Gardening Despite Wildlife!

Recently I was very happy to be invited to do a guest post on Beautiful Wildlife Garden, which I invite you to view - Gardening With Wildlife. It was a fairly serene post about gardening WITH rather than FOR wildlife - which happens when you live in the home of said wildlife.

But yesterday I didn't feel so serene.

Here's a photo taken about three days ago. I was so happy because this silver bush lupine was growing so lushly it was escaping its cage.

This was The Cutting That Wouldn't Die - it survived the great storm that destroyed my first "ductape greenhouse" and it eventually thrived (throve?) and I was so happy to put it in the garden. I loved its determination.

But yesterday when I did a tour of my domain - ACK!!!

GONE! Totally gone, not even a stump! There is a root though. Something ate it from above.

Well, we'll see if it ever comes back from the root - but I doubt it.

I'll keep checking though.

And just the day before, I noticed the other lupine I planted nearby - the mystery green bush lupine - was looking kinda yellow:

This one had been eaten from below (bit hard to see maybe):

Oh - wailing and lamentations and gnashing of teeth! - why oh why didn't I put a gopher cage below?? I thought only of the slugs (sharp gravel) and the rabbits (wire around) and not the gophers! How could I be so lazy and remiss! I tucked it back into the soil with a wish and a prayer, but again, not much hope here.

However - to end on a happy note - I was watering around the place a couple weeks ago, and in the lupine seed tray that I had long abandoned thinking nothing was going to sprout there - ten healthy little seedlings! I potted them into tall 4 inch pots and they are doing fine in the greenhouse. Anyone know what kind of lupines these are? If they survive long enough to flower, then maybe it'll be easier to tell. I gathered the seed locally.

But of course the burning question is - where to plant them?!


Randy Emmitt said…
Hate it when this kind of thing happens. I felt the same way last year when are camellias got grazed , so much none bloomed this year.

We installed a fence and let the dogs out there these days.
Native Gardener said…
Look like Bush Lupine to me :-) CA natives. If so, you are in for a treat. They will come back year after year & get pretty tall :-)
Oh so aggravating! I'm sorry your wildlife isn't treating you and your garden with grateful respect. :)
Queer by Choice said…
What do you suppose did the eating from above? I'm surprised that the cage didn't protect even the first several inches above the ground.
Gail said…
It's ironic! We plant for them, we celebrate them and they move in, eat the ornamentals and natives, dig up our plants and destroy our walls. The stinkers! As Eliza says, it's very aggravating! gail I am glad you have replacement plants.
Lynn Bay said…
I share all of my garden activities with deer, raccoons various other wildlife. Sometimes frustrating however, I do enjoy their antics!
debsgarden said…
In a similar way I once lost several nice hostas and a small Japanese maple given to me by my mother before she died. Then a big black garter snake showed up in my garden, and the munching stopped. Every garden needs a good snake. I also have owls and hawks, and they help too. I guess it's all about balance in the food chain.
Country Mouse said…
We have raccoons and possums and skunks that could get in the pool garden. I think the rabbits can't get in now we put wire around the garden, and I don't see them burrowing in. I don't know what could have taken it from above. Deer have never gone in the pool garden, not that I know of and I've been watching for it for 11 years now! Too small a space I think? And nothing much to tempt them. This morning I clipped a branch from a wild silver bush lupine - maybe the parent of the cutting that wouldn't die - and made 4 cuttings. One seemed like the right bendiness so if I get one out of the four I'll be very glad - and I'll have a nice plant to put in a big pot on the upper deck - maybe they'll be safe there! We have owls and hawks and coyotes but we still have an abundance of rodents and similar small nibblers. Oh well, I'm overall very happy to have them all!
Thanks all for your commiserations! It's something all us gardeners live with, I know.
Christine said…
Oh dear, what heartbreak! I had to giggle with your unintended pun, "bit hard to see" There certainly was some chomping going on!
Country Mouse said…
haha - Unintended pun indeed, Christine. I had to think about it a moment!
Country Mouse said…
Unintended indeed - had to think a moment there, Christine!
Anonymous said…
I agree with you about living 'with' the wildlife, but so surprising, still, to have a plant just...gone! I watch attentively to see what my deer eat...they're here everyday. I am heartened with planting seeds, very cost saving when you think some will be salad.
Jan said…
It is so frustrating to have that happen TM! Last year I planted BloodRoot. Went to a Native Plant sale and came back with a ton of new plants. A few days later, it was MIA. Well, the base and roots were MIA...the upper body of the plant was lying flat on the ground. I never did figure out 'who' got it. Voles? I still don't have a clue!
I enjoyed your post on Wildlife Garden blog...and the photos of those little mice were adorable;-)