The first spring that we owned the house we live in now, I was thrilled to see a lush border of hostas pop up along the driveway. Hostas have been one of my favorite plants since I cut my gardening teeth in a shady spot in the Adirondacks, and so that first spring I added even more to the new property — brightening low spots with the variegated leaves of hosta "Sweet Innocence" and adding cool blue texture with hosta "Elegans." All was well in our suburban yard until summer arrived, bringing with it not just heat and humidity, but some unexpected — and unwanted — guests: deer.

Soon, I realized that the deer that traipse through our property each night love hostas as much as I do. What says "textural border" to me screams "salad bar" to them. And so, after a couple of seasons of watching the deer gobble the hostas and various other perennials and annuals down to the ground, I finally pulled every plant from the border and let pachysandra fill the empty spots. That's a plant deer don't favor, though they've been known to eat just about anything if hungry enough.

I did experiment with spraying my plants with deer-repellent mixtures, but I'm a lazy gardener: I like to plant and then neglect as much as possible. So over time, I've filled my perennial beds with deer-resistant plants, such as echinacea and yarrow. These have the added benefit of being hardy and heat-tolerant, so I don't have to water as much as I used to, either.

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Luckily, there's a wide variety of plants that deer don't love, many of which you can read about in Ruth Rogers Clausen's new book, "50 Beautiful Deer-Resistant Plants: The Prettiest Annuals, Perennials, Bulbs, and Shrubs that Deer Don't Eat" ($20, Timber Press). Clausen gives some great ideas on how to discourage deer from browsing in your garden and provides detailed planting and growing information, as well as a "deer resistance rating" for all 50 plants. Take her tips and you just might persuade the deer to eat at a restaurant down the street.

Boxwood (© Beautiful Deer-Resistant Plants: The Prettiest Annuals, Perennials, Bulbs, and Shrubs that Deer Don't Eat)

Boxwood, shown bordered by grape hyacinth, can be clipped to a formal shape or left natural for a more relaxed look. // Photo courtesy of Beautiful Deer-Resistant Plants: The Prettiest Annuals, Perennials, Bulbs, and Shrubs that Deer Don't Eat

Dusty miller (© Beautiful Deer-Resistant Plants: The Prettiest Annuals, Perennials, Bulbs, and Shrubs that Deer Don't Eat)

The annual plant dusty miller is perfect for edging a border. Its silvery foliage works equally well with companions in warm or cool colors. // Photo courtesy of Beautiful Deer-Resistant Plants: The Prettiest Annuals, Perennials, Bulbs, and Shrubs that Deer Don't Eat

Lady's Mantle (© Beautiful Deer-Resistant Plants: The Prettiest Annuals, Perennials, Bulbs, and Shrubs that Deer Don't Eat)

The yellow-green flowers of perennial lady's mantle look beautiful when in bloom, particularly with pink or blue partners, but the fuzzy leaves are almost as pretty on their own. // Photo courtesy of Beautiful Deer-Resistant Plants: The Prettiest Annuals, Perennials, Bulbs, and Shrubs that Deer Don't Eat

Hakone grass (© Beautiful Deer-Resistant Plants: The Prettiest Annuals, Perennials, Bulbs, and Shrubs that Deer Don't Eat)

Architectural and dramatic, grasses like Hakone grass are low-maintenance and high-impact additions to the landscape. // Photo courtesy of Beautiful Deer-Resistant Plants: The Prettiest Annuals, Perennials, Bulbs, and Shrubs that Deer Don't Eat