Deer: They always find us.

I had a good run of things, but last night, the deer found me. I walked out this morning to find all the lovely, fat buds on my daylilies munched halfway down, leaving sad, wet little stubs. They also did an effective pruning job on one of my roses.

I do have some Plantskydd in the shed, so I guess it’s time to break it out and see if it works as promised. It had better; it cost enough.


Mental hardscaping

I have longed for a fence made of Corten steel for more than 10 years. I wanted this fence before I had a garden to put it in.

Corten steel fence in Tom Stuart-Smith’s garden

Corten is a brand name of a kind of weathering steel made by US Steel. Weathering steel is a steel alloy that forms a protective coating as it rusts. It is often used in public sculptures, but my favorite application is in edgy landscaping installations.

carrot evidenceI feel my need for a fence increasing as (unnecesary) development nearby pushes more and more wildlife–particularly deer–into our neighborhood. When we moved here ten years ago, I never saw deer; now, while they’re not quite commonplace, they’re certainly more visible than in the past. It doesn’t help that my back-door neighbor seems to be leaving carrots on her lawn, in what I can only assume is a misguided attempt to lure them. They are pretty, I admit (the deer, not the carrots).

So if I’m going to be saving my pennies for a fence, I may as well look into the cost of Corten and see if it’s as pie-in-the-sky as I suspect it may be. If it is, I’ll be looking into other creative options besides the standard offerings from the big-box home improvement store.

Tom Stuart-Smith is one of my favorite landscape architects, and his projects often employ Corten steel to provide a delicious tension between modernism and naturalism. For a visual feast, check out his portfolio at his website,