Thursday, May 14, 2009

Challenges and May Blooms

Thought I would share one of the frustrations I have in my garden. I find these all over the garden...often where once there was a plant. I have moles and voles. The moles are carnivorous creatures-- going after everything from earthworms to grubs. The voles are vegetarian and will eat bulbs, (though not Narcissus) perennials, annuals, and even shrubs and small trees. To add to the subterranean wildlife we also have short-tailed shrews! One of the dogs heard/ smelled something in the garden and dug a hole in the Delosperma. Out popped a shrew!! These guys are about the size of a vole, but like moles they are carnivores. They tunnel though, therefore, more traffic lanes for the voles to travel!
See the two holes?

I do have lots in bloom this time of year, in spite of the voles. In the backyard in the L** Memorial Butt Garden, I have a couple roses. One is the parent of the swingset shrub rose, origins and name unknown. The other is the last of the rugosas. After floods and then heavy equipment putting in riprap, some of the rugosas died. This little beauty is Rosa rugosa 'Pink Grootendorst'.

Though not blooms, the hostas are all coming up and filling in. I like mixing different varieties of hostas. The Tradescantia mix adds more foliage interest. Some of the hosta are named, others not. There is Hosta 'Cadet Blue', H. 'Bressingham Blue', H. Frances Williams' and friends.... :-)

The right side of the house has a Honeysuckle mass that marks our property line. Though it is an invasive, it seems to stay put. You just can't beat the fragrance as the breeze carries the scent across the yard.

One the other side of the house is my Confederate Jasmine, Trachelospermum jasminoides, a nice evergreen vine with a sweet little flower in the spring. It is trellised with flattened old tomato cages, now almost hidden. It is creeping over and through the fence.

This past fall I forgot to spread my poppy seeds... oops! Lucky for me some reseeded on their own. I had one bloom waiting for me when I got home.

Almost a groundcover now, is a Dwarf Cranesbill, a true Geranium.

The Spirea japonica 'Goldflame' is just about to bloom. Another color interest -- this plant gives and gives.

I can't believe all the typos I had this morning...I apologize to those who have a critical eye.... guess I needed more coffee!
To check out my "Iris" go to my music page.


  1. Critters that damage gardens are such annoying (and expensive) for us. The red-tailed hawk took out our little bunny before we went on vacation. Hence, there was no rabbit munching while we were away.

    Love all the fragrance in the air right now. I'll have to go check my Confederate Jasmine vine -- thanks for the reminder! The wild honeysuckle is something to smell, isn't it? Hard to hate it when it smells so great.


  2. Janet....I can imagine how frustrated you must be with moles! They are very hard to kill! You can buy traps that you insert in one of their paths, but no guarantee they will came back through that path. You can also insert poison in the tunnel, but again...they have to come back through it. Good luck...keep us updated

  3. Janet at least you don't have to battle the deer, but still a nuisance. Pretty bloomings!

  4. Garden critters really make gardening interesting at times. My main pest is Spaz, lol. She gets so excited chasing squirrels that she's been known to take out a plant or two. Beautiful blooms today, I have Spirea 'Goldmound' (Goldflame is the parent of it).

  5. Cameron, sorry for the bunny meeting an unfortunate end...but that is the animal kingdom! I really love the scent of honeysuckle. I know it is blooming before I go around the corner of the house and see it.
    Dirt Princess- I do have some mole traps in the backyard. Don't want to use poison as I have three dogs... hate to chance it. Have also trapped and killed a number of voles with peanut butter on the underside of the trigger on a mouse trap. It is just a pain.
    Hi SusieQ- you are right, no deer to contend with, one saving grace.
    Racquel- I have pieces of garden fencing strategically placed around the yard to prevent stampede paths from the dogs. I know what you mean about the squirrel chase! I like the 'Goldmound' as well, my mom has that one, both are pretty.

  6. Oh Yes! the smell of honeysuckle--I love it. My Winchester is about to bloom. I'm so afraid I'm going to miss it this weekend while I'm away. Your hosta looks pretty as do the poppies and roses. You do have an abundance of blooms on the roses--it's quite amazing.

    How long do your honeysuckly blooms last? This is my first. I can't wait.

  7. Hi Janet, what a charming mass of vines you have, but not a charming mass of hole digging varmints! We have those two, don't know anything about shrews, but we could have them too. Love the rugosa roses, they are so tough, but thorny. We have Grotendorst Supreme, a red brother to your pick. We call him Thorny. Love the spiraea too, what a color combo! Yum!

  8. I so totally hate those voles!!! The moles and shrews are fine-no plant eating there. I don't mind the tunneling and think of them as little aerators most of the time. What luck with the poppy!

  9. Janet, Hello! I see you have our friend the sweet honeysuckle! I've noticed lots of mysterious holes in the garden...voles you say! I've been blaming the honeysuckles...where are all the cats we we need them! The hostas and tradedscantias look wonderful together~~gail

  10. Squirrels dig up and destroy everything (except daffodils) in my yard, so I feel your pain!

    Your roses are BEAUTIFUL! So girly and frilly!

  11. Hi Anna,
    I think we all agree that honeysuckle is just a wonderful fragrance. :-) Thanks for the comment on the hostas. I do like having lots of hosta variety together.
    I am not sure how long the honeysuckle last...?
    Yes, that which is growing is grand, but oh those varmits!!
    Ha ha, thorny is a good name... think the red Grootensorst would be pretty.
    I agree about the voles vs. moles and shrews. The yard can stand the areation, but leave the plants!
    Nothing says spring like honeysuckle! The hole makers are the moles and shrews...the voles just use the tunnels as their highway to roots. We don't have any cats that are outside kitties. (and the dogs are not much help!!)
    I have an older picture of the hostas and tradescantia on my very first post....before hurricane.
    Girly roses? Interesting! The Pink Grootendorst is small, like the Fairy Rose, bloom about the size of a walnut--frilly but thorny!

  12. Oh, those creatures! My roses and strawberry plants just lost their tops to deers... I have moles, too. But who is running in my attic now? A rat?

  13. OH MY!! Critters need to stay outside...I hope you get rid of whatever rat is in your attic Tatyana! We have had a mouse or two in the attic...but rats!

  14. You daring woman, you and your Japanese Honeysuckle.

  15. Hi Les, Daring? no....Lazy? yes. These honeysuckle were here when we moved here 17 years ago. The have stayed inbounds...better than the Giant Reed (Phragmites) that is coming up through it.

  16. Those Hostas look great with the Tradescantia. I don't have moles, voles or shrews, but I do have deer, so I can't have hostas in many places where I would like to plant them. My African Hostas (since they aren't true Hostas) seem to be safe, but I miss the variegation of so many of the real Hostas. I'll just watch yours!


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