Monday, November 28, 2011

Deer CRD Resident

Dear CRD Resident,

Thank you once again for your submission to In the 3 months since opening this dedicated e-mail address we have received nearly 400 responses, which speaks to the depth of public interest in deer management on the South Island. We will consider all feedback that we receive as we move forward.

On November 9, 2011, the CRD Board of Directors directed staff to develop the terms of reference for a Deer Management Plan for the Capital Regional District, a first step toward establishing a plan of action on this matter. Staff are expected to report back to the CRD Board with the Plan’s terms of reference in early 2012.

In developing the terms of reference for the CRD Deer Management Plan, staff have been instructed that the document should consider:

  • relevant solutions from the region’s in-progress goose management strategy
  • select relevant deer control measures identified in the B.C. Ministry of Environment’s Hesse Report
  • scoping the geographic areas where deer management strategies are needed
  • public engagement strategy and potential for citizen advisory group in Plan development
  • moving the Deer Management Plan from strategy into action
  • how partnership arrangements for technical expertise, as well as funding and implementation strategies will be addressed

In the meantime, the e-mail address will remain active for the public to continue submitting ideas and opinions on deer management in the CRD.

Further, by December 5th, 2011, we will make all of the information that we have compiled and referenced to date on deer management available on a dedicated page of the CRD website

Thank you for your continued interest in this matter.

Darcee Strawson, Administrative Clerk II

Planning and Protective Services | Regional Planning

Capital Regional District | 625 Fisgard Street, Victoria, BC V8W 2S6

T: 250.360.3195 | F: 250.360.3159 | |

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Deer Resistant Spring Bulbs

There are quite a number of deer resistant Spring bulbs.Her is a sample of some that we have for sale at the store this fall.


For a bold statement in the garden, you can't do better than growing the Eremurus or Foxtail Lily. This statuesque perennial is fully frost hardy, and should be planted in a sunny, warm, sheltered area where they will reward you with their showy foxtail spikes and warm exotic hues.


The common Grape Hyacinths appears in many gardens, and is often culled as a weed. The next picture shows how it's amazing naturalizing abilities to it's best potential.

The "Blue River" is a famous display bed at the Keukenhof Gardens in Holland.

The white form is quite lovely

This plumed form is one of the many cultivars that have been bred in recent years.

Here is one of my favorites.
This beauty, "Pink Sunrise", is a new one out this year. I am buying a pkg for myself to try!


This reliable trouble free bulb, with delicate clusters of white blue striped flowers should be used more.

It is a hardy naturalizer for sun or part shade, and not even the squirrels like them.


Leucojum or Summer Snowflake, is also known as Giant Snowdrop on occasion. It's a wonderful bulb, very pretty, and blooms soon after it's miniature look-alike the much loved snowdrop.


Chinonodoxa, or Glory of the Snow covers the ground in early Spring with a carpet of pink or blue flowers.

They have been known to bloom through the snow which provides the explanation for their common name. This deer resistant bulb is extremely easy to grow, and self seeds, and naturalizes easily.


There are many species of Fritillaria to chose from all native to the northern hemisphere. We have our own little native species, often called the chocolate, or snakehead lily. The majority come from the Mediterranean, and have a tropical very exotic appearance.

Fritillaria ,persica

Fritillaria, michailvskyi

Fritillaria, meleagris, a look alike for our native species, which is not often found for sale.

Fritillaria, imperialis-rubra, nothing quite looks like this regal flower, but don't plant it for it's fragrance, part of their charm is that the deer think they are stinky too.

Daffodils and Narcissus

And the best known deer resistant Spring bulb of all the glorious and wondrous simple yet well loved Daffodil in all it's forms.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Rhodo and Azalea beds

Rhododendrons, or "Rhodo's" are a great Deer resistant plants that grow well in our moderate climate and acid soil. They are from the Heath family so related to other acid lovers such as Heathers, and Blueberries. I am often asked what is the difference between Rhododendrons and Azaleas. Technically Azaleas are Rhododendrons but we usually refer to a decidous species, as well as some evergreen Oriental types as Azaleas. We most often refer to the large leathery leaf types as Rhododendrons.

Rhodos are healthiest in filtered sun, doing best not too shady or too sunny. Deep shade can produce leggy plants that don't bloom well. Hot sun and reflected heat are hard on rhodos too, as are cold winter winds. Rhodos need a well draining soil free from standing water and a good supply of water in hot and cold weather. If the fall is very dry give your Rhodos a good soak after the first frosts. They will handle winter winds much better if they are well hydrated. If you have extreme winds consider spraying them with an anti-dessicant .

Rhodos and Azaleas will thank you for providing not just good soil, but lots of additional organic materials such as compost, leaf mulch, or peat added at planting time. Prepare the beds to a depth of up to 18" for the biggest varieties. They are shallow rooted plants, so if you prepare your beds too deeply they may sink. They are sensitive to being planted too deep. They should be planted to their original soil levels, and benefit from being on a slight berm 2-3" above the surrounding areas. It's a great idea to mulch your beds with bark or leaf mulch. Fertilize in the Spring before and after blooming.

