The Deer Fence


ow can you not go oooh and ahhhh over a sight like this.  I recently woke up to this adorable sight on my front lawn.  So cute, right?

As adorable as these fawns are, I must say they equally destructive (along with their parents) when it comes to chomping on practically anything within their reach, especially my roses.

I need a deer fence. I spray the roses that frame my front door almost every single week with a very strong (and very stinky) deer repellent, in an effort to keep these bushes from being a smorgasbord for the hungry deer that roam my neighborhood in hoards.

While they still nibble around the edges, for the most part, I’ve been able to keep the deer off these front step rose bushes.

Sadly, I have not been as lucky elsewhere.

Deer fence front porch

This bed of roses runs along the side of my house between my home and my neighbor’s and the deer love it as much as I do.

They show up at dusk and into the night and just help themselves.


When I planted these roses (more than 40 bushes in all), I had high hopes that I’d be able to keep the deer at bay long enough for them to get fully established.

Despite regular spraying of deer repellent, I started noticing the stems were getting thinner and thinner, more sparse between the stems and fewer blooms.

Of course, I knew right away what was going on.


No question these are at least two of the culprits.

Little buggers.

Like I said, cute but oh-so darn destructive.


Knockout Roses (as these are called) are generally quite hearty, resilient and can sometimes grow to be more than 6-feet tall.

I think they’ll make a really great looking hedge… one day… if I can keep them growing and keep them from being eaten.


I’m not sure how the deer do it but somehow, they’re able to navigate around these thick thorns to get right to the leaves and buds.

Clearly, they get a lot of practice.


The deer show absolutely no mercy and given the opportunity will shred even the heartiest and resilient rose bush down to barely nothing.

It’s so disheartening to spend so much time and energy on plantings and watch them slowly but surely widdled away by the wildlife.


I decided to install a temporary fence using simple 7-foot mesh and 6-foot plant stakes.

The black spray paint was optional.


Since the plant stakes were so green, I painted them black in hopes it would make them less visible when paired with the black mesh.


Once the stakes are dry, simply weave the stakes through the mesh.

After threading the stakes, drive the pointy end of them into the ground.

I also used a small piece of black electrical tape at the top of each stake to help ensure the mesh would stay put on the top end of the stake.

NOTE: There was a 1-foot section of excess mesh at the bottom of the stake that I just rolled under on the ground.


While the thin mesh is barely visible, I honestly do not like the way the stakes look and I wish they were not so apparent.

I think painting them black may have helped a little but not as much as I’d like.

Deer fence poles

This is definitely a temporary solution until I can figure out a more attractive deer barrier which will not only work, but also not obscure the beauty of the roses and blend in with my more manicured landscape objectives and efforts.

Any suggestions?

Deer fence poles2

Meanwhile as I continue to search for a more permanent solution , my 40-plus rose bushes are at least finally able to bloom and grow, unfettered by wild critters (albeit cute critters).

I think this is going to be a beautiful hedge one day.

Deer fence roses2

Deer fence pink roses

As for those adorable but pesky deer.

Keep moving… nothing to see here… and more importantly nothing to eat. 


 Thanks for stopping by.

See you back here next time.

  • Elaine

    Lisa, it has taken me this long to find the title of a book I found most helpful – Deerproofing Your Yard & Garden by Rhonda Massingham Hart. She explains their preferences and habits and I found it helpful in waging the battles. I did not know about roses being such a treat so I’m glad I have not invested in them!
    Liquid Fence is my best defensive against their voracious appetites.
    Mama has twins and has been very good at teaching her babies that days of rain restore the scent of veggies and then showing them how to reach beyond the barriers and pick every tomato and pepper and then have the plants for salad!

  • Elaine Tutman

    Master Gardener Jerry Baker in his book on Garden Tonics has recipe for “Hot Bite Brew” to discourage deer. ingredients: 3 Tablespoons cayenne pepper; 1 Tablespoon hot sauce; 1 Tablespoon of ammonia; 1 Tablespoon baby shampoo, 2 cups hot water. Instructions: mix cayenne pepper with hot water in bottle and shake well. Let mixture stand overnight, then pour off liquid without disturbing the sediment. Mix liquid with the remaining ingredients in a hand-held sprayer. Spritz the critter-susceptible plants as often as you can to keep ’em hot, hot, hot! It is strong medicine so make sure you WEAR RUBBER GLOVES while you are handling this brew. Good luck. Nana Banana

  • Caroline Freeman

    Good story; where is the mother? These little ones do jump over fences, as well as adults, but they can also end up having to climb the rest of they way if they cannot quite make it over the top, with permanent fences six feet high; at least it happens, I am told, i.e., that these babies can find purchase to climb up; maybe your temporary fence does not support their climbing up?
    Great story and all good luck in the future!

  • Holly Nelson

    I think the fence was about the only thing you could do at that point! The deer are gorgeous though! I am glad your roses are beginning to bloom!

  • Stephanie @ La Dolce Vita

    I think the fence was a great idea. A humane way to keep them away. Sadly, I don’t have any other deer advice. But your flowers are lovely!

  • Thimbleanna

    AWWWWW, but they’re SOOOOO CUUUUTTTEEEEE!!!! LOL! I think your fence idea is genius. We have deer problems too, although I almost never see them. They ate several holly bushes we had until they killed them. And the chipmunks! Yikes! They do a lot of damage to our evergreen roots. We try to live trap them, but can’t get ahead of their reproductive abilities LOL. I LOVE your cute little fawn pictures!

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