Deer are omnivores when it comes to garden plants, and will eat what they want when they want, without any seeming schedule or predictability. I gave up maybe 8 years ago and fenced my whole place in 8-foot wire. So you cannot feel "safe" ever, or sure enough they will just chomp everything when you are relaxed. And they will eat roses (thorns and all) and even stiff needled evergreens like blue spruce. Anything, whenever. No way to tell when they will just walk in and have at it. Or you might get lucky. But I never did, for long. Hence the fence. It’s critical in this area (and many areas) to devise a consistent deer-thwarting strategy and stick to it. Fence, or at least regular spraying with serious deer-proof sprays if not a fence.
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Welcome! I’m Margaret Roach, a leading garden writer for 25 years—at ‘Martha Stewart Living,’ ‘Newsday,’ and in three books. I host a public-radio podcast; I also lecture, plus hold tours at my 2.3-acre Hudson Valley (NY) Zone 5B garden, and always say no to chemicals and yes to great plants.