Tuesday, March 31, 2009



My bleeding hearts have already started blooming. They will continue to grow taller and fuller and bloom for about a month, through frostings and maybe even a snow shower. What a colorful combination they present. I also have a newer sister plant in white on the opposite side of the garden. We’ll see how she does in a few weeks.

I’ve been at war with the voles who are eating the roots away from my beloved heuchera and hosta and I have decided on a new strategy. Retreat and conquer.


I pulled all the heuchera out of this bed and most of the hosta and transplanted them to the front garden. If you don’t give the voles any thing to eat, maybe they will pack their little bags and go elsewhere. What remains is the creeping Jenny, variegated Artemisia, and vinca vines. That looks like lovely black dirt but is not. It is mulch which has broken down and is very friable, making it super easy to lift a plant, either with a trowel or by gloved hand. Add that to the fact that most of the roots have been eaten away and it was a simple decision that if these plants were to survive they had to go to higher ground.


Heuchera, aka Coral Bells are what I am collecting, along with multiple varieties of hosta, and I am crazy for all the different colors that they have hybridized. Everything here came from either the vole’s dinner table or just recently, Wal-mart’s garden center.heras1  heuga1 heulr1   heupfl2 heusco1

Just a few of the delicious varieties that I plan to plant, as soon as I find them.


I got my new sprinklers in the mail yesterday and they work just great. Like falling rain on my transplants. Lovely.

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This little skull needs identification. Dave found it on the   hill when he was taking a nature walk. Got any clues as to what it is? Email me if you know.


  1. Anonymous9:14 AM

    Why, it must be a vole skull, it has just got to be. They need to be beaten into submission those flower eating animals!...lol...

  2. Anonymous9:34 AM

    Something that doesn't have teeth (because of the shape of the mouth)? Something without eyes (because the sockets have bone coverings)? Something with horned ears? I'm drawing a blank with all those features!

  3. It looks like a single vertebra -- a spinal bone -- to me.

  4. I have to agree with Claire. The opening would hold the spinal column.
    Judging by the size maybe a possum or raccoon? Looks too big to be a rabbit or squirrel.

  5. looks like a lower vertebrae, likely of a badger sized animal... given that the small boney extensions haven't been worn/broken, its relatively recent....

    In terms of the voles have you tried making large "flower pots" from several layers of chicken wire that you can then sink into the garden? Voles wont tunnel through them, but there's lots and lots of openings for nutrients and water... Any roots that extend past the wire may get eaten, but there'll be enough protected root to maybe provide for decent plan growth above ground...

  6. It would be nice to think it was a vole's. Durn critters! Looks like an alien face doesn't it?
    Your garden is going to be amazing!

  7. It's a wide mouth gargoyle skull! LOL!

  8. Anonymous6:00 PM

    I have heuchera and hosta in my garden too, but I live in the North, and the voles make holes in the ground but they don't seem to eat the roots of the plants. You might try putting some moth balls in each hole - or moth crystals. Don't keep these in the house because they are poisonous, but I don't think they would hurt flowering plants.

  9. Please do not leave us hanging with the skull id.
    Perhaps the state's Conservation Department could identify it.
    I can't see any jaw/jaw hinge- -
    there appears to be two 'horns' - -
    two blubous protrusions that appear to be in conjunction with eye sockets - - -

  10. Any chance it could be a snake? My kids would LOVE finding a treasure like this! I spend all sorts of money on toys and stuff for them, but go figure... a rotted out skull would beat them all! Second place would be a large box, kids are funny that way!

  11. Anonymous6:35 AM

    Ha ha ha, what "simply me" said. I always thought that all kids really need are 1. A cardboard box, 2. A broom stick and 3. when they are really younger, a ton of newsprints to rip and tear or whatever.
    Oh, and pillows for later, for the fights.
    Parents find these things out rather late, after having spent thousands of bills on toys.

    Need my coffee! Imagine a world without this drugs?!

  12. Just a suggestion to protect your plants. Dig a nice deep hole and line it with wire mesh. The kind you can get in the hardware store that hase a grid at about 1/2 inch squares. bring the wire all the way to the top of the hole and fill back in with dirt. Plant your hostas and cross fingers.

  13. Christina6:04 PM

    I love the comments everyone has made :). I have minor in forensic anthropology and am studying animal bones for my research. Firstly, what you are looking at is a partial skull (the back end). Secondly, the two "bulbs" you see is the base of the skull where the first vertebra would sit and the hole is obviously for the spine. Thirdly, the two "horns" are zygomatics (arches that hold the eyes)(like our cheek bones). Lastly, based on what I can see from the pictures (using your hand as a guide) and my knowledge of animals. You are looking at a young animal, most likely raccoon. Hope this helps a little!


So nice of you to drop by. I love your comments, and if you would really like a reply, please email me at fibermania at g mail dot com