We interrupt this garden bliss …

What a fantastic time of year this is. Everything brown has turned to green, foliage is emerging at a rapid pace and flowers, yes flowers, are here to light up our world:    

Nothing can go wrong, we just let nature take it’s course and soak it all in. I mean look at the color on the blooms of this Ajuga ‘Chocolate Chip’:

And the small divisions of this same groundcover have matured and look great at the front of this garden bed:

But you know what? I’m fixated on the 3-4 plants that have huge holes smack dab in the middle of them:

I really try to keep it as positive as possible and it works some days. But when you’re as neurotic as I am with my garden (Interestingly enough, I am not the least bit neurotic in “real life”. Interesting. Discuss amongst yourselves), the negativity eventually creeps in and takes over. I have even come up with a formula that accurately nails my garden mood for each day:

If 10X < 1Y then I am OK
X = plants in bad shape
Y = plants in good shape

So for example, if there are 2 plants in bad shape (X) and there are 21 in good shape (Y) the calculation is as follows:

10 x 2 = 20 and is less than 1 x 21 = 21

I am therefore happy. Trust me, I’ve fine tuned this formula the past few years and it is definitely spot on.
But enough of the calculus lesson, here are my frustrations in pictures:

What wonderful cherry blooms, so dainty:

And I’m now left with a weeping “ugly” tree:

And it’s all the deer’s fault:

The Prunus Cistena (Purple Sandcherry) is blooming and looks great with the foliage:

Too bad it is shoved in a container trying to hide the utilities. If I set this in the ground, the deer will chow down on it in minutes and the wet soil will make it whimper in pain:

I’m convinced this was destruction at the hands/paws of some deranged friggin deer. They destroyed half this euonymus which is just enough to make me consider trying to nurse it back to life:  

Um, what do I do with this? This hydrangea is in a prominent location near my front steps and it wants to pull a stunt like this? Be dead or be alive please. Pick one and go with it.

Have any of you ever tried rabbit stew? Is it any good? Any particular rabbit better than others? I could sell gallons of the stuff with the number of rabbits I’ve got under my deck and all over the yard. When I pull into my driveway at night, they scatter like drunken teenagers running from the police.  

I kid you not, I’ve now successfully killed 5 of these ‘Bennett Compact’ hollies in the past 4 years. You absolutely have the right to question my sanity. This is an end of an era and I vow to never even consider them again. Although they are the ideal foundation shrub, evergreen, nice shape …    

Tune in next time to see how much more I can bitch and moan about something I love doing more than anything else.


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20 thoughts on “We interrupt this garden bliss …

  1. catmint

    Rabbits and deer … all part of the gardening experience… we have cats and possums here. I love the possums even though they do eat the garden but hate the feline bird catcher. I can so relate to your bit about garden mood.

  2. Theanne and Baron

    Perhaps you’d better factor in animal destruction and plant oneriness into your calculations for your daily positiveness or negativeness! Perhaps it’s an age thing but I find I don’t let thing rile me that used to and then there’s the time my husband and I built a fence around our garden (to keep out rabbits) only to discover we were giving safety to a Mom Rabbit and her babies! Nature is pretty quirky sometimes…so sometimes you just have to go with the flow! There are all kind of rabbit dishes (just wear vinyl gloves when you skin and gut…you don’t want rabbit blood on your skin. See: Tularemia ~ http://www.rabbit.org/health/exotic-diseases.html ).

    There’s hassenpfeffer, rabbit burgoo, rabbit muddle (or brunswick stew), etc.

  3. Olive Cooper

    I have some of that blue flowering ground cover {name escapes me} and it keeps drying out on me and demanding water. I may have to yank it up because I cannot water all the time. I definitely share some neurotic features but that is not a surprise as I was a psych nurse! I have started planting my perennials very close together like in an English garden. Joe likes to have space to walk through but I am going to pack the plants in every chance I get.

  4. Marcia

    Have you tried Repels All for the rabbits? I got it from Gardeners Supply last year and have sprinkled it around the deck and the plants the rabbits have been chowing down on. Liquid fence is supposed to work for rabbits too so Monday everything got the monthly dose of that but mainly to keep my deer friends at bay.

    I have ajuga blooming, too around my pond for the first time.

  5. scottweberpdx

    hahaha…yes, I’d say you’re in good company. No matter how much happiness I get from the majority of the garden, it’s those little things that aren’t doing well that irk me and that I tend to dwell on…grrrrr.

  6. Shirley

    I’m loving/living this post!!! As far as the perennials with “holes” in the center, it simply means it is time to divide that perennial, throw away the center and plant up the rest.

    I’ve heard rabbit stew is good, though I haven’t tried it.

  7. Blondie's Journal

    I have made a wonderful French stew. Fortunately the hunter did the skinning, I just had to pick the bb’s out and dismember it. Lots of wine…in the pot {and for me when I was cutting it up} and plenty of herbs…it was delicious.

    The rabbits ate most of my vegetable garden last summer and I wanted to cry. I had a lot of fantasies about the stew.


  8. Joy

    The cherry blossoms are beautiful–so feminine and fragile looking. Have you tried hanging Irish Spring soap around your plants and trees? My brother who lives in the Ozarks, has done this to his young apple trees–the deer don’t even think of nibbling on his trees. Maybe use some soap shavings and sprinkle around the base of plants?

  9. The Idiot Gardener

    Shame you’re on the other side of the pond. I’d take those rabbits off you. It might take a week, it might take a month, but take them I would … even the ugly ones!

  10. Alex aus dem Gwundergarten

    Hi John
    Smile, what a relieve to see that in other parts of the world gardeners fight with the same problems :o). But I would love to have rabbits around our home… not for eating :o) but to watch them. I’ve got two rabbits of my own but the live in a big cage outside… good for my roses I guess.
    Take it with a smile and go on killing plants (like me) :o).

  11. Cindy

    Very good! I’m the same way, if there is a weed, then the garden doesn’t look good! I have several hydrangeas that look like yours. Just when I think I’ll dig them up and start over, up comes some green, and I can’t do it.

  12. Connor

    Jack Daniels Rabbit! I will get you the recipe. I always serve it with fresh greens and tomatoes from the garden he was eating in!
    I feel your pain on the hydrangea! I have 3 in my yard doing the exact same thing!

  13. Janet, The Queen of Seaford

    Sorry about your cherry, etc….I had deer take out 6 rose bushes and 6 loropetalum last fall. Since then they have left my stuff alone…maybe they are waiting for more new growth? And the rabbits? I am so sorry for you. How aggrevating. Rotten critters. Have you tried any of the Liquid Fence type products?
    good luck.

  14. Katy Landscaping

    Interesting calculation. Find comfort in the fact that nothing in this life is always perfect–including our gardens/landscape. The living thingies that thrive in them will pull stunts from time to time.

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