Thursday, December 16, 2010

Wails and Laments

Very cold, in the single digits and teens at night, getting up to the 20s or low 30s in the daytime.  No real snow yet.  The midwest has been blanketed by blizzards and virtually shut down.  Upstate New York and part of VT have been clobbered, but we are snow free.  Just very cold.

I am beside myself with the voles in the front walk garden. The tunnels are huge, and there are about 10 entry and exit holes.  The ginkgo is wobbly and tipping with the soil excavated below it. The beautiful new iteas are also sitting on nothing, and half of the itea on the right has been completely gnawed off... the branch (literally half the little shrub) is on the ground next to it.  The false cypress balls are excavated beneath.

So far I have used several bags of sharp gravel, peppermint oil, and strong smelling tea tree oil spread around the area and in their tunnels.  I have used baited mouse traps.  They ate the peanut butter but left the traps unsprung.

Last weekend I poured rat poison down the tunnels and left small bags of the poison near their trails. But it rained torrentially over the weekend, and I'm sure the poison washed away.  I will reapply more today.

I wail and I lament.  I think I am going to have to take all the plants out of the strip next spring.  Fortunately they are small (and probably dead).  I'll dig up the area and put several inches of gravel in, then cover with chicken wire, then with soil and replant.  I don't know what to do about the bulbs... the tulips can go into wire cages I guess, if any are left at all.

I was finally starting to like this strip, after fussing over what to do with it.  The tulips and alliums were really nice.  The iteas, just put in this year, were the perfect small accent.  I had such hopes.  Grrrr.

Last spring, and I added pink & green tulips this fall.  And colchicums
Spring 2010

Alliums last spring

Itea this fall before vole excavation

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