Let me give you a little background of where I am today in my gardening. It wasn’t until the winter of 2009 that I was able to grow anything but rosemary, santolina and a mountain laurel in my yard. No matter what the nursery told me or what list I read there was nothing safe from white tailed deer in my yard. Of course it didn’t help that when we built our house in the hill country we were enthralled with feeding them from our hands. I guess when I started planting shrubs and perennials they thought it was for them.

1994, the year we built our house

And they never left. For years I replanted and replanted, tried every spray on the market and even tried some home remedies. I made the habanero pepper/raw eggs concoction, human hair and shaved Ivory soap. The one I didn’t try was the mountain lion urine an old farmer tried to sell me. How was I to know if it was really from a mountain lion or something he just went behind the barn and filled the jar. Oh well, I finally gave up planting, until 2009 when I insisted on a fenced in backyard. I told the family I was missing out on my best years of gardening.

backyard Feb. 2010

This is the view from the west side of the yard. A friend gave us the raised beds for our vegetables. He was giving up gardening. You can also see the fence in the background.

backyard Feb. 2010

This is all I had in my beds before the fence. Like I said they did not eat the santolina . We brought in new dirt and mulch to build the beds up and made two levels with rocks that had been left over from building the house.

backyard April 2010

When spring came that same year I added new plants. The trumpet vine on the porch was planted two years ago and has done very well. It is always covered in blooms. If you look closely you can tell where the deer ate (before the fence) up as far as they could reach.

trumpet vine April 2010

Today it blooms beautifully!

Next  time I will show you the improvements we have made this spring.