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Deer Defense with Betsy Clebsch

Salvia enthusiast Betsy Clebsch explains how she designed her California garden to be deer resistant.

There are some creatures that we welcome into our gardens, like bumblebees. These pollinators and many others have found a home in the garden of salvia enthusiast Betsy Clebsch.

But Betsy tells us that in planning her California garden she had to keep in mind other wildlife that might not be so beneficial.

Betsy Clebsch: I had to think of all of the animals that live here and have lived here for a long time before I moved in. And the deer, we found a way to take care of that predation with a very low, four-foot high fence. But it's a double fence and there's five feet between it and they never want to jump.

Now, there are many plants that deer won't eat. For instance, butterfly bush. While it will attract some beautiful visitors to your garden, it shouldn't attract deer. And barberry has the perfect defense with its sticky thorns. You'd think something as fragrant as a lilac would attract deer, but they don't seem to go for it. And deer don't like plants with aromatic foliage like lavender and artemisia or many herbs like dill, rosemary and thyme. They also don't like plants with fuzzy foliage like lamb's ear, or foxglove. And they don't seem to care for daffodils or any member of the narcissus family.