Home of the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox and other native plants for pollinators

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Not so dear deer...

While I find deer charming when I see them on walks at Radnor Lake, they are a nuisance in my garden.  Most of my rough and tumble native wildflowers are not palatable to them, but, that doesn't mean that my garden is safe from browsing and damage. Deer in particular seem to be creatures of habit, they follow regular trails to their favorite foods and the visitors at Clay and Limestone are no exception! My across the street neighbor says she loves watching them every morning as they browse by. Sigh...She sees them as delightful wildlife and I experience them as destructive. They trample through the garden smashing newly emerging wildflowers and have eaten the remaining daylilies down to stubs.

Although, I am not amused by their visits, humor helps me deal with the wilder aspects of wildlife gardening. Over the years I've had a lot of fun writing to the stinkers and have even posted an eviction notices. I thought you might like this post from several years ago, reading it this morning has helped restore both my sense of humor and perspective.

I hope it makes you smile, too. xoxogail*

Chez Clay and Limestone, Good Eats Here!

The species tulips looked delicious~
Good Eats Quadruped Dining Reviewer here to tell you about a gem of a place I stumbled upon out in the Nashville suburbs!

You can't beat a tulip for a taste sensation
After living in Nashville you get to know the good and bad about restaurants pretty soon. So, if you are in or around the area, and are having a craving for a bit of exotic food~think Tulipa~ then check out Chez Clay and Limestone! A fun and friendly eatery that caters to the early morning breakfast crowd.

At their just west of downtown location, we found the decor warm and colorful.

Just how you'd expect a locavore restaurant to be.
You'll be greeted by nice and friendly staff who will answer your queries without rush.

Their Menu is large and extensive, especially their daily breakfast buffet! They make the best Tulipa I've tasted this side of Cheekwood! They have a large variety of vegetarian options. No wonder they are a favorite place for Nashville's elite to gather!

Their Sunday Brunch menu is another good choice, from appetizers to main course as well as a dessert. You'll get to taste everything; perfect for a family get together. Look for the menu to change each season. 

Spring: Tulipa, lilies and crocus. 
Summer: Guacamole Hosta. 
Fall: Hydrangea, Hamamelis, Burr Oak Acorns.  

You never know what might be offered, so go ahead and try it all!
Guacamole Hosta will be on the menu later in the season.
There are many great places to eat in this town, but this little diamond in the rough has plenty to offer: good food, affordable prices, and a family-friendly environment. There are no lines, no cover charge and no bouncer at the door. Imagine a dawn breakfast or dinner watching the sunset!

 But, you don't have to take my word for it~Here's a few reviews from other diners
The Proof is in the clean plate
This little gem has a nice menu and relaxed atmosphere. It's tasty and easy on the pocketbook. Be sure and try the Costco Pink Tulips! J Deerman

I can't say any more than if you haven't eaten at this restaurant, you haven't properly taken advantage of what this city has to offer. Shame on you. Awesome food, awesome atmosphere, totally unique to this city.
Sue Fawn

Ain't much to look at, but the rumors are true....the Tulipa specials are too die for! Mrs. Faline Bambi

That's all folks.

Good Eating from the The Quadruped Dining Reviewer


PS The post and photos are from 2011~The 2013 garden isn't this far along, spring has been cooler and there aren't any tulips. Deer, rabbits, squirrels and chipmunks are too frequent guests at Chez Clay and Limestone and I stopped planting them.

 Gail Eichelberger is a gardener and therapist in Middle Tennessee. She loves wildflowers and native plants and thoroughly enjoys writing about the ones she grows at Clay and Limestone. She reminds all that the words and images are the property of the author and cannot be used without written permission.


  1. Oh how I can relate, Gail. Some nights, when I am at the park gardening, the deer just watch me from a few yards away, patiently waiting for me to set out their new eats for their evening graze.

  2. I'm laughing, but I'm sure you aren't. Greedy gourmands!

  3. It is not always easy to maintain one's sense of humor in the garden. The deer were bad enough but now I have bunnies! Down with all rodents.

  4. Blasted deer. They spoil all the tulipa fun.~~Dee

  5. I can definitely sympathize... we have no deer in my urban garden, but plenty of rabbits, who seem to tell each other that MY yard has the tastiest plants. My husband laughs when I plant new things: "feeding the rabbits again?"

  6. that first tulip is to die for!!

  7. Gail, I put up with increasing deer destruction in the garden (tulips, camellias, lilies, etc.) until last year when they all of a sudden started eating our 35 year-old blueberry bushes. That was the last straw. We put up a deer fence around nearly an acre of our property and while the visual impact of a boundary on our hillside is not nice the resulting peace of mind for planting a $20 perennial is wonderful. All of a sudden our camellias actually grow instead of fighting back from the deer damage each year.

