Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Things I Do For Hosta

Sometimes, really, I question why I do things.


I live in the woods for the love of Peter, Paul and Mary. Really, the better thing to do would just be to have landscaping and gardens that grew things like nettles or other thorny things that the rats with hooves deer won’t eat.

But of course I can’t do that. Oh no not me.

I have to have a strangely obsessive love of hostas. An overwhelming urge to plant every variety that I can find.

And I have to have daylilies. Many, many daylilies. For deer, daylilies are like candy. They call to the deer with soft and sweet songs. And the deer answer the call with gusto. Waiting until the flowers are just about ready to open. One day the bud will be there and the next morning…


No more daylily bud. Just an empty stalk and me, standing there and raising my fist in impotent rage!
If you live in a place where the only things that eat your plants are the little bunnies….you just have no idea.
And so, because I have this strange love affair with hosta and daylilies (really all Papa’s fault but that is for another post), I have to take action. I have to preemptively strike!

I must spray.

There are many different things to do when you want to discourage Gengis Khan in the underbrush the deer. Having a dog is good. I don’t mind it if Max “waters” the plants. Well, I don’t like to see that happen to the basil or the herbs but other than that he has freedom to sprinkle wherever. You can also have your husband go out and “water”. I think we will leave that right where it is. Or you could collect your own urine to sprinkle…..I don’t think so. Or you can make your own homemade stuff. I haven’t done that yet but I may if the cost of this stuff keeps going up.

I use two different products. One of which smells like a slaughterhouse and one of which smells like a vomitorium.IMG_6790BOh the things that I go through for these plants.

And let me tell you that when I say that the Liquid Fence smells like vomit I don’t mean just a little “spit up”. I mean it smells like


Like when your child decides to have projectile vomiting in an enclosed space like a plane after having had a huge breakfast.

Too much info?

And the smell sticks around for awhile. Like for hours.IMG_6796AThis is me after having put the noxious liquid, which is all opaque and slimy and slightly grainy, into my spray bottle.

Breathe through mouth Deb. Breathe through mouth!

And then you also need to remember to use these….

IMG_6797 Oh you really want to remember to use these because the smell of this stuff is really hard to get off. And if you get it under your fingernails!!! You will not be a popular person with others or even yourself for that matter.
Others can run from you but you can’t run from your own hands that smell like you have been dabbling in stuff left over from a raucous frat party.

And once you have put on your gloves, given the jug a good shake (REMEMBER to make sure the lid is on tight) and poured it into the proper receptacle you are ready to spray.
But now comes the really tricky part….what to spray. I have one word for you…..


Everything that the deer might even think would be even remotely appetizing. Hostas, daylilies, rudbekia, daisies, basil (they LOVE this)…… just about everything. They don’t seem to like the marigolds or the impatiens or the lamium but that is about it. 

And when you are spraying you need to make sure that you know which way the wind is blowing. This is really important. You do not want to give a big spray with the stuff and then realize that the wind is blowing in your face. If the wind is blowing towards you then so is the vomity smelling stuff.

Believe me I know.

It is really unpleasant to have this blow back in your face. Really. Unpleasant.

And then you have to take another shower.

You also have to time the spraying. You really don’t want to do this the afternoon that you are having the big company party on the deck or perhaps a house showing. Trust me when I say that people are not going to want to hang around outside for 6-8 hours after this stuff gets sprayed. Especially on a warm day the smell just sort of settles over your house and you like the plague on the first born from The Ten Commandments.
But, if it keeps the deer out of my garden I can stand it.

But you might want to come over for coffee tomorrow and not today.


  1. Your post today is one of the reasons I am supremely happy we moved back to smalltown Iowa from the rural foothills of California. Oh, am I Happy!
    BTW, very funny it! lol

  2. Just so you know, deer DO like impatiens. I've seen them standing there grazing on my big bed of impatiens as if it was an all-you-can-eat salad bar.

  3. Hilarious post! I use the Liquid Fence... and yes it smells disgusting. Blecccchh! I always think of a wild urine (think fox or coyote), mixed with the vomit-y odor when I spray it. Ugh!! But it works!


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