How to go from elation to pissed off in 12 easy steps

I was traveling for work this past week (St Louis, Missouri to be exact) so I suffered through some separation anxiety from my garden.

I considered asking my wife to allow me to Skype with some of the newly blooming perennials but that would have been weird, right? I mean who is attached to their plants so much that they can’t go without seeing them for four days? A real friggin wacko if you ask me.

So early this morning I set foot outside to catch up on all I’ve missed since last weekend (They grow up so fast, sniff) and was immediately taken in by the newly blooming siberian irises (‘Snow Queen’):

Such a crisp and clean color that immediately pulls you in. Just awesome stuff.

From there, I was psyched to see that for the first time in three years, my Spirea ‘Snowmound’ was blooming:

Some times patience does pay off and I’m pretty proud of myself.

But then, out of my peripheral vision, I spotted a long familiar beauty. She stood out like my wife stood out when I first met her in college. A beauty like no other that pulled me in and had me stammering over my words (please apply that to my wife also). I took the requisite 12 steps from where I was standing to view the first peony bloom of the year:

There I was, ogling this “bowl of beauty” and taking photos of her from all different angles like the paparazzi. As I contorted my body into all sorts of odd shapes, I was blind to a development that still has me reeling …

The son of a mutha f’n deer devoured 75% of all my peony buds. They’ve never touched them before, not even one bud/bloom. Are you freaking kidding me? No plant has more of a build-up to their bloom period than the peony and it marks the transition to summer. And you’re going to ruin that for me?

Just a few days ago they looked so promising:    

What a slap to the face. This means WAR. Once again, I was too lax and let my guard down. No more you tick carrying, skittish SOB’s.

I will hunt you down day and night. I will throw bars of Irish Spring at your ass. I’ll drop hot sauce from a helicopter above. It is on … it is on like Donkey Kong.


15 thoughts on “How to go from elation to pissed off in 12 easy steps

  1. Jenny

    I’m so sorry that you lost your peonies. I was looking forward to their pictures as much as to my own growing. but it gave you a taste of what i’m going through with the deer pretty much daily. something new gets wiped out every single day no matter what repelants i try to use 🙁

  2. Charlotte

    I am so blessed not to have wild rabbits or deer. But there are plenty insects and other nasty creators. So sorry about your peonies–and they were going to be so many beautiful blooms 🙁
    I do understand not wanting to leave one’s garden from spring through summer. Travel in the winter–even for business–set your priorities.

  3. meemsnyc

    OMG, this blog post was hysterical. Skyping to your plants, hahahaha, that’s a good one! I get annoyed when I have to travel and miss out on what’s going on in the garden! But, man oh man, seeing those buds missing from your peony plant, holy smokes, that would piss me off too. We don’t have problems with deer, it’s squirrels that wreak havoc. Just like what happened to me last year with my peaches and grapes, they ate every single fruit before I even tasted one!

  4. Sue

    Good luck with the war. I’ve tried everything……they still munch and crunch everything in sight. Short of a 7′ fence, I don’t know of anything surefire that works.

  5. Marcia

    They’ve been watching you, John. They knew you were out of town and the coast was clear for them to go in and gorge themselves. I feel and know your pain. We are off for a vacation soon and though daughter #2 is home living with us, they may just test her by coming back through the yard which they have steered clear of all this spring so far.

    As to peonies – mine are a disappointment. The one that came from my old house finally bloomed last year but this year? nada! The one I bought form Peony’s Envy at the Philly Flower Show in 2011 is too young to bloom or at least I hope that’s the reason. Now my neighbor up the lane has some blooming next to a rock wall, absolutely lovely except they are choked with weeds and not cared for in the least. What’s the fairness in that?

  6. Susan

    Oh man, so sorry about those darn deer. We have them too. They love the rosebushes especially. The rabbits tend to eat everything else. So far they haven’t done too much damage. My bee balm will finally get to bloom this year. There are tons of buds – yay! Last year they would eat them before they could even get buds. Very frustrating.

  7. Mary

    Loved your post, but felt your pain. Sorry, but I had to laugh! The worst thing I ever had to deal with was tomato hornworms. But took care of that by planting dill at the same time the tomatoes went in the ground. Good luck with your war on the deer!

  8. heather @ new house, new home, new life

    I love reading your blog – it’s such a refreshing change from all the sweetness of blooms out there. I guess it’s a man’s perspective – love it!!

    I feel the same way about the squirrels who constantly eat the tulips just before they open. well they don’t eat them exactly, just behead them and leave the poor blossoms on the grass like Anne Boleyn’s head in the Tower yard.

  9. scottweberpdx

    Ugh…that sucks so hard…especially when it’s a plant that only blooms once…and you know won’t form new buds this year…ARGH! Similarly, I found my neighbor’s chickens in my back garden the other day, walking through and snapping all the stems on my Agastache…if I was a meaner person, I would have made fried chicken that night…for REAL.

  10. Ruth Armitage

    Ouch. That bites. I have similar experiences… as do my neighbors. One of them told me they use a paint-ball gun on the deer. I don’t think it is illegal, and I’m pretty sure if they feel themselves hit, they would high-tail it outta there! Just a thought. It would have the added benefit of marking the critters so you know which ones are repeat offenders….

  11. seaweede

    Oh John… Happened to me today, too. Couldn’t believe it! I had two huge peony bushes with TONS of buds just waiting to burst open-I check them every day in anticipation and today I got home from work,went to check on them and my heart sunk! 95% of my buds were gone!!! A few smaller ones were just sorta strewn across the ground. I wanted to cry!! I sooo feel your pain and your hatred for the destructors. In my case I suspect squirrels since it was all of the lower buds. The few that are left are on the taller stems. I really don’t know but I’m googling squirrel stew recipes tonight (even though I’m a vegetarian-I’m that angry!). I’m seriously considering purchasing a “ScareCrow” sprinkler. They’re a bit pricey. Has anyone tried one and do they work? Hang in there fellow disheartened peony lover-there’s always next year… :/

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