I must be doing something right…

June 22nd, 2006

Last night on our back deck we saw a raccoon.

Now I live in the city, I have my entire backyard surrounded by a privacy fence, and overall my lot is only 90×160. Yet in my backyard there are families of 3 different kinds of squirrels, a family of rabbits, chipmunks, scores of birds, and now this raccoon. My garden must be some amazing wildlife habitat to attract all of these critters.

Now I’m not a huge fan of squirrels & rabbits for the destruction they cause, especially the rabbits in winter, but my wife likes them. Growing up in the country I also have no love of raccoons and the messes they make but my wife grew up in the city and this was actually her first time seeing a raccoon not dead by the side of the road. So I’ll put up with it.

Its nice to think that in this sprawling suburbia I’m providing habitat for these animals, I just wish they wouldn’t eat my plants. Luckily the squirrels just annoyingly dig and as long as I’m not planting any new irises they don’t seem to harm my other plants. The rabbits though, the only plant they really eat during the growing season is the crocuses, and then just the foliage and not the flowers, but in the winter they’ll eat anything poking up above the snow. My bamboo, my climbing roses, my trumpet vine, my hydrangeas, my hardy kiwi, and low hanging or small branches from all my smaller trees and shrubs. My plan this winter is to build cages out of chicken fence and surround all the plants they like to eat. I don’t mind when they eat the dead remains of a plant that comes back every year, but when I’m trying to train a vine on a fence or over a trellis I don’t want to start from scratch every year and when they eat something that blooms on old wood and not new growth I get annoyed as well.

5 Responses to “I must be doing something right…”

  1. Administrator  Says:

    And now we got a chubby groundhog as well.

  2. Andreas  Says:

    Discovered your blog today. I live in Stellenbosch in South Africa, which is in the Western Cape. I don’t have nearly as many creatures as you have, but definitely squirrels are a pest (eating peca nuts and acorns) and many kinds of birds. We have a Mediterranean climate, therefore no snow, but hot summers and cold, wet winters. My blog is mostly written in Afrikaans, but there are some pictures of my garden. I am also a great believer in mulch or compost for all areas of my garden. We are very close to the mountains, where there are more wildlife, such as small buck (klipspringer or duiker, rabbits, mongooses, snakes, porcupines and many baboons). Fortunately they don’t venture into town. Sometimes we do find tortoises, but take them back to the veld

  3. Ames Tiedeman  Says:

    Thanks for the information!

  4. CeeVee  Says:

    Funny you should mention chicken wire. Every year I get a funny look from the Home Depot cashiers for the amount of chicken wire I buy. It works like a charm!

  5. GWEN  Says:

    We have squirrels all year long and I have a wonderful flower garden …..we have a huge fence around the property and we have attached wooden feeders every so feet along the fence and keep it stocked every day with black oil seed. We also have a raccoon that comes in the evening. Never have the squirrels or raccoon destroyed any plant in the yard because they are well fed on the oil seed. We feel that approx $20.00 a month to keep our little friends fed is very inexpensive compared to replacing plants every year.

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