This is an incomplete list of plants with strong flavors and unappetizing textures that deer disdain—though sometimes they will eat the tender flowers and new growth.
It would be impossible to remember all the plants deer don't like unless you find a way to group them. Since humans have a pyramid of basic food groups maybe I should call these the average deer's non-food groups. Also check with your garden center for local lists of deer-resistant plants.
Lavender ( Lavandula spp.), sage (Salvia spp.), parsley (Petroselinum crispum)
Curry (Helichrysum italicum), fennel (Foeniculum vulgare), oregano (Origanum spp.)
Rosemary (Rosmarinus offiicinalis), Bay tree ( Laurus nobilis),
Thyme ( Thymus spp.), Alliums (Garlic, Chives, Onions, etc.)
Photo: A hedge of lavender.
Horehound (Marrubium spp.), Artemisia “Powis Castle”,
Peony (Paenia officinalis), Foxglove (Digitalis spp.),
Mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum),
St. John’s wort (Hypericum spp.),
Echinacea (but rabbits like it!)
Monkshood (Aconitum spp.))
Rue (Ruta graveolens),
Bluestar (Amsonia tabernaemontana)
Gray yarrow (Achillea tomentosa and cultivars), Pincushion flower (Scabiosa caucasia),
Lavender (Lavandula spp.), Rose campion (Lychnis coronaria),
Lamb’s ear ( Stachys byzantina),
Blanket flower (Galliardia x grandiflora)
Photo: Poppies will make you sleeeep. And the deer don't like 'em either.
Waxy Leaves (but deer will eat the flowers)
Bearded iris (Iris germanica),
California poppy ( Eschscholzia californica),
Blue hostas are reputedly less attractive to deer because of their waxy coating.
Tomorrow? See the art truck that I'm putting up for sale....