Fringed bleeding heart is a smaller plant than its showier cousin. As lovely as Dicentra spectabilis is, some prefer fringed bleeding hearts (Dicentra eximia). There are at least two reasons for this:
Yet another whimsical plant in the Dicentra genus is Dutchman's breeches (Dicentra cucullaria), the shape of whose flower matches its common name as perfectly as does "bleeding hearts" for Dicentra spectabilis and Dicentra eximia. But in one respect, Dutchman's breeches could not be any more different from Dicentra eximia: it is a spring ephemeral. Not only are its flowers short-lived, but so are its leaves.
Catnip plants are catmint plants, but not vice versa. Confused? A look at the botanical names in question will clear up any confusion:
Click the link below to learn more about two types of ornamental catmint, the smell of which Bambi hates.
Like daffodil bulbs, there's a good reason why Bambi leaves foxglove alone: It's poisonous!
Foxgloves are tall, slender plants at 2-5 feet tall and just 1-2 feet wide. Their height makes them good candidates for the back row of a layered flower bed. Meanwhile, as plants that tolerate dry shade, they're useful for filling up spots in your landscaping where many other plants would be malcontents. Another plant that Bambi will leave alone and that tolerates partial shade is wood spurge.
Like the related garden sage plants (Salvia officinalis), ornamental salvias are not eaten by Bambi for the same reason that catmints escape his depredations: they stink (well, according to Bambi, anyhow)!
Grow Salvia officinalis 'Tricolor' if what you desire is a splendid foliage plant: its variegated leaves boast three colors: white, green, and purple.
But if it's flowers you want, grow any of the blue-flowering salvias. Caradonna salvia is my own favorite, as I adore its dark, graceful flower spikes. What, you want something spiky, but you don't like salvia? Red hot poker plants are not one of Bambi's favorites; unlike salvia, its spikes come in flashy, warm colors.
Bambi finds a number of herb plants stinky, especially ones in the mint family, such as bee balm.
It's not just poisonous plants and plants with pungent odors that Bambi mostly avoids. For some reason, ornamental grasses aren't one of his favorite foods, either. And in addition to plants with pungent odors, deer don't eat plants that smell perfumy, for the most part.
That works out well for us humans, as most of us have a powerful hankering to grow fragrant flowers. But Bambi finds these just as stinky as the pungent-smelling ones. Go figure.
Not all irises are equally fragrant. When in doubt, try to find the old-fashioned varieties.
Lamb's ear (Stachys byzantina) is another case of a deer-resistant perennial that's hard to figure. It's easy to see why Bambi would be disdainful towards prickly plants. But what's so unappetizing about the velvety leaves of lamb's ear? Maybe they're too dry (like eating wool?).
Lamb's ear spreads readily, making it an effective ground cover. A drought-tolerant perennial, it also works well in rock gardens. Its soft, silver leaves furnish a luxurious backdrop for companion plants.
Since I've mentioned aromatic plants quite a bit above, you probably figured I'd eventually get around to lavender, right? Lavender is the poster child for herbs grown for their fragrance. Let's thank our lucky stars that Bambi isn't a fan of potpourri!
Ants, too, dislike the smell of lavender, which has made it useful, traditionally, for organic ant control.
The plants bear lavender-colored flowers (but then, considering the plant's name, what else would you expect?!). Click the link below to learn more about growing lavender. When you're done reading, come on back, because I present more choices for deer-resistant perennials on Page 2....