Letter: Gardeners are responsible for protecting their spaces

Time to stop blaming animals for garden misfortunes

Re: Allotment garden decimated by deer, Your View, Oak Bay News, Aug. 27

Reading with great interest the long letter about the “decimation” and “expense” resulting from a deer “raiding” plots at Bowker Creek allotment gardens, I decided to check out the carnage for myself. Visiting the gardens I was presented instead with another instance of wildlife being blamed for the behaviour of humans.

Of the 27 gardens, only two showed damage to some of their vegetables.  Interestingly, those two had patchwork fencing with visible gaps along the bottom. The other gardens, with their abundance of vegetables and flowers, had clearly not been entered by deer. They had well maintained fencing with secure bottom edges.

A gardener I met there said she wasn’t worried about deer as she had a properly built and maintained fence. She also mentioned each large allotment garden cost only $50 per year to rent from the district of Oak Bay; the smaller ones cost $35. That included water, delivery of leaves and other mulch, and removal of compost.

My home is on one-third acre with extensive ornamental landscaping and a vegetable garden about the same size of one of the large Bowker plots. The vegetables are enclosed with net fencing similar to that found at Bowker Creek; it cost about $60 and effectively keeps neighbours’ dogs, cats and deer out. The rest of the property has trees, shrubs, flowers and herbs – varieties that deer have no interest in eating.

It is the responsibility of gardeners to maintain proper fencing. Please stop blaming animals for your misfortunes, and learn from your own mistakes.

Kerri Ward

Oak Bay