Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Retreating is not Defeat

Thanks for all the advice and strategies on defeating the voles. But I think my plan to leave the battlefield makes the most sense. I have moved all the tasty plants to my front garden which is imported soil above a base of solid clay, surrounded by rocks and cement. The voles loved the shade garden because it was very lightweight decomposed mulch which made it very easy to burrow through. The areas on the edge of that garden which are just clay were undisturbed because it is more difficult to dig into that hard stuff.

I particularly had to smile at the suggestions to dig deep and insert wire cages to plant my hosta. I have about 75 hosta. Imagine that many cages.


I had very good luck with this raised bed and expect the same from the front beds which are also raised above ground level.






 [IMG_1675.jpg] [IMG_1674.jpg]

This is a composite picture of the front garden before the plants were installed, surrounded by rock, stone, logs and concrete blocks. It sits directly on packed clay and is just not as accessible to Mr.Vole as the tilth in the shade garden. (tilth: The physical condition of soil relative to the ease of plant growth. The "fluffiness" of the soil, so roots grow easily.)

While my confidence is high, I am not for a moment certain that this will definitely work. With gardening one must be hopeful and tenacious.

On another note: My clever sister Brooke has made these adorable birds. See more on her blog.


  1. Nikki Jackson9:12 AM

    I think you're wise to strategically retreat. I've learnt to only buy one plant of something I really want in my garden and see if it's eaten or ignored before buying more!
    And it's really hard to guess what the skull is because you're photographing it upside down and backwards. Those 'horns' are the bones that make the base of the eye sockets, the bulbous bits that look like eyes sit below and behind them, and the spinal cord exits the brain through that hole. It looks like the front half of the head and jaw has gone, which is a shame cos that's where it becomes easier to identify. My guess is rabbit or small cat.

  2. Anonymous9:18 AM

    Tilth: wondering if that is where the term 'tilling the soil' comes from.
    Learnt a new word today, thank you.

  3. The flower bed looks so pretty. I'm still a couple of weeks away from planting. We've had snow the first week of April so I'll just hang in there until I can get some tilth to my beds(har)
    The birds rock, as do you.

  4. Anonymous10:46 AM

    Okay, once was forgiven, twice begs response: the word is
    " learnED "
    Happy gardening!

  5. Hmm, you have so many other spots of gorgeous flowers, plants and colors. Why not turn the vole area into an interesting rock garden?

  6. Anonymous3:50 PM

    And you OTHER Anon need to be sure of what you are saying before rushing to correct others. According to the OXFORD Dictionary, which by the way is the English I use, and I wish I could cut and paste here, it is either learned or learnt which in both cases is a verb and means to get knowledge of or skill in or ability to do by study experience etc etc.
    AND since I have the Collins Concise English Dictionary sitting on my desk too, I thought I'd do you the favour and consult it just so you know that in AMERICAN English it is the same....learnt or learned.
    Hope this helps!!!!
    Feeling badly for you, never mind, you are forgiven.

  7. Anonymous11:06 PM

    loved your site...will visit again...and sure wish I had a few of those fish as am having to relocate my small pond..your work is beautiful and would also like to know how to do the birds your sister made. Virginia J. in North Carolina. I do not have a blog name.

  8. Pammyfay11:18 PM

    Virginia J:
    When you post your comment, you can actually come up as 'Virginia J." instead of "Anonymous"! (I, for one, hate being 'anonymous'!)

    Just click "Name/URL" under "Choose an Identity," and then you can type in your name!


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