  8. I am thankful that deer are one thing I don't have to worry about! I'm sorry that you do, my friend!

  9. I'm in John's corner. I built a fence. My neighbor feeds the deer corn. My garden was dessert every day. I discovered that 'deer resistant' was a mirage and that when deer are hungry, they'll eat anything excepting truly poisonous plants like Oleander. Here, they'll eat Lantana and Lamb's Ears. They'll even eat Mexican feather grass! My sense of humor over the deer destroying/eating/pawing up and uprooting everything in sight was exhausted and so was I, along with my wallet! I wish deer well in their hunt for food, but a hundred dollar a day buffet was too steep for me!

  10. Those pesky deer. How unlucky that they come through and eat your tulips.

  11. No! What devastating deer. You know I empathize with the situation. I'm still trying to figure out what climbed into my pots on the patio and ate my heuchera and pulmonaria last fall---I think it was the squirrels.

  12. haha lovely post and photos. We don't have deers but when even just one of our goats get loose, or their kids are playing outside their home, a lot of plants end up like yours. It is funny when in your post, but when you're the garden owner, it is not unreasonable if you run amok!

  13. Hi Gail ~ I would hate to have a deer problem like so many of you do. I do have raccoons who dig everywhere, poop in bird baths, and drive me nuts with their antics on the roof at night.

    This post was really delightful. It's great to keep a sense of humor.


  14. I probably read this the first time you posted this, Gail, but I had forgotten it. Thanks for reposting this and giving me a chuckle this morning. I do sympathize, and I laugh at this only because the deer seem to leave my garden alone. I'm not sure why, because we do see the deer in our yard quite often. Apparently, my menu doesn't meet their standards:)

  15. Cute cute cute! I think your attitude is great! I am trying to psych myself out to be the same once my garden moves to Tiger Way but I am not so sure on how I'll take it. We shall see! Beautiful tulips! Happy Spring to you!

  16. I appreciated your humor this morning as I watched the deer out back eating my garden. I've totally given up on growing tulips as I never get to see a bloom. I now stick with different types of daffodiles which of course they leave alone.

  17. I am so grateful to the garden gods that we do not have deer in my area. The rabbits are bad enough. A couple miles away there is a nature preserve so overpopulated with deer that the manager will not do any plantings of native understory forbs - they just turn into very expensive deer food.

  18. I feel your pain. My neighbor sets out carrots for deer and rabbits and the state of my lilies proves they do visit.

    Very trendy of your deer to dine at the locavore-vegetarian hotspot. You should grab some of those bumper stickers that say "I know my farmer" and smack them on their white-tailed rumps!

  19. I've just moved to a neighbourhood with deer and have not had a growing season with them yet. For now I still love to see them but I am fully prepared to change my stance as circumstances require.

  20. Ugh it must be so frustrating to see the deer eating your beautiful flowers. :( The main problem I have is with them eating my daylilies (and I have to spray with peppermint extract almost. every. night. to keep them away) and it could be a lot worse.

    You asked about the Bidens -- they do like moisture a lot but can tolerate a lot of dryness too. They are one of the toughest plants in my garden. Would you like to try some seed? I can send you some this fall. They need broadcasting in fall or late winter for the cold stratification.

    1. I would love them and will broadcast them when they arrive this fall. Thank you. xo

  21. It is such a difficult balance. I love and want to support my wildlife populations, but I to find it difficult to try and replace plants faster than they can be eaten. Sadly I agree that the most popular plants are the most expensive and hardest to replace.

  22. Yes, this is definitely an LOL post! Substitute Madison, Wis., for the location, and "rabbit" for "deer" and you would describe my eating establishment. Tee hee. Oh, and their favorite this winter was Lilac buds served on the tops of snow piles crusted with a refreshing layer of ice. Savoureux! No more Tulips in my garden, either!

  23. I love watching them but I am on patrol to chase them from my garden as I am a regular restaurant visit ..... they are stubborn and we have to change up our tactics to get them to try other eateries....none are quite as 4 star as here though....sigh....

  24. Hmm, as a devoted "wildlife habitat" gardener, I've got to admit that I'm less than happy that deer appeared in our Piedmont garden for the first time a few years ago (post-powerline clearing). Hrrmph. They're bigger eaters than woodchucks (another herbivore I'm not exactly glad to see either). Amazingly, they LOVE the french sorrel that I grow in the main vegetable garden. Fortunately, I don't much care about the sorrel, only using it a bit. But I do wish they'd leave the brassicas alone! No point in putting out anything in that family for them to eat (right away). They haven't been through this spring so far, I think. My (few) tulips are still there....

  25. Hi there, Gail! So cute! It was a fun post revisit. I'll be postin (or driving one through) the extended family of moles that inundated my yard and gardens this Spring! On Guard! :-)

  26. I'm never sure which critters are eating my garden, but I don't like them no matter who they are. Deer? Rabbits? Voles? Whoever it, just go away! I don't live near the woods, but in the middle of suburbia, so why must they come visit?

  27. Those deer are so frustrating to deal with. I had Glads, byzantine glads, ready to start to bloom....either deer or bunnies. grrrr


"Insects are the little things that run the world." Dr. E O Wilson