Poem by JTM published in the East Hampton Star on May 31, 2012.
Holly and the Ivy and the Deer - F for Forget
From the East Hampton Star, May 31, 2012
Springs May 27, 2012 Dear Star, Oh, the deer are so pretty. And the little ones are sweet. But they carry ticks I hope never again to meet — and some plants for hungry deer are hard for them not to eat. From experience, some plants seem to lure deer as a special treat. Bayberry’s of Amagansett kindly gave me a list of more than 180 plants rated A, B, C, or F based on how much the deer want to eat them. Until the town figures out how to cull the deer herds, gardeners who are regularly visited by deer might want to give up entirely on the deer-candy plants, i.e., those marked with an F, for “forget.” As a public service, I have prepared new words to an old English yuletide hymn that makes it easy to remember the 13 “forget” plants on the list:
The holly and the ivy won’t get to be full-grown. Of all the plants that are in your woods, These are food for deer, it’s known.
Oh, the arborvitae and azaleas, Oh, the euonymus and the white hydrangeas, Petunias are so useless to try to grow out here, They are all just like little Cracker Jacks, To our thriving herds of deer.
Oh, the rhododendron hybrids, and the rosa as well, Forget about your spray protection, deer will eat in despite the smell. Say goodbye to geraniums, and to day lilies too, Abandon touch-me-not impatiens, And the hostas, sad but true.
Oh, the deer are so pretty, and the little ones are sweet, But these plants for hungry deer are impossible not to eat. JOHN TEPPER MARLIN