Ode to the Sum and Substance



I love hosta. Don’t you?

Garrett calls them “pasta” and I don’t correct him. Unfortunately one day his girlfriend will have to correct him when he tells her that pasta grows on plants, but in the mean time I think it’s hilarious.

Sum and Substance Hosta

Some months ago I planted these big, robust “Sum and Substance” hosta/pasta plants along the edge of my driveway, taking care to keep them close enough to the electric fence line that my dogs could bark away any critters that might try to make a salad bar out of them. I learned earlier this year that planting hosta in these woods is an effort in futility. The ones I planted around my mailbox were munched just a few days after arrival. The deer spy them and make a beeline when nobody is watching. I do have a few around my backyard that have survived, but I also have a certain 100 lb loud mouth named Gus who tends to bark like crazy at anything that moves at 3 am. Since I like to be asleep at 3 am, we started shutting the dogs inside the pool gate at night.

And guess what happened while the loud-mouths were asleep on the patio instead of out on nightly patrol?

deer ate hosta

Yep.

I assumed that planting them this close to the house (more specifically–the DOG’S house-) would deter the skiddish deer.

I was wrong. One down, three to go.

Here is my Ode to the Sum and Substance.

There once was a beautiful hosta
that grew leaves more delicious than pasta.
Along came the deers
with teeth like pinking sheers
And now another plant is lost-a.

I’m not even gonna tell you how much that big plant cost-a. Hopefully it will grow back next year.

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  1. I almost feel badly for laughing, but you can’t write a limmerick like that if you’re really hoping for sympathy. Freaking hilarious.

    Deer are hell on landscaping. Sorry for your loss-a.

  2. Beth – I hope you have better luck than I. I had a huge bed of hosta – hundreds of dollars that grew for years and years. It was beautiful. Then the deer discovered them. In one night it looked like your un-lovely plant. The deer came back regularly to keep the hosta mowed – wish my son were as diligent about the lawn! Eventually the hosta ALL died. Ok – the rest of the story is just well-earned advice – DO NOT replace the hosta with daylilies. :o / – Jan

  3. oh NO! Those stinkin DEER! Have you tried them in pots close to the house??

  4. Testing. Testing. Oh, comments, are you working?

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  6. Beth, I’ve seen deer come up on decks to clear out planted pots. The only thing we ever suggested in the garden center was predator urine and then you’re inviting a whole different set of problems. There is Deer Away which smells like rotten eggs and that works but you have to be diligent in putting it out. It basically retrains the deer to take another path.

    So sorry they’re munching!

    • They are some Sneaky McSneakersons, aren’t they? I have lots of coyotes near me too, so no predater urine! I did bag up all the dog hair when they shed their coats and put it out on my hosta by the mailbox. That worked for a few weeks til the smell wore off.

  7. Patricia says:

    I had a chuckle when I read your post ! I also have many beautiful hosta’s that become dinner for the deer. I do feel bad when I see them all chewed down, but I also feel bad for the deer, always looking for something to eat – especially when they show up with their little speckled babies ! I just can’t get mad at them !

    • I know! And I’m partly to blame, here, because I have a habit of tossing out my old fruit in my front yard so the birds and other animals will eat it. I tossed out an old watermelon last week and overnight it disappeared, rind and all! I know I’m encouraging the deer by doing that, but I don’t mind it really!

  8. Miserybloves company you know. I had to share your post with my husband. You see, in the Spring he planted 170 Caladium bulbs in the back of our house which backs up to the woods. Just as the bulbs began to sprout through the ground, raccoons began digging up the bulbs ……not to eat them but laying them nicely to the side of the hole where they had been planted. My husband would go out the next day and carefully replant them in their little holes only to have the same thing happen each night. We read about and tried many remedies for these little pesky creatures, even set a trap This went on for several nights and days until my husband surrendered to the raccoons. We have not one single caladium to admire this summer.

  9. My son calls them ‘pastas’ as well!!!! I love it, and I, too, do not correct him!!!!

  10. Hahaha Colleen…..I agree….it’s a little hard to write…..I’m sorry when you are laughing so hard!

    I’m sure they will grow back next year. If it’s any consolation…..we bought the world’s largest Hosta to plant. But I think someone forgot to tell the hosta about it’s massive nomiker.

    :) me

  11. HAHAHAHA, oh hosta!!!

    I featured your laundry room today, such a great color … even makes laundry look fun!!

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  1. [...] woods with a homemade planter of coleus which seems to be a little more deer resistant than the hosta/pasta salad bar. When the previous owners replaced the pool pump he got crafty and cut the pump in half to make two [...]

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