In one bed, I had the netting only a few inches above the leaves (the flower stalks emerged through the netting, which looked very nice but did make it a bit more difficult to clean up at end of season). In another bed, I had the netting about 1 foot above the leaves (again, flower stalks came thru). I think it looked nicer with the netting further above the bed because there was no chance of the leaves being squashed. You do need to periodically check and remove debris that lands on the netting, but I was very surprised by how acceptable it looked; not perfect, but certainly not offensive. It seems to me that the key is: if the deer can't get his nose on it, he won't even try. I saw no indication of the deer "testing" the netting. But if the netting is up enough to expose a leaf, they'll eat anything exposed. Again, I did also keep them sprayed with repellent so I think that also helps. Our deer are also eating sedums so I'm going to try a chicken wire cage around a bed of those.