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Advice on deer eating plants a weeks after planting

Hi all,I'm looking for some advice.We planted up a new herbaceous border for a regular client, £250 worth of plants.A weeks later and before I've invoices, deer have been and munched 50% down to the ground.Client is unhappy and says I must fix. I wasn't told or knew there was a deer problem in the area.The client says he feels let down.What would you do / advise the client?He doesn't want to deer proff the garden.ThanksSam

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    • PRO

      My rule one of planting is right plant , right place ! , No gardener can be held responsible for predators surely .  ?    

  • Rule one is talking to the bloody client. It's all very well having the right plant for the right place, but blimey, if you don't talk to the client you don't know the garden!

    I tend many gardens with different soils and different problems. Some of them are award-winning gardens. 

    I learn from the client as much as I can before I even start to think about what plants where.

    If you ask questions and the client with-holds info, then it is their responsibility. If you do not ask questions then it is your responsibility.

    RULE ONE. Talk to the client. Ask. It's not rocket science.

    • PRO
      There is no need for your condescending tone Guy, we are all professionals here, a bit of mutual respect wouldn't go amiss, there is more than one correct way of doing things sometimes....Kind regards Harry
      • PRO

        I agree with Harry here. Lets be mindful of what we write and how its perceived. When you write on here in black and white its hard to tell the tone in which things are said. I'm sure Guy as a fellow professional wasn't having a dig at the OP, but sometimes the way things are written can be misinterpreted. 

        I recently completed a 2k border renovation and planting job for a new client who late in the day informed me that they get deer and rabbits in the garden. Not knowing much about this, I did a bit of googling and tried to find out as much as I could about what plants deer might like to eat, and tried to form a planting plan that would keep them at bay as much as was practicable. I made the client aware of what I was doing, but made it very clear that if things were eaten it was out of my control and would not be liable for any losses. I'm sure this is something that the OP will do the next time they are presented with this sort of situation. We all have to learn along the way by our own experiences. It is lucky in this situation that it was a relatively small, but not insignificant, amount.

        Guy, you are correct in that you have to spend time talking to the client....it is so important....and you find out things that you may not otherwise have known by doing so. The OP Sam, suggested that her client was a 'regular', so one might have hoped that she would have been aware of deer coming into the garden, but we don't know the full story of what works she carries out for this person.

        Ultimately we all get things wrong, and life (and business) is a constant learning process. On this forum, sometimes we need to be told things straight and there is a lot of benefit in that, other times the 'arm round the shoulder' approach is what is needed and in this case that is what was appropriate.

        Being a nosey git I have looked at both your websites. Sam (OP), maybe as a professional garden design and landscape company, this is something that you might have forseen so that it didn't come to this, but Guy as a respondant, you might have been able to see that this an area that the client clearly takes a degree of responsibility on.

        What I love about LJN is the way people conduct themselves and engage with one another...as Harry has done so... so lets all be mindful of that when we talk and 'advise' one another. 

    • PRO

      Award winning gardens are a different kettle of fish to the humble overgrown front and back gardens many tackle , I am usually summoned in an advisory capacity to suggest ways of making improvements , Most customers don't know south facing , acid soil , moss from grass , or Ants if they crawled up their trouser leg and stung them on the arse .  

      I usually advise my customers based on my observations but admittingly there will be the odd occasion when nature throws a few curved balls but this is the nature of the beast .

  • PRO
    Before I got married and moved to Worcester I lived at my parents home over by Inkberrow, which was close to the Ragley Hall estate and a fairly large area of Crown Estate woodland, it is fairly common to see several species of deer within the locality.

    My parents had deer grazing in their garden maybe half dozen times in thirty years, no one considered erecting deer fencing or decided not to plant their gardens because of the risk of the deer eating the plants, it was just something you knew could happen if the deer decided to come your way.

    If there is a risk of deer grazing in the garden are you suggesting that a gardener should walk away from the job if asked to plant the garden up and the home owner is not prepared to accept responsibility, or are you suggesting that once a gardener plants a plant they are responsible for it ad infinitum?

    Protecting planting from grazing deer is ultimately the home owners responsibility and expecting a gardener to accept responsibility for replacing eaten plants is laughable, whether the gardener should bring the risk to the attention of the home owner is open to discussion. However it would mean that the gardener would end up making the disclaimer that they do not replace eaten plants on every single job, as there is the risk of deer or something else eating plants everywhere.

    I now live in a Worcester suburb and have had horses, cattle, foxes, badgers, peacocks, post office and other door to door delivery people damaging my garden in amongst other things, it's always a risk that I would never expect a gardener to take responsibility for.

    Andy
  • PRO
    Deer which can roam freely are wild animals and are not owned by, or the responsibility of, anyone.

    http://www.thedeerinitiative.co.uk/uploads/guides/89.pdf
    http://www.thedeerinitiative.co.uk/uploads/guides/89.pdf
  • PRO
    http://www.wildlondon.org.uk/London-deer-survey
    London deer survey | London Wildlife Trust
    Have you spotted deer in London? London Wildlife Trust needs you to help us record sightings of deer in London so we can understand their distributio…
  • PRO
    Try that again, I just posted a link without comment and it has to reviewed by a moderator as potential spam.

    It was a link to the London Wildlife Trust deer survey.

    http://www.wildlondon.org.uk/London-deer-survey

    Andy
    London deer survey | London Wildlife Trust
    Have you spotted deer in London? London Wildlife Trust needs you to help us record sightings of deer in London so we can understand their distributio…
  • My apologies if anybody took offence at my tone. These forums are, without intonation or inference, a minefield of politik.

    I am passionate about landscaping/gardening/plant knowledge and find myself with an increasing frustration at the many bad apples who claim to be 'professionals' yet miss the basics.

    We all get a bad name from the one or two or fifty that can't be bothered to do things properly. I suppose it's my latent fartdom approaching rapidly.

    The client should have 'morally' told you, but he didn't. If you ask and they don't then you can't get blamed.

    As for deer....

    I hope, at some point in the near future, the knowledge is shared widely that deer transmit TB to cattle. Then we can deal with the problem of over-population properly and stop seeing Bambi frolicking about in pretty glades.

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