While it might seem impossible for deer and gardening to co-exist, in fact, many local green thumbs are proving it very possible.
Hosted Sunday, June 17 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., the tour features eight gorgeous local spaces.
“We have a real variety, all in Oak Bay, including green and expansive, enchantingly English, wild and natural, native, carefully manicured and a couple of really lovely smaller urban secret gardens not obvious from the street,” says UWSS’s Kristy Kilpatrick. “These gardeners have shown that it’s possible to not only co-exist with deer, but create beautiful gardens both they and the community can enjoy.”
Young musicians will entertain in two of the gardens and experts will be on hand at Windsor Pavilion to answer garden questions. Also at the Pavilion, enjoy afternoon tea from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., browse the sale of both deer- and drought-resistant plants, and check out the silent auction with some amazing items up for bid. Generous donors range from GardenWorks Oak Bay, Penny Farthing Public House and Prestige Carwash & Auto Detailing to Wildwood Outdoor Living Centre at Cannor Nursery, Eagle Wing Whale & Wildlife Tours and Cook’s Day Off.
- BC SPCA Victoria Branch, 3150 Napier Ln.
- Ivy Bookstore, 2188 Oak Bay Ave.
- GardenWorks Oak Bay, 1916 Oak Bay Ave.
- Thorn & Thistle Flower Shop, 713 St. Patrick St.
“Both UWSS and Wild Arc are non-profits and do what they do thanks to fundraising and donations,” Kilpatrick notes.
Fawning season reminders: June is also fawning season, meaning it’s time to be extra cautious on local roads, and to slow down and scan ahead. Remember, if you see one deer, chances are another is close behind.
And if you happen to find a fawn that seems to be abandoned, it’s more likely that its mother is off finding food and will return. Wildlife rehabilitation centres typically advise residents to leave fawns alone, but if you have serious concerns for the fawn’s welfare, WildArc will provide more information.
Deer plan update: After fitting 20 does with tracking collars this winter, the UWSS is on track for the next step of its efforts, pending government approval: administering a contraceptive to gradually stabilize and reduce the overall deer population. This will be an ongoing process over the next two years, along with collecting valuable data. UWSS’s biologists have monitored the does and all that have received the collars are healthy and well, Kilpatrick says.
To learn more, or get a deer awareness sign to post in your community, contact UWSS.