Infrastructure and Aliens

During the late fall and early winter, Kevin (MLG) and I continued to make improvements to the garden. By that I mean that I would have half of an idea, and ask him about it, and he would improve on the idea and actually do the hard work of making it happen.

And here’s what I mean by Aliens. No, not Sophie, although she is a rather strange little dog. See all that dead dry stuff at the top of the stones? Remember when that was a cascade of pretty green wire plants? Yes, the aliens are those stinkin’ moles or voles. they just love tunneling along next to the rocks and so I think they completely destroyed that plant. It is pretty hardy, so I am waiting to see if it might return. Also, see all those little white fences haphazardly placed in the middle of that bed? That’s my version of trying to keep Noah out of there. It seems that its become one of his favorite digging places. I bought a pack of plants at Costco, and so I planted bleeding heard, astilbe, and a fern in there. Its a pretty shady bed, so hopefully these plants will do well. I also bought some stuff at Costco that is supposed to bother the breathing/nasal passages of varmints, so I sprinkled some in there. I noticed as I was sprinkling that it smelled slightly of garlic. So sure enough, when I let the dogs out, they were very interested in smelling it. For some reason they have never been interested in smelling the moles.


When my BF was visiting last summer (doing my post-op care) she had the idea to widen this bed and add an extra row of stones. EXCELLENT idea!! I’m very happy to have more room for planting here. Right now I have daffodils and tulips that I got from John Scheepers in there.


At the beginning of this bed, we had the fringe plant. It wanted to grow bigger and bigger, and I didn’t like it there anymore, so Kevin dug it up and moved it to the back of the garden. Now I’ll have room for some pretty annuals there. Right now, of course, more tulips.


And this narrow front bed. Something I actually did myself. I had an herb garden there. But I never used the herbs, and they were a MESS. I pulled all of them out, and Kevin put some kind of border thing to keep the bricks in place. And now I have a place for pretty plants when I drive up. More tulips right now (John Scheepers had a great deal on tulips last fall 🙂 )


Okay. This front bed… I called it the prison garden. Because to keep Noah out of it, we had it very tightly guarded. So guarded that I couldn’t even get into it to weed or garden or anything. That was bugging the daylights out of me. So I stopped at Home Depot yesterday and bought two kinds of fencing. I am going to have Kevin choose which fence to use and have him reinforce the fence because otherwise, Noah will still knock them down (this just happens to be the place he loves to stand and bark.) But now I will be able to get in there. I planted a couple of the astilbes and ferns here because between the honeysuckle and the cherry tree it is mostly shaded.


Ah. What is this a picture of? Well, in that empty spot there was a HUGE Rose of Sharon. I didn’t think it was worthy and had been thinking of removing it. Well. When I went over there to inspect, the moles had completely eaten the roots away, so that made my decision easy.


And, here I removed that rose that always grew into the oak tree. I think either it was a rogue rose or  maybe it got too much shade. Either which way, it went home with Kevin who loves to rescue plants.


And lastly. This is the infrastructure that probably pleases me the most. As I’ve said many times, the ground where I live is very rocky. So this area between my back stairs and the chicken coop was very uneven, and I would stumble a lot when walking out there. I discussed with Kevin, and between the two of us we came up with the idea of using some of the free mulch that the tree guys had left in my back driveway. Kevin put a nice little border there to contain it, and I just love walking out there morning and evening. Very nice and even and soft to walk on.



Some of this stuff is very discouraging to me. Especially those varmints. But on the other hand, I remind myself that a garden is always a work in progress, and most of what’s happened is just an opportunity to change and improved the garden. I’m excited for spring to arrive and to get new plants to make it all pretty again.


7 thoughts on “Infrastructure and Aliens

  1. Ack, those moles!!! I know Barbara has a terrible time with them as well…hopefully they will stay in California because we have enough critters (armadillo, I’m looking at YOU) digging up our bedding plants.

    Love the early spring tour, and I especially love how Sophie was out inspecting the troops with you. She’s such a good dog. 🙂

    • I guess its “misery loves company” that makes me feel better when I hear that people in other parts of the state are having the same problem. I do get a kick out of Sophie walking along the stone ledges. It reminds me of how kids alway walk along curbs or raised ledges. I can’t figure out why she doesn’t seem to smell the moles at all, since she is hell on any rats that might make an appearance!

  2. As I sit here with 15 inches of snow on the ground, it is so ODD to see ground, grass and plants, even if they are being mole attacked. Moles are the WORST – they completely tunneled up my mother’s neighbors yard to the point where they had to till it and replant the grass!

    I’m looking forward to your bloom photos while I wait for the snow to melt.

  3. Lookin’ good, Deb. I’d love to take a drive and see it in person some day….You’ve done so much! Eating lots of eggs? Coyotes leaving you alone?

  4. We have a terrible problem with moles right now. Apparently our neighbors on 3 sides used some grub stuff and now all the moles relocated to our yard. Ugh! I’ve tried milky spore, castor granules, sonic spikes, all to no avail. I hate to say it, but I hope this frigid winter was really hard on their population.

    You garden looks like such an oasis for you. Can’t wait to see the tulips!

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