My Wild Life and What I Do About Deers and Other Critters

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Three deers in a front yard in Brookhaven,

We live in a relatively small neighborhood that was developed in the 1960s. Back then it was considered “way outside” of the city, but now, in the heart of Brookhaven, it’s central to everything happening in and around Atlanta.

During the 24 years we have lived here, like most areas in Atlanta, the growth and the changes have had their ups and downs. The change we find very fun to watch is the influx of wildlife! In the last few years, we’ve seen foxes, hawks, coyotes (eeek! Their howling has kept me up many nights!), so many bunnies and plenty of deer. Big deer! Families of deer! When they first started browsing in our yard, I must admit, I was not pleased. They chomped their way through my carefully planted perennial beds. Just after the flowers would bloom, chomp, and the blooms would be gone. That can be pretty disheartening after planning and planting all spring. But just when I think I am at the end of my patience, we’ll see a big Buck, a doe and a little spotted fawn having dinner in the front yard, and that makes it easy to forgive.

So, we have finally figured out a compromise—some areas we spray with Liquid Fence and others we leave for the wildlife to enjoy. We always get a laugh when we come home in the evening and find a family standing in our driveway looking at us like we are the ones intruding! It’s just one of those perks to living “way outside” the city (wink!).

A few tips for co-existing with the critters:

• Choose some plants that support pollinatorsconeflowers, lambs ear and abelia have been making the bees and the butterflies very happy this year.
• Include a small water feature it can be as simple as a bird bath, but it’s even better if you can include a small fountain that keeps the water moving.
• Keep your lawn small and plant native plants and trees like azaleas, gardenias, lantana, zinnia, red maples and flowering dogwoods, just to name a few.

Patti Stephens, publisher at My Home Improvement MagazineHappy Home Improving!
Patti Stephens, Publisher

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