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  • Helen Newling Lawson

Need a Quick Fix for Deer?

Updated: Oct 7


Sometimes we don't have time to design or plant a whole garden. Sometimes there's just one little blank spot to fill, or a container that needs refreshing, or a few hours on the weekend to plant. That's when you need a Quick Fix!


With my deer-resistant planting plans, I bring together eight different types of plants (small tree, shrub, perennial, annual, bulb, foliage plant, groundcover, and grassy plant) to create a complete and layered design. But realizing that some of you were facing time or space constraints, I also wanted to showcase deer-resistant plant combinations using just two to three plants that could make a big impact without the work of planting a full garden.


Here are some that I posted to Instagram recently (you can find me at @SpotOn_Gardens), plus some sneak peeks of ones you'll see coming soon! Want more of these? Search by #QuickFix on Instagram.

Each one is a mini-study in how to create an eye-catching combo. Some of the garden design strategies you'll see are:


  • Complementary colors for harmony (the red and purple in the first image);

  • Using the same color but different shapes (the coneflower and the swamp milkweed);

  • Constrasting color for excitement (all the examples in the right hand column);

  • Using foliage color (the gold foliage of the barberry and the spirea);

  • Using texture and form (the wispy verbena and grass; the bold form of the elephant ear);

  • Adding water for a cooling effect (the waterfall in the center).

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Depending on the effect you want, you can try any of these approaches to create a garden design that's soothing, exciting, calming, or bold. You can also start with just one plant you love, and try different pairing strategies to see which effect works for you.


I hope you'll find me on Instagram to follow along with my Quick Fixes - I post them every Friday to give you a shot of inspiration to try over the weekend. I'll also share the most popular combo of the past month with my newsletter subscribers - sign up so you don't miss the winner. And I'd love to see combinations that have worked for you! Tag your own deer-resistant designs with #QuickFix to share.


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