Deer rejoice as garden centers close; no repellent available this year!

April 12, 2020

Last year I planted enough spring bulbs to make me break into the theme from “The Sound of Music.” The thinking was, once they bloom in April and May, the hills would be alive with that sound of music. One look at my luscious, colorful floral garden and people would weep for wooden shoes, windmills and a large plate of Karfluckinluk.

I throw my head back and laugh like a drug dealer high on meth; laughter resounds at my naivety. For alas, I now have one lone tulip that has made it through the winter.

Through this period of isolation, many have turned to gardening as a distraction and an activity to use some energy productively. Looking at this bleak landscape, I have to ask myself, where have all the flowers gone? Did I plant the bulbs in some neighbor’s garden by mistake? Or is there evil lurking behind what some species would consider a salad bar? I notice a few dropped tulip petals leading away from the house. Hey, I watch a lot of “CSI” and “Law and Order.”

I panic, though, for next to my precious tulip, the beginning sprouts of my prize-winning Hostas are emerging and a few other varieties from a classic English garden. OK, that is just part of my novel. There is no English garden, but there could be if vile, back-stabbing, blossom-eating animals weren’t staking out my property for a spring buffet. I thought the deer would still be winter vacationing in Fort Lauderdale. Apparently, some of them didn’t get the memo.

OK, it’s time to plan some action. Fight fire with fire. So I set out for the mother of all forensic laboratories, the home and garden center. Here I will be able to purchase supplies to trap, set out, spray, and anything else that would protect my Second Amendment rights, those including the right to plant and grow flowers.

I jump in my car and head out on a dark and stormy night. I think they are open until the wee hours of 6 p.m. I’m not denying it’s a struggle. OK, mainly because my jeans are so tight, I feel like the very lifeblood is being strangled from my bloated body. The stress of my isolation has taken its toll. Well, that and the cake I just happened to shove down my throat before I left. This is a thick chocolate cake that has a mysterious DNA makeup. Whatever! I am on a mission. I cut through the back roads to avoid the highway, which for some reason is empty. Finally, I careen into the parking lot of the home center.

It was another struggle. OK, now my jeans are really tight since I stopped for one of those  super-sized pretzels at the drive-through. I am forced into a military maneuver of tuck and roll to get out of the car.

But it is well worth it. Now I can buy the latest solution to the problem of animals eating my flowers. This has been scientifically studied and in development by some of the leading experts both here and in Europe. It is called coyote urine.

There are rows and rows of boxes containing this stuff. There is a picture of a deer on the outside of the box dressed in a political movement T-shirt. You can fill in the blanks. I’m cautious, because I do love deer. With one exception, I know this plan will work. The problem is, the store is closed!

I race home contemplating my next move. You know what – it actually is a dark and stormy night. But I have to plan now. And I’m on it. My message to those doe-eyed beauties is a “Garden Closed” sign.

  • Nancy Katz has a degree in creative writing and is the author of the book, "Notes from the Beach." She has written the column Around Town for the Cape Gazette for twenty years. Her style is satirical and deals with all aspects of living in a resort area on Delmarva.

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