To keep deer from munching their way through perennials in spring and evergreens in winter, turn to Russian sage.  I grow it in tandem with day lilies to foil their appetites in season but also make use of the spent stems, bundled like bouquets and tucked into Rhodies and Mountain laurels.  Enough of the volatile oils remain in the stem to be a deterrent throughout the winter, however harsh; in the five-plus years that I’ve been doing this not a single leaf has been lost.  It looks better than netting or burlap and, unlike sprays, doesn’t need to be reapplied ~ the fact that it also doesn’t cost a dime makes this thrifty Yankee doubly happy!


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