Landscaping with Wildlife in Mind

If you go to battle with critters, it is time to stop thinking in terms of us versus them. Instead, think of it as mine and yours.

The Bulletin
Eastern Grey Squirrel 59b1b16f44747

Can wildlife and beautiful gardens coexist without a constant application of repellents and/or an 8-foot fence? Repellents require constant maintenance. Scent-motivated sprays need to be reapplied after a rain, plus they are expensive. A critter control fence is a must if you expect to harvest any vegetables. So what is the answer?

I have spent many hours turning pages and taking notes from Creating a Deer- and Rabbit-Proof Garden (third edition) by Peter Derano. My spirit and my vision is for a somewhat critter-proof garden that is water-wise and fairly low maintenance, but so far, it is still on paper with lots of additions and subtractions.

My aha moment came when I visited a beautiful garden on NW Summit Drive in Bend, Oregon, which was part of the recent Oregon State University Extension High Desert Garden Tour. Finally, the puzzle pieces have started fitting together.

The homeowner, in addition to dealing with a higher elevation, has deer, rabbits, chipmunks, gophers, golden-mantled ground squirrels and gray squirrels to contend with.

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