THE BEST OF TIMES…
Yes, for the past few weeks I have been absent from the blog but very present in my world. I have been in the company of four of the most amazing little men! #grandboys They continue to amaze me on all counts.
AND, THE WORST OF TIMES…
Well, not the worst of times really BUT during those same three weeks, we have been invaded and parts of the garden show signs of a massacre! The critter cam tells us the culprits are raccoons, possums, ground squirrels, rabbits, and at least two of the most destructive horrible creatures on the planet – groundhogs.
What have we done about it?
To date we have captured 12 raccoons, put up 3′ bunny fence, used tons of cayenne pepper powder and animal repellent pellets.
Has it helped? Not much.
The raised bed filled with my handpicked from pouring over catalogs, pre-sprouted for earlier bloom, gorgeous dahlias – many 2.5-3′ tall living in the beautiful raised bed Mr. G built … was invaded. Pictures do not do the damage justice. The day after we installed the 3′ bunny fence and lavishly poured on the cayenne powder, we caught the groundhog inside the fence and the damage was even worse. I think he was mad.
I understand they hate garlic so this week when I trimmed off my garlic scapes I placed them all around the dahlias that are trying to come back. #timewilltell
Nothing like this has happened before. Oh, we have had the annual visits from raccoons and ground squirrels. While destructive, they were mostly deterred by cayenne pepper. I am beginning to think most of the damage is groundhog damage. We have not been able to trap them but see them out and about. They are very comfortable here! Right up by the patio while I am sitting there!!!! 😳
THE VARMINT’S PREFERRED SMORGASBORD
Here is a list of plants that have been most damaged…
- Yarrow – I have several varieties – all nibbled to the ground except a couple of patches I rescued early – before they found them!
- Parsley – all leaves enjoyed by varmints
- Coreopsis (4 varieties) – to the ground
- Orlaya – all blooms gone / plants mangled
- Cosmos – devoured
- Daisies – new Variety Banana Cream devoured / old variety still standing
- Lantana – to the ground
- Supertunias – to the ground
- Zucchini – struggling
- Lupines – mangled & broken
- Zinnias – mangled & broken
- Dahlias – None of my 20 dahlias have been left untouched but so far some of the damage is minimal. Others… well it’s doubtful they will recover.
My garden looks like a war zone in many areas. And I’m sure you understand, seeing your plants behind fencing is no way to garden!! But while we use every trick we hear about, we are spending our time in prettier parts of the summer garden. Even the Japanese Beetle damage seems like no big deal compared to the massive varmint damage. #perspective
I am so grateful for every plant they have not touched (so far) and am taking note!
- Sweet William
- Roses (THANK GOODNESS!)
- Snapdragons – I’m telling you if they touch my snaps, you will hear me scream. I have soooooooo many gorgeous ones this year!!!
Bokay Day this year was a dream. Those four little men and I had the very best time. Everyone was so into all aspects of the process. Taking wagons of buckets around to gather flowers (much fewer options this year but they didn’t mind) and filling the jars. Ohhh and they were such a charming delivery crew as they pulled the wagon filled with bokays and handed them to our neighbors. All of you who grandparent from a distance know just what a dream come true this was for me!! #preciousmemories
If you see a copy of the current Midwest Living or Birds and Bloom, you just might find me there.
ROSE CHAT PODCAST
I have been chatting away with so many rose friends. The last one was with Kimberley Dean, AKA The Rose Geek. We had the best time talking about her trip to England and how it changed her garden and her as a gardener! Listen here…
GARDENS OF THE NORTHEAST – Rose Chat Podcast
UNTIL NEXT TIME…
Friends, even with the varmint invasion, the heat, and the bugs that come and make things so ugly, I still just can’t wait to get out there! How about you? 💐