The Q&A Archives: Hill side garden

Question: I recently bought your Golden Japanese Forest grasses for my hillside and they look wonderful. Can you tell me where I can get more of this plant in zip code 19606. Also, can you suggest some good deer resistent companion plants that grow well in a shady area?

Answer: Thank you for asking. Monrovia plants are sold nation wide. Unfortunately, I have no way of checking which nurseries or garden centers would have this particular plant in stock on hand or be able to obtain it for you. They are independent stores and each carries its own selection, so you need to check with them directly and see. There is a dealer locator at the web site that is searchable by zip code and provides contact information.
If they do not have it, perhaps they can suggest a susbtitute.

As far as companion plants, keep in mind that deer are adaptable and will learn to eat new plants over time, and that what is deer resistant in one area can be readily eaten in another area. Hellebores seem to be a relatively safe bet as are ferns and lamium in my own garden.

But it is nearly impossible to give you a reliable listing of plants that deer will or will not eat -- I have seen our own local deer eat many things listed as supposedly unattractive to deer. Unfortunately, these are adaptable animals and they will learn to eat new plants when there is a harsh winter or a food shortage or when new things are planted along their usual browse path. So a list from one area will not necessarily be applicable to another.

The best you can hope to do is check with local neighboring gardeners and find out what the local deer population already recognizes as edible, which plants they are having the best and worst luck with, and plant accordingly. (Your local county extension may also have some suggestions.) It is also worth mentioning that deer can do almost as much damage by trampling as by eating and since they are creatures of habit, if they already dine at your house they will continue to come onto your property to do so if at all possible. In my own sad experience, a tall fence is the only reliable long term defense against these creatures, especially in an area where the pressure is severe. Repellents may also be effective if consistently applied and reapplied according to the label instructions, but this is a lot of work if your plantings are extensive.

Having said all that, here are some lists, maybe you will find some plants that appeal to you.

I'm sorry I can't be more specific for you and I do hope you find what you are looking for. Best of luck with your search!

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