Friday, June 15, 2012

Gardening, Who Will Win?

I've just come inside for a cool drink after a couple of hours of weeding, transplanting and trimming in the morning heat. It is going to be 23 degrees this afternoon so I will need to find some shade to work in.

I am encouraged by all the beautiful flowers in my flowerbeds and discouraged that I seem to have some visitors that are eating away at my plants. One of my favorite plants is the hollyhock and this seems to be a favorite salad for our resident groundhog. Other plants have all the tender leaves chewed off them or all the flower buds. My husband has another suggestion as to what be eating my taller plants out in the front yard.

One morning last week as he turned right at the corner of our street he spied two deer meandering down the sidewalk past some town offices. He is thinking perhaps they are nibbling on the taller plants out front and if so, then I may as well say good-bye to them..

I had already mixed up a spray of water and some old dried chili peppers I had around after I replaced them with fresh ones..I sprayed my green peppers in the garden and my pea vines as they were getting gobbled up..this did not seem to desperation I thought if my plants are going to be eaten and killed off, then I will do it myself and mixed up some water with pink Mr. Clean..As I looked at my plants this morning I did not see further damage. Even my beautiful burgundy blanket flowers seem to have escaped as I also sprayed them..much later I remembered to prevent deer eating plants spray water, mixed with an egg, as they don't eat protein...

I tie stakes around my plants when I see they are being nibbled on, I fenced in the vegetable garden and one year had to enclose all the lettuce in order that I didn't have to share it with the rabbits. Now usually I'm quite fond of wildlife, hearing the birds singing all day, seeing the chipmunks run along the deck, watching the hummingbird drink from our feeder then sit on our clothsline. But once they intrude on my territory with the idea of having breakfast, lunch and dinner, even snacking in between meals, that gets my dander up! We have tried for three years to live-trap the ground-hog and set it free miles out in the country to no avail..instead we caught squirrels and racoons.

I told my husband as we finished planting our vegetable garden this week, if the animals keep eating the garden, then next year I'm grassing it in..the neighbour twins were outside weeding just the other side of our garden and commented: "that would not be like you at all, what would you do without your garden?" They have shared much our our produce over the years as I tend to grow more than we can eat. I also share our produce with Jim's daughter, she loves going  into the garden and picking snowpeas to eat. Next year I hope to introduce our granddaughter Claire to planting a few seeds.

I am even thinking perhaps I will dig up the coneflowers and many other flowers the animals are eating and plant something else that they aren't interested in. But I can't seem to give up trying to have a few hollyhocks even though the one out front has buds but not ONE green leaf on it. My double one out back has two or three leaves left and bloomed last year in spite of the ruthless trimming:

     It's always fun to invite some guests to join us around the table..

     We talk and laugh, tell tall tales, drink wine without reading the label...

     But unwanted guests, the four-legged kind who lack an invitation..

     Just give us a splitting headache and add to our aggravation..

     How to be rid of them, what do I do, makes my head go for a spin...

     As a friend of mine used to say: "There's going to be a war..and I'm going to win!"



  1. oh dear, gardening does come with its trials doesn't it? I'm very fortunate as I haven't had any encounters with groundhogs or bunnies but deer I know and they can be devestating. Despite the damage that photo of your garden is lovely and it looks like many things are surviving despite the critters. Hang in there and if you get too frustrated just remember there's no deer on PEI!

  2. Me thinks you need a fence!, at least for your edibles.