“Looking for a perennial that deer avoid? Try planting anemones.

There are plenty of options for deer-proofing a landscape

Your yard or garden might be the thing that people notice most when driving past your house. It’s the space that’s yours alone to create and experiment. It’s the place you go to unwind.

That same space, horticulturist Mark Viette said, “is like a salad bar for deer.”

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They can develop a taste for your roses, your yews and other common landscaping plants. And in a year when things they normally eat in the wild are scarce, they won’t think twice about dropping by for a meal.

“Yew are common in foundation plantings, and deer will come right up to the house and shred this plant,” Viette said. “Once they find something they like in your garden they’re going to come back to those places again and again.”

Fortunately, many plants for which deer have no appetite are also readily available and attractively integrated into your landscape.

Their scents will keep deer away as much as the way they taste will, so they can be massed around things deer like, to serve as a deterrent.

“Deer don’t have to come right up to a basil plant and taste it to know they don’t like it,” Viette noted.

Among options for annuals and biennials are marigolds, dusty miller, blue salvia, verbena and foxglove. Among perennials deer avoid are chives, anemones, astilbe, clematis, ferns, heather, coneflower, sunflowers, rosemary, Russian sage, lamb’s ear and yucca.

Among perennials deer avoid are chives, anemones, astilbe, clematis, ferns, heather, coneflower, sunflowers, rosemary, Russian sage, lamb’s ear and yucca. (Click to Tweet)

Apple Carrot Salad

Did you know that there are more than 2,500 varieties of apples grown in the U.S.?

Try this delicious apple carrot salad for a fresh and healthy apple side dish.

See Recipe

Are gluten-free foods healthier?

Most groceries stores and bakeries have shelves stocked with gluten-free or grain-free products.

For the small percentage of the population who truly can’t eat gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley, that’s good news. Yet, many people without this condition are jumping on the gluten-free train because they believe it is a healthy option.

A gluten-free diet is the only option for people with celiac disease, a serious autoimmune disorder. Roughly 1 percent of the American population has celiac disease, and another 0.3 percent suffer a wheat allergy.

Unless you have celiac disease or a true gluten sensitivity, it’s not a good idea to exclude it from your diet, according to Is a Gluten-Free Diet Healthy for People Without Celiac Disease?, published by the Virginia Tech Department of Human Nutrition.

The article cautioned that cutting out gluten can do more harm than good if you don’t have celiac disease or gluten intolerance. A gluten-free diet “can lack vitamins, minerals and fiber and following this diet for no reason might not be a good choice."

Since wheat, rye and barley are key sources of vitamins and minerals, eliminating gluten could increase the risk of nutritional deficiencies.

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'Just drive': Don't get distracted

It was just a quick call. It was just a short trip. It was just a picture. It was just an email. It was just a glance. It was just a text.

“‘Just’ is all it takes,” according to the National Safety Council. The council works to empower drivers to put safety first and “Just Drive.”

In 2017, 3,166 people were killed as a result of distracted driving and 297 people died in crashes that involved distracted teen drivers ages 15 to 19

According to Drive Smart Virginia, using a handheld device while driving is a leading cause of distraction-related crashes. (Click to Tweet)

Distracted driving is any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on a phone, eating or drinking, talking to people in the vehicle, or operating a radio or navigation system.

While many distractions exist while driving, cell phones are a top distraction because so many drivers use them for long periods of time.

Virginia offers a highway safety portal with information on moving toward zero roadway deaths. Information is available at TZDVA.org.