is winning, the gardener or the deer?
By Thea Steinmetz
Published June 3, 2009
seems to be no end to deer stories. Lately I have repeatedly been
told about five, seven or even nine deer (do they always travel
in odd numbers?) showing up in back yards or the front lawn. One
Westlake resident, Jane Peeling, likes them a great deal, so she
consciously set out to live with them in harmony. One year she planted
100 tulip bulbs and, after the deer had their fun, she was left
with only two flowers.
After that disappointing
experience, she wanted to make a pact with them. So, 450 daffodils
went in the same space the next year and not one was touched. Her
home is surrounded by trees, and that is an invitation for the deer.
Jane set out to learn what these agile creatures would not demolish.
She knows that
they do not damage her impatiens or her begonias. A beautiful stag had come around for a few years but, he
must have perished last winter and is missing now. A young one has
taken his place. As these swift visitors
have become her friends, she believes she knows them and
can tell them apart. Not knowing their identity for sure, Jane wishes
there was a way to mark them. Nail polish is her medium of choice,
but they won’t stand still for her to put a mark on them.
story is the time when a mother deer brought her young doe around
to show off the garden. The doe wandered into the rose bed and the
mother made a certain noise her offspring understood. The young
deer quickly turned around and scampered out of the rose bed. The
deer population as a whole does not touch the rose bed.
Jane knows that
deer like to establish their own walking path. Her motto is: ‘Feed
them where you want them to go. To that end, at the rear of the
property, she supplies them with treats. Apples are left behind,
and a small salt lick gets replenished every so often. This, she
believes, is the contract she made with them. She is quite adamant
that deer and humans can live in harmony. If only people would arm
themselves with the information on what plants the deer don’t like.
Many folks look forward to the variety of Home
and Garden Tours that are offered every year. There are numerous
lovely gardens in Fairview Park, and so the garden club is sponsoring
a Home and Garden Tour on Saturday, July 11, from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Nine of Fairview
Parks finest gardens are open to visitors. In addition, guests will
have the opportunity to experience three well-appointed homes.
A couple of
weeks ago, I received a postcard from Italy, telling me of magnificent
hillside gardens. The card came from Gloria Kemer, the owner of
the Emerald Necklace Inn. She traveled there to experience the European
gardens. She found inspiration. Gloria now wants her own terraced
garden, leading down to the Metroparks, behind the inn.
might be completed by the
date of the Home and Garden Tour, but most likely will need a few
years to be as mature as those seen in Italy.
are $15 and $20 on the day
of the tour and are available at Plant Crafters, the Emerald Necklace
Inn and other locations in Fairview Park. For more information,
call Sheila at 440-356-9692.
Greater Cleveland is a wonderful place to live,
especially when the weather is as pleasant as it was over the last
holiday weekend. Visitors often comment on the lack of congestion
that makes it far less difficult to get around than in other cities.
Even with the Innerbelt bridge closed for repair, it was not the
least bit of hassle to get to the other side of town.
It pays to keep
an eye on the special events that are offered for free occasionally.
The Cleveland Botanical Garden waived the usual $7.50 charge for
the Memorial Day weekend and folks took advantage of the many special
free offerings for the three day period. It was great fun to work
in the booth for The Western Reserve Herb Society. This active group
prides itself on offering informal educational information and finding
frequent events to do so.
showed that there is no age limit to those interested in the outdoors
and gardening. Tiny babies were wheeled around, often followed by
older siblings, their parents and quite often their grandparents.
The visitors’ ages could be judged from two months to perhaps ninety.
In this sad story world, it was wonderful to see everyone smiling.
This was the result of visiting nice gardens and helpful people.
Even the weather cooperated. Remember, enjoy spring, as the summer
does not officially begin until June 21.