Of Gophers and Merlot

by Lorraine on November 26, 2008

This morning as I was making my way out to the kitchen for coffee, I happened to glance out into the backyard when I noticed a fresh mound of dirt.   Humm, I’m thinking as I’m looking at it.   Is that what I think it is?   And of course, it was.   A gopher had dug a tunnel and where was it?   Right next to three new plants that I had just put in the previous week.

One of my concerns about putting in my garden last year, was protecting it from the marauding, toothy gophers which seem to be plentiful around here.   Those little “I want to munch every plant in sight”, guys along with the rabbits, could have been a big problem for me.   After spending the amount of money that I did on plants, I wasn’t going to take a chance and have any gophers ruin my new Native plant garden.

So I bought several rolls of chicken wire and began to learn a new skill (which I’m sure will be very beneficial to me sometime in the future and look good on my resume) and made “gopher” cages.   Ah,ha….I know what you’re thinking.   No, not to catch them, but to create a cage of sort around the root ball of a plant, thereby making it off limits to the furry little predators.

I spent many hours, cutting, rolling and shaping over 200 of these devices, seeing them in my dreams, saying I’d never do it again.   Although having a full glass of Merlot certainly helped to pass the time and I still did a good job, even if I was feeling a little giddy.

A few weeks ago I picked up some new plants to fill in a couple of areas and at the time, I bought three Salvias, (Allen Chickering) to place in a space that separates my driveway from my neighbors’.   Then I realized that they would be too big for it and decided to plant them in the backyard as I have plenty of room back there.

It’s very bare other that a few fruit trees and some half dead grass and in general, isn’t very appealing.   Eventually I do want to create another garden using Native plants of course but for the time being, only in my dreams.   But the gophers certainly seem to like it and I don’t know why, cuz there’s nothing much to eat there………until now.

I really didn’t want to have to make more of those “d….” cages again, I was so burned out with doing that from last year and I just didn’t want to have to re-experience that phase of my live, again.  So I decided that I’d just go a head and plant them without any protection from the possibility of being munched upon.   And being me, I naively assumed that they would be okay.   A week passed, no problem and then a bit of rain, the soil is now  softer and then “wallah”, new, fresh territory.

To be continued…..

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