Most folks on Mount Alpha Road moan about the numerous deer that roam the mountain, nibbling on garden fare throughout the neighborhood. Nadine and Ronald Ferguson merely smile as they haul another bushel of produce into the house to be canned for winter.
"Everybody said we couldn't do it, with the herds of deer," Nadine said recently. "There will be maybe six deer in the yard at a time, and they are smart."
But the gardening couple has foiled the deer, so far.
"Until they can open the gate and walk through, we're OK," Nadine explained. A vigilant system of fencing - liquid and solid - has allowed the Fergusons' garden to flourish.
The first line of de-fence is a split-rail number. Then there are tall metal fence poles every 6 feet or so with nearly invisible deer mesh attached. Finally, there's a regular regime of Liquid Fence rabbit and deer repellant that's sprayed around the perimeter.
Ronald said the key is spraying the deer repellent prior to planting to establish the boundaries of the garden. He sprays the somewhat-smelly liquid liberally throughout the yard, protecting flowers and shrubs as well as the large vegetable garden. There are several old and a couple of new Golden Delicious apple trees and a stand of blueberry bushes that also get sprayed with Liquid Fence.
This plot is truly a family adventure. The 1965 house originally belonged to Nadine's father, who prepared the soil for years. "There's not a rock in it," Nadine said.
Her father died in 2003, and the garden lay fallow until the Fergusons moved in last September. The couple had lived in Elkview, where they gardened extensively as well.