Young Rhodos and Azaleas can be pruned to form a compact plant. The light pruning should be done immediately after blooming. If you leave pruning too late you will cut off next years buds. Older Rhodos need very little pruning unless they are leggy. Prune back to where you can see a leaf node, or green leaves. Prune out dead or broken branches anytime.

When planting a rhodo bed pay special attention to the mature heights and widths the plants will be. Plot out your bed, starting at the back or middle and work large to small making your way toward the edges. Leave at least 18" from the edge of the bed. It is helpful to draw circles of the correct eventual diameter to fit the plants together.

Victoria has a Rhododendron Society if you interested in learning more here is their link.

Heather and dwarf Conifers are wonderful together, and make the perfect low maintenance Deer resistant duo.

Both are evergreen, and the conifers thrive in the same acidic, peaty soil favored by Heather. Our naturally acid soil makes them easy to grow here. Heathers need a well drained sunny spot that hasn't had too much fertilizer added.

Their shapes work well together, heathers spread out at a uniform level, where many dwarf conifers grow upwards and can be planted among them for vertical accents and colour contrasts. Additionally, you can use the trees as dividers to separate heathers of different types.In the late summer months when many perennials are waning, many of the Callunas are flowering heaviest. The winter blooming Ericas are natural selections for winter color. Erica carnea and E. x darlyensis start forming buds in early summer, that open as early as November in shades of pink, rose or white. These long lasting flowers are colorful all winter

Roughly figure 18" spacing when determining how many plants you will need (sq. ft. x .44 is the formula/ approx 4 Heathers per sq metre) for a large bed. Choose the taller growing varieties for the back or center of the bed and work your way to the edges, keeping in mind that the plants will grow into a solid mass of foliage leaving little bare ground exposed. I usually add one conifer for every 4 square metres. In very large beds you can use up to 20 of a single variety in each grouping. In smaller beds use groups of three or more of each type. Odd numbers work best.
You want contrasting foliage to define each grouping, so choose a gold or other colored foliage variety, then choose a silver, gray or dark green for the next grouping. Flower color is not as important as you may think but offset the mauves with white or light pinks if the plants are to bloom at the same time. Use the winter blooming Erica's' glossy green foliage as a buffer between a lot of Calluna.

When planning a garden of heather, begin by making an outline of your area first. If you're planning a border, start from the back of the bed with the taller plants and work forward; if the bed is to be viewed from all sides, begin your design from the center out. Arrange them until the placement looks right to you.

Other companion plants are: low growing Sedum's, Iberis, Hypericum, Lavender, Sempervivum, Allium, Arabis, Artemisia, Dianthus, Nepeta, Santolina, and Thyme to name a few perennials. Compact Cotoneaster, Vaccinum, Cytisus, grasses, and other leafy shrubs can also be interesting companion plants in a garden of heather.

We are lucky in Victoria to have a local Heather Society. You may view one of their demonstration garden's at Glendale Gardens. Check out their web-site if you would like to learn more.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Sunny Deer resistant perennial borders

Here is a selection of hardy and easy to grow tried and true deer resistant plant combos. I have chosen 6 combination's that will fill approximately 32 sq ft, or a 4'x8' border. They can be repeated or mixed and matched to create a larger border, just measure your area and divide by 32 to see how many combo's you need. Each combo contains 16, 1 gallon plants that will cost approx $200. The larger size gives you a mature garden much better able to stand a test browse or two while your neighborhood deer learn there are better offerings down the block.
The first three plants go to the back of the border, or in the middle if it's a two sided bed. The single plant is a specimen in front of that, and the others are arranged, by height in front of that. If it's a two sided bed you only need to buy
the 13 plants remaining , after you re-use the first three plants that formed the back of the border.
Karl Foerster Calamagrostis x3

Pervoskia x1

Coreopsis yellow x3 (Moonbeam)

Nepeta x3

Salvia x3 (May Night)


Anemone japonica x3

Lupine (Russel Series) x1

Echinacea x3 (lots of exciting new varieties)

Iris x3 (bearded)

Shasta Daisy x3
Sedum Autumn Joy x3 (may be browsed)


Crocosmia Lucifer x3

Calla x1

Aconitum x3 (Monkshood)

Peony x3

Lavender x3

Yarrow ptarmica x3 (one of my new favorite plants)


Aruncnus dioicus x3

Monarda x1

Agapanthus x3

Gaillardia x3

Wallflower (lots to choose from I like Winter Orchid)

Scabiosa x3 (Butterfly Blue)

Joe Pye weed x3

Euphorbia wulfeii x1

Aster x3

Bergenia x3

Veronica gentenoides x3

Dianthus (Firewitch) x3

Foxgloves x3

Oriental Poppy x1

Echinops x3

Liatris x3

Sisyrinchium x3

Stachys x3