Garden Photo of the Day

Protecting Favorite Plants From Hungry Deer

This New Jersey gardener grows beautiful lilies despite the local wildlife

Terry Redling sent in these photos of favorite parts of their garden in Gillette, New Jersey. Terry says that their favorite time of day is when they get to tend to their plants!

This hybrid lily, in the Asiatic group (Lilium, Asiatic section, Zones 5–9), boasts dramatic coloration. Asiatic lilies have some of the most complex, beautiful, and diverse flower colors in the world of true lilies, though they lack the intense fragrance of some of their slightly less colorful counterparts.


On the other hand, Oriental lilies (Lilium, Oriental section, Zones 5–8), like this one, have an intense scent that cannot be matched. View the Oriental lily plant guide here.


Daylilies (Hemerocallis spp. and hybrids, Zones 4–9) are not true lilies, but their similar flowers can be just as beautiful if also usually unscented. Unfortunately, they and the true lilies are favorite snacks for deer.


Hungry deer are a fact of life here, so Terry protects precious lilies with net fencing. If deer are bad where you garden (and it seems like that is true nearly everywhere), putting up some kind of fence or netting barrier is about the only way to protect tasty plants from getting gobbled up. Spray repellents can work temporarily, especially if there aren’t many deer in the area, but long-term fencing is the only real solution. Having issues with deer? Read our guide to learn how best to prevent deer damage in your garden.


Terry has chosen to fence off each individual bed, using a thin netting that doesn’t prevent visually enjoying the plants. This method can be very effective, and it allows you to protect just the plants deer love the best. The other option is to fence off the entire garden, which works great but can be very expensive if your garden is large.


Squeezed in between the flower beds is Terry’s vegetable garden, again fenced off to keep hungry animals away and allow humans to enjoy the delicious bounty it produces.



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View Comments


  1. davidjohn2121 08/31/2018

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    meander_michaele 08/31/2018

    Your enthusiasm for all things "lily" is very understandable, Terry and I 'm glad you have made the effort to come up with a system that protect them from the voracious appetites of wandering deer. The deck encircling the back of your home looks particularly generous and I'm sure it's a favorite sitting area in the evening to enjoying looking out on your beautiful lilies.

  3. [email protected] 08/31/2018

    Very nice garden, and I like how you have been creative in your efforts to limit deer damage. I hadn't considered trying the net around smaller areas, and was thinking I would have to do a big, expensive fence system, but your ideas are what I will try first! Thanks for sharing.

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