Coming to the end of the growing season, but not if you are a bunny rabbit. Those little suckers never stop!
These little critters can be such a gardening nuisance, eating everything that grows, then using the energy they acquire from such a healthy diet to play a very scary game of tag with your golden retrievers.
Some folks see these fluffy fellas as a garden pest, but how can they be categorized as villains when they are so darn cute?
Recently, I went out to the garden with my hubby and my sixth sense told me there was a mouse in there, somewhere. (I have a gift when it comes to detecting rodents, and don't even need to see one to let you know it is close at hand.)
Because I was convinced "Mickey" was out there, I was on high alert.
As I was harvesting the cucumbers that were growing, my husband moved over to grab some green beans from the vines. I moved closer to him, to supervise his actions, when suddenly, a small furry animal ran across the top of my foot. I screamed as if my hair was on fire, ran in place like a carton character, then fell against the fence, which was a good thing, because my ears were ringing and I needed the support so I wouldn't fall to the ground.
Convinced I was now infected with the Bubonic plague because of my contact with a rodent, I turned to my husband to tell him my good-byes, but he didn't seem to be having the same response I was having. Rather than sharing my hysteria, he was bent over with laughter.
I began to cry real tears. "A mouse just touched me!" I yelled. He stood upright, and through his chuckles said, "It wasn't a mouse. It was a tiny bunny!"
The ringing had stopped in my ears and the feeling was returning to my hands and lips, as I tried to process the most shocking moment of my life.
My worse fear has always been to be touched by a mouse, and in my mind that had just happened, but now he was telling me it wasn't an evil, disease carrying, creature of the darkness, but instead, a sweet, soft, cuddly, pink-nosed bunny rabbit that made contact with my skin. It was almost more than my brain could process.
I drug my noodle legs to the porch to sit and contemplate what had just occurred, and realized my life-long fear had just been broken. Now that I had a wild animal run across my foot, I realized it wasn't all that bad, and if a bunny could do it, a mouse could do the same thing and I would live. (Now, when I say live, I mean I will still scream, throw things, maybe wet my pants, etc,. but I would live.)
So today, I want to encourage you to look past all the damage these long-eared hoppers do, and consider the joy they bring to your yard. For you, that joy may not be like meeting with Dr. Phil and having a troublesome phobia be broken from your life, but your joy might come from watching the silly antics that bunny performs while smashing down all of your gorgeous petunias.
All I know is, I will eternally be grateful for the big-eyed bouncer for setting me free!
Hot temperatures and mowing can consume our gardening focus this time of year, but there is something we must not overlook and that is, SALES! Once we pass Independence Day, garden centers and department stores everywhere are marking down prices on outdoor and gardening items so they can make room for fall merchandise. (Ugh! I'm not ready for fall yet!)
I used to go looking for the perfect lawn ornaments in the spring when my gardens woke up, but I learned my lesson a couple of years ago when I put in three new flowerbeds around my house, requiring the purchase of a LOT of new "garden bling". Since I spent the early months of the year digging and planting those new beds, by the time I began shopping, I was buying items clearance priced up to 75% off. And since these durable and long-lasting items are manufactured to give me years of enjoyment, buying them a couple months into summer was not a big deal.
I now know, this is the time of year when the retailers are offering whirligigs, flags, stained glass stakes, and tiki torches at rock bottom prices, so this is when I stock up. And with all of the savings I have on the outdoor chachskis I purchase on clearance, it leaves money in my gardening budget to stock up on perennials in the fall when THEY get marked down. (This is called, "more bang for your gardening budget!")
Other than savings, another benefit to shopping this time of year is, if you are hesitant about purchasing some garden knickknacks because you are just not sure if you will like them or not, this is time to take a chance because you are not going to make a big investment with end of the season prices.
A bit of advise- Dont go hog wild. Even though statuary and garden gnomes are on sale, you dont want to buy a truckload and place them all in your front yard, giving the apperance that you are having a garage sale. A few items are nice, but too many of them gives the appearance of a flea market. Just keep in mind that adding a whimsical item amongst the greenery in a garden is a lot like adding a necklace when wearing the perfect little black dress. The dress can stand alone, but some sparkle can really dress up the outfit.
Whether you like traditional stepping stones with Bible verses, or glittery pink flamingos wearing top hats, now is the time to get out to your favorite retailer and see what kind of deals they are offering on just the right thing to make you smile as you see it poking out of your garden.
Now, where is my credit card?
SURPRISE! There is a chance of rain today.
Ok, not really a surprise since it has rained every day this week. I put in a call to my local meteorologist to ask him how many days so far this year, did it rain or have a chance of rain, but I was told he wasn't going to be in the office until later today. My guess is, he is at home listening to Karen Carpenter singing, "Rainy Days and Mondays always get me down", and is too depressed to get out of bed and come to work because of our continual cloudy conditions.
Me, being an eternal optimist, refuse to surrender to the gray skies, That is a little tougher since I checked the 10-day forecast this morning, and guess what? RAIN forecasted every day! Ugh!
Good news is, all this moisture has made my lawns lush and green. Bad news is, my vegetable garden looks pretty much the same since I planted it a few weeks ago. There has not been enough sunlight to cause the plants to fill in like they should be doing this time of year. As a matter of fact, my cantaloupe plants are still only a few inches high. At this rate, I should be able to pick the melons and use them in my fall display along with my pumpkins and gourds!
Today, in between showers, I went outside to do a garden walk. I was grateful I found something green growing wildly in my yard until further inspection revealed it was moss! You know, moss? The plant that needs intense moisture to thrive.
Gee wiz, I am beginning to think instead of baskets of tomatoes and peppers, this year's bounty will include moss and barnacles. (Maybe I should consult Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean to get some gardening tips.)
Even though I an unable to be outside pruning and picking, I am using my indoor time wisely. Like today, I spent time on the internet searching for recipes that contain seaweed, since that is apparently the only thing I am going to be able to grow this year.
I'm not going to give up. Here is hoping- THE SUN WILL COME OUT TOMORROW!