Q. What is the best shrub/plant to keep deer away forming a natural border around my yard.
Deer cause extensive damage to vegetation on suburban gardens. Here is a list of options to avoid the problem:
1. Plant deer-resistant plants and protect those that are not resistant with wire mesh. After trees get 3 or 4 inches in diameter, the deer usually leave them alone. A Google search will provide a number of lists. Cornell University has an excellent list. But if the deer are hungry, they will eat about everything.
2. Use commercial sprays to deter deer browsing. Most of them do work, but require continual application. If deer are hungry, they will eat everything.
3. Apply a 10 to12-foot high fence and either a gate on the driveway or rollers on the driveway at the entrance. This is very expensive.
4. A living fence can be applied. There are many options here. Arborvitae 'Emerald Green' is a fast growing columnar evergreen. However, there will be browsing at the five foot level. Six foot-high plants are planted about two feet apart. There will be gaps between the plants for a few years, but eventually they will proved a barrier that is not penetrable. The cost for the Arborvitaes is probably about $10 a foot or $15 to $20 per shrub. The driveway is still an access point for deer.
All of these alternatives are expensive and require a lot of work.