Deer have a preference for certain plants so planting unpalatable ones can help reduce deer damage. The range of unpalatable plants is restricted and will limit the diversity and appeal of the garden if they are the only choice. These plants include camellia, fuchsia, hellebore, hosta, hydrangea, iris, lavender, poppy and rhododendron.
Another way to protect your flowers and maintain a diverse garden is to provide an alternative browse for the deer by allowing branbles, rosebay, willowherb, rowan, dandelion, campion, knotweed, sweet lupin, redleg and yarrow to grow in the garden. The deer will prefer these and should avoid your favourite vulnerable plants.
This mixture of effective plant protection should help reduce deer depradation and provide an attractive boundary. An added benefit is that a more varied garden would be richer in insects and birds. With this extra safeguard other plants should flourish. A list can be found on The British Deer Society’s website.