For the many years I worked as a horticultural librarian, I was asked at least once a week, probably oftener, for a list of deer-proof plants. If you ever see one, don't believe it. It's true some plants are less likely to be eaten by deer than others, but that's about all anyone can claim.
That said, Ruth Rogers Clausen has written a new book "50 Beautiful Deer-Resistant Plants: The Prettiest Annuals, Perennials, Bulbs and Shrubs that Deer Don't Eat," Timber Press, 2011, $19.95).
For those who garden with the heartbreak of deer destruction, the book brings hope. Ruth gardens in Westchester County, New York, where deer are plentiful. Do you suppose East coast deer have the same appetities and preferences as West coast deer? Or maybe tastes vary more deer to deer? I have no idea, but gardeners on Whidbey Island are besieged by the pesky critters. My sister always planted a sacrificial rose, one she knew the deer loved, by the entrance to her garden, claiming they stopped right there and satisfied themselves munching on the rose. And sometimes it worked.
Which is probably true of the suggestions in this book as well. Clausen has given each plant in the book a "deer resistance rating" from 7-10, ranging from plants whose flowers are sometimes nipped but the foliage ignored by deer (#7), to plants that deer leave alone altogether (#10). Clausen is a realist - even poisonous daffodils and strongly aromatic rosemary rate a 9-10.
The photos are good, the text knowledgeable, and the design tips useful; just know that during a long, hungry winter, it takes a tall, strong fence to deer-proof a garden.