Saturday, July 28, 2007

That squirrel was disrespecting me

Seriously, that's what a friend from Virginia told my husband a couple of weeks ago. I laughed and thought, well "M" has finally gone off the deep end if he thinks a squirrel is disrespecting him.

But after the last few days, I think I've taken the plunge myself. Squirrels show absolutely no reverence for all the time, labor and money I've put into the yard.

This used to be a Jacob's Ladder until the contemptuous one dug it from the ground. And this is only one of two of these it has done this to. Then there are the ones it uses to bounce off of, knock them to the ground, and break the stems.

As much as it makes me sizzle, this is the one that really gets Ed frothing at the mouth. If they want to take a tomato or two, fine. But why do they have to take one bite out of every tomato that ripens and leave it as a sign of their scorn?

And this one sealed it for me. The varmint is chewing on my Wide-leaved Spiderwort. Right in front of me. I walked up to within 10 feet of the critter and he just kind of sat there and stared at me. I threw rocks at it and it just turned around and lazily scampered off. (I have a terrible aim.)

These are just a few examples of all the destructive behaviors it so openly flaunts. There is no love lost between me and the tree rat.

And "M", sorry I ever doubted you.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Revival of the fittest

The squirrels' dust-bathing activities seemed to have obliterated several of my young plantings but I am happy to report signs of life.

Wild Geranium: thought I had lost one of the five, but it has defied the odds and is showing strong signs of life.

Summer (or Garden) Phlox: two of the five I planted were objects of the squirrels' destruction and both are on the rebound.

Lots of stems have broken, or should I say have been broken by the rodents in fur coats, but they all seem to be taking it well. One Downy Skullcap is even blooming from its broken stem. Two of the three Golden Seals look pitiful, but they were shipped with a "dormant" sign. I'll have to read up further on their growing characteristics.

Right now I have another 39 plants on order and I am knocking on wood, crossing my fingers, and rubbing my lucky rabbit's foot in hopes that they arrive tomorrow.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Rewards for my efforts!

To date I have 78 plants in the ground, although a few need to be replaced due to squirrels digging them up. Grrr. Most of the plants are in shady areas, and are early bloomers. But the three Cardinal Flowers are in full bloom and already attracting the birds! Not a great picture since it was taken from 70 feet away, but the Ruby-throated Hummingbird has taken to them in a big way. I rarely see her at the hummingbird feeder anymore.

The landscaped area is still sparsely filled and I figure at least another 50 plants. The good news is that I have a lot of sunny area to fill and there is a much wider selection of plants.

I found a wonderful place to mail-order plants here in Missouri. (#1) This fellow has a huge selection and specializes in Native Plants only. (#2) The prices are much more favorable even factoring in S&H at 17%. (#3) The 43 plants I ordered from Missouri Wildflowers in Jefferson City arrived two days later and in excellent condition.

It sure beats driving all over town not knowing what any given nursery has in stock. But I do have say this: I emailed a list of plants to about a dozen nurseries in the area. I was shocked that every single one of them responded quickly. I bought plants from a couple of them and hope to patronize each of them in the near future.