I have lots of hyssop growing around my gardens. Deer don't like the smell. Neither do bunnies. Surprisingly the deer don't come up that close to the house. I will probably lose some plants once I get the new garden finished. It is farther from the house.
You are right, we are never happy with our gardens. I have a sis in law who does gardening for other people for a living. I get to listen to her "advice" all the time. I don't use it, I just get to listen.