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  • Jane Westoby

When Bambi Comes to Dinner - Dealing with Wildlife in the Garden


There's nothing quite like the tranquility of a garden, where lush greenery and vibrant blooms create a peaceful sanctuary. But what happens when your garden becomes an all-you-can-eat buffet for local wildlife, including the adorable but voracious Bambi? Dealing with wildlife in the garden can be a challenge, but with the right strategies and mindset, you can coexist peacefully and protect your beloved plants.

Picture this, you step into your garden one morning, ready to tend to your flowers and vegetables, only to find evidence of an unexpected visitor. Perhaps it's the tell tale nibbled leaves of your favourite hosta, rose, geraniums, or the remnants of a freshly dug hole in your vegetable patch. You might even catch a glimpse of Bambi herself , just like I did this morning , innocently munching away on your prized blooms.

While it's easy to feel frustrated or even angry at the sight of your garden being devoured by wildlife, it's essential to understand the challenge from their perspective. For animals like deer, rabbits, and squirrels, your garden provides a vital source of food in an increasingly urbanized landscape. They're not intentionally trying to ruin your garden—they're simply following their instincts to survive.

Finding Solutions: So, how can you deal with wildlife in the garden without resorting to drastic measures? Here are a few strategies to consider:

  1. Plant Wisely: Choose plants that are less attractive to wildlife, such as those with strong scents or textures that animals tend to avoid.

  2. Create Barriers: Install fencing, netting, or other physical barriers to protect vulnerable plants from hungry visitors.

  3. Use Repellents: Apply natural or commercial repellents to deter wildlife from entering your garden. These can include scents, tastes, or visual deterrents that make your garden less appealing.

  4. Provide Alternative Food Sources: Set up bird feeders or plant wildlife-friendly gardens nearby to divert attention away from your main garden beds.

  5. Embrace Wildlife-Friendly Gardening: Consider embracing a more wildlife-friendly approach to gardening by incorporating native plants, creating habitat features like birdhouses or ponds, and accepting a certain level of wildlife activity as part of the natural ecosystem.

Dealing with wildlife in the garden can be a test of patience and creativity, but it's also an opportunity to connect with the natural world and find sustainable solutions. By understanding the needs of local wildlife, planting thoughtfully, and implementing effective deterrents, you can create a garden that thrives while coexisting harmoniously with the creatures that call it home. So, the next time Bambi comes to dinner, greet him with compassion and find ways to share your garden bounty together.

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