We are having a crazy year from a wildlife perspective. Not that we don’t usually have our fair share of wildlife, but for the most part is hasn’t interfered with our gardening. Not so this year! I feel like something must have been thrown out of balance with our local Eco-system. There is some kind of work going on in the woods up the road, that seems a likely cause.
The grey foxes came every evening at dusk for a while. And now the male of the pair comes alone, presumably seeking food for his mate and kits.
We had a porcupine coming every night for a while as well. We blamed it for an entire bed of strawberries, razed to the ground, the disappearance of all of our Swiss chard and many of our beet tops, as well as the nibbling down of our newly planted gooseberries and currents. But the morning after one such incident we spotted a deer family around fifteen feet from the garden, so who knows?
One morning we were hearing strange sounds and discovered a young bear throwing rocks at the house! He broke a chunk of board off the storage area under the deck. That was the same morning that all of my daffodils disappeared. Every last one, back yard and front. We found nothing but large holes and a few scattered leaves. My family is sick of me walking around mournfully, repeating the phrase, “every single daffodil…” in disbelief, again and again. So I have tried to stop, but I am terribly sad about that one.
The following week we found most of our straw paths burrowed under, turned about and generally topsy-turvy. We suspected a skunk, until the next morning dawned to reveal the remaining paths in disarray and the true culprits: 5 mischievous raccoons.
For the first year ever my parsley and basil did absolutely nothing. Nothing! And what is a summer without fresh basil I ask you?!? Most of our sunflowers disappeared in the night, like so many other plants, and the few that survived are rounding up to knee high. The chipmunks stole all the fruit from our fruit trees.
Most of our garden is suffering from extreme neglect. Apart from a few optimistic bursts of productivity, we’ve really done very little with it this year. And I think all that is happening is the same thing that always happens any time a patch of earth is left unattended; nature reclaims it. Sometimes very rapidly!
Still there are some garden highlights; it’s been a great year for brassicas. Our kale and collard beds are overflowing. I wish I had planted more broccoli. It did very well. Our winter squash are thriving and starting to set fruit. We’ll be pulling up our garlic this week and I’m anticipating our usual hearty harvest. A few of our cranberry plants are completely covered in little pale green berries. Others- the ones being shaded and starved out by weeds- less so.
Most of the front flower garden is lovely and a great comfort to me. The peonies were magnificent this year, but you will never know it. I was waiting until they were at their absolute peak to photograph them and that very morning Mairi Rose and Galen decided to surprise me by filling like eight jars and vases near to bursting with them! Hence the rather bare and patchy specimens you see pictured here.