Garden Design

Dodging the Deer with Containers

I am Surinder Chadha, I live in Old Tappan in northern New Jersey. Gardening has been my hobby since childhood. In Old Tappan, we are overrun by deer, chipmunks, and squirrels, who do not make growing flowers easy. Most of the annuals I plant are in more than 150 12- to 24-inch planters on the deck, which is about 7 to 8 feet high. It may be hard to believe, but deer will come up on the deck if we don’t close the gate.

collection of enormous house plantsWe have seen Surinder’s incredible collection of enormous houseplants before (click here), and here we see those same plants taking a little summer vacation outside, which is a great way to give them optimum conditions to thrive and get big.

rows of containers of annualsRows and rows of containers of annuals bring tons of color and avoid the deer. New Guinea impatiens (Impatiens hawkeri, annual) dominate on the top of the railing.

begonias and salvia echo the red tonesTons of red flowers from begonias (Begonia hybrid, annual) and salvia (Salvia splendens, annual) echo the red tones of the crape myrtle (Lagerstroemia, Zones 7–10) blooming next to the deck.

Here masses of vincaNot ALL the annuals are in containers. Here, masses of vinca (Catharanthus roseus, annual) bloom. This annual loves full sun, blooms well through extreme heat, and is deer and rabbit resistant. Its only weakness is that it doesn’t thrive in wet, poorly drained soils.

petunias and yellow-leaf sweet potato vineIn this section, petunias (Petunia hybrids, annual) in various colors and a yellow-leaf sweet potato vine (Ipomoea batatas, annual) dominate.

Beautiful containers frame the front door.Beautiful containers frame this door.

Beautiful coleusBeautiful coleus (Plectranthus scutellarioides, looks like the variety ‘Chocolate Mint’)

enormous coleusCheck out how enormous that same coleus got later in the season.

Wax begoniasWax begonias (Begonia semperflorens, annual) are dependable, easy-to-grow plants that bloom nonstop in full sun to light shade.

Dragon WingThe genus Begonia is enormous, with many wonderful varieties. The looks to be one of the Dragon Wing varieties.

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