I enjoy designing and planting my garden. Like most gardeners, I have this vision of what it will look like as it grows and matures over many years. I have learned that I may have a plan but so does Mother Nature! Mother Nature has this way of making the best made garden plans change.
Some years weather can be bad. Hail takes out the hosta beds and I have nice shredded leaves or leaves with holes in them for rest of the growing season. There are years it is dry and the plants show the lack of rain. Other years we have a lot of rain and the plants look great, including all the weeds. Bad weather can also bring out all the different disease problems in the garden.
There are years that the insects chew up plants leaving ragged leaves. I have found that having a pond helps keep most of my insects problems under control. The fish eat the mosquitoes and the toads that breed in the pond every year, keeps the slugs and other insects under control in the garden.
My favorites are the animals that live in my garden. The moles uproot my new plantings leaving them to die on top of the ground or they make nice tunnels underground that ruins my newly planted grass. Those cute little squirrels that roam in my garden may be cute, but sometimes they are pest. Every year I plant bulbs to find them dug up, with bites taken out of each of them. When I plant a new tree or shrub they always have to nibble on the bottom of the trunk or branches. I think that the squirrels sit in the trees just waiting for me to leave after I have just planted my new prized plant. Several years ago, I had a mother fox with three pups. I learned not to water my plants with fish emulsion. Every pot that had been watered with fish emulsion in my garden was dumped over. Mom and the pups shredded all my potted plants in search of a meal of fish that they never found. I never have trouble with mice or shrews due to a family of owls and the neighbor's pet cats. I am not even going to touch on the subject of pets in the garden! That is another story.
As a gardener, you figure that there is always next year for the garden. As much as I seem like I am complaining about the animals that live in my garden, I can't imagine my garden without them. The animals in my garden add the sights and sounds that make the garden a peaceful haven. They help make my garden what it is. I like to think that the moles aerate my soil making it better to grow in. My garden is on a property that is over 100 years old. The moles leave many treasurers of broken pottery, china and other lost valuables on top of the ground as they tunnel giving me a glimpse of the history of my property. I am always reminded of just how good squirrels are in gardening. Think of all the new trees that they plant across this great country, including the trees that you find growing in your houseplants that were outside during the summer.
Garden designing is fun and I enjoy watching my garden change from year to year. I may design the garden, but with the help of Mother Nature's garden designers it will be a pretty special garden!
The Creative Gardener
Don't forget to pick!