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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Monday - April 20, 2015

From: Lake Gaston NC, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Non-Natives, Deer Resistant, Shrubs
Title: Deer Resistant Roses and Fruit Trees in NC
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

Hello, I am planning a house on Lake Gaston in North Carolina (to be built) and will need to establish a new garden on the cleared lot. I would like to focus on native plants, but I love a cutting garden including cutting roses and like to have them in the house - will the deer eat them? I only have gardening experience in NJ. Any advice on planning an entire garden from scratch in an unfamiliar zone (Lake Gaston is USDA 7a). I'd also like to grow some fruit trees organically - sweet cherry. Can this be done? Thank you, perplexed in NJ.

ANSWER:

Well, the Witherspoon Rose Gardens in Durham, NC have a web page about how to deter deer from eating roses. They say that deer love roses! They have many suggestions for you to consider.

The NC Cooperative Extension has a factsheet on Producing Tree Fruit for Home Use that suggests that sweet cherries might be a challenge in NC. "Cherry trees can grow in certain areas where the climate is favorable, but they must be carefully managed and usually do not bear fruit consistently." Perhaps an alternative fruiting tree? They suggest that pecans, figs and persimmons are easier to grow.

 

 

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