zone 5 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, approx. 3' x 20' x 6" high raised bed, southern exposure, full sun, up against the house. My folks are out-of-state 6 months of year; in Wisconsin from mid-May to November. So I'm looking for low maintenance, hardy plants, annuals, perennials, biennials, vines, whatever. They don't have a problem with deer, rabbits, etc. And they love color!

So have fun and thanks in advance for the suggestions!

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"What plants can I use??"

NONE. Sorry to disappoint.

Deer can and will eat anything when they are hungry. PLEASE take it from someone who knows, I battled the creatures for 12 years in West Virginia, a state with an extremely high deer population, spent tons of time, money and frustration, and finally gave up and sold the place. I tried everything, except a fence and a pulsing water device.

If you do not consider the deer issue before anything else, plants just ainÂt gonna happen.

The "pulsing" watering device that comes one when triggered by the deer. It comes on, squirts them, and away they go. I don't have personal experience with it, but I have heard many positive things about how they work.

Good luck!


    Bookmark   September 17, 2008 at 10:26AM
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laceyvail(6A, WV)

The previous poster is completely wrong in his statements. I too am in WV and am a garden consultant with a specialty in deer resistant gardening. In addition, you note that deer are NOT a problem, so we're focussing solely on heat and drought resistant. I'm going to mention only perennials since the residents won't be there in the winter.

The biggest problem in the bed is the narrowness--only 3 feet; some of the plants will spill over, and should look good. Consider Nepetas (especially N. 'Walkers Low'), sedums, Pardancandas, Agastache foeniculum, Callirhoe involucrata--and those, properly placed, should be plenty for a 20 x 3 ft. bed.

good luck.
Look at

    Bookmark   September 25, 2008 at 6:21AM
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I am gardening successfully with deer, without repellants. I get some browsing, but not enough to keep me from gardening!

I'm in zone 7, so you'll have to see if these full sun, low maintenance, drought tolerant, deer resistant varieties will work in your zone:

lavender (trim foliage by 1/3 in March)
tall verbena
yarrow (cut back to get rebloom)
ornamental grasses (cut back in early spring)
buddleia (cut back in early spring)


Here is a link that might be useful: latest update on my deer resistant garden

    Bookmark   September 26, 2008 at 9:49AM
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