Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Agony and the Ecstasy of Gardening

Someone is eating my grape hyacinths from the bottom up.

I noticed a plant moving up and down by itself, just like in the cartoons. I pulled on it and it pulled back, then let go. I found an empty hole where it was planted and chew marks indicating a recent nibble. Then I saw the mass destruction of this bed. Grrrr. I wonder if the magic mousie trap will fix this. I do have a nice patch of these flowers elsewhere, but I didn't plant them. The former owner did. Maybe she knew something about this site...
On the ecstasy end of the spectrum, we were wondering what the buds on this tree were, a few weeks ago.
It looks as tho we have a Dogwood!! I am thrilled to pieces. I hope it's white. We have another of these only smaller in the side garden, and it barely made it through last summer's drought. It is leafing out now, but no flower buds. I will baby it and maybe next Spring it will flower.
I took a walk around the 'estate' this morning and made a slideshow for you.
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  1. We had this problem in Santa Rosa. I could only grow Daffodils. All other bulbs just got gnawed away. I am anxiously awaiting the blooming of our Dogwood. We had several white ones in our yard in NC. I think yours is further along. I must go down and check mine. We are finally going to break into the 70's this week-end - can't wait.

  2. Thanks for the tour. I got a chuckle thinking about you pulling out the critter attached to that hyacinth-very Looney Toons.

  3. We used to have moles eating things from below in NY. My dad would pop mothballs down the holes they made.
    Did I ever see a dead mole? Nope, but I think they moved to the neighbors yard.

  4. I would've guessed chipmunks were the culprits with the nibbling only cause they ate every single one of my tulips one year when we lived up north. Here's a recipe I saw for discouraging chipmunks AND moles. Haven't tried it myself, so can't say for sure if it works. I also read that human hair discourages some of them. I would think Popeye's fur might too??? I also sprinkled a little "used" cat litter in places I thought they might want to go....
    • 1 tbsp natural Baar castor oil
    • 1 tbsp liquid dish soap
    • 6 tbsp water

    • Mix oil and soap in blender until mix has consistency of shaving cream.
    • Add water and blend again.
    • In watering can, mix 2 tbsp of this "mole mix" with 2 gallons of water.
    • Sprinkle mix over mole-infested yard and garden areas.
    • Hint: apply after rain to make sure it soaks into soil. If no rain in forecast, soak area thoroughly before and after you apply repellent.

  5. Deer eat my grape hyacints down to the nub during the winter, but they usually leave them alone once the weather warms up and they can find vegation to eat besides my hyaciants. They also eat the crocus flowers after they have bloomed (but not the leaves) and they eat all my tulips - just the leaves not the flowers if I have managed to keep them covered until they do bloom. Crazy Ohio deer!

  6. Bunnies were having their way with my crocus and early tulips but ignored the squill. I sprayed everything with repellent but it's raining like crazy so I imagine I will have to spray again.

    Lucky you with the dogwood. I have always loved both the white and the pink. I planted some last fall but....bunnies. What can you do?? Bunnies gotta eat too.


  7. Thanks for the tour via your wonderful photos.

    Chipmonks love grape hyacinth bulbs. Several years ago I had a very full bed that I had planned to dig up and transplant a bunch after they flowered. Well, those little critters beat me to it and that bed is just coming back. I can't keep tulip bulbs more than one season. It seems that daffodil bulbs or flowers are NOT on any critters diet.

    It takes a few years for Dogwood trees to mature enough to have blossoms. I have a young one that is full of them this year after having none for several and only a dozen or so last year.

  8. I love the daffodils and tulips! Lovely. Thanks for the tour. We only have daffodils right now, and the trees just burst out about 2 days ago. Spring flowers just make the heart glad, don't they?

  9. If they're only being eaten from the bottom up, maybe you could put some screen underneath them when you do a planting. Up here (in MI) I think the chipmunks get mine, but they don't get too many and the grape hyacinth multipy well. They also get my crocus, but apparently they leave some in different places because I'm always having them pop up where I didn't plant any!


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