Posts tagged squirrels

“Few enemies”

The following is by Linn County Master Gardener, Claire Smith:

 

The critters sense that the weather outside will be—already is—frightful.  I almost need traffic signals and turn lanes in my yard and driveway where the squirrels are frantically harvesting nuts from the walnut trees.  Canadian geese have noisily moved in mass overhead traveling south.    I’ve not had feedback from the deer, but they must have felt the hosta in my xeriscape was especially tasty as they have, again, totally decimated all of them as they prepare for winter snow cover. 

 You see, we live in the country and our road ditch is steep, difficult to weed whip and impossible to mow.  We created an attractive xeriscape using mulch to cover grass and weeds and rock to stop an area of erosion, then added a few perennials for interest.  Maintenance has been minimal.  This spring we plan to xeriscape a smaller area on the other side of the lane.  An article in a recent Master Gardener’s newsletter sparked my interest in perennial ornamental grasses. Linn County Master Gardener, Becki Lynch says ornamental grasses have few enemies. Deer, rabbits, squirrels, even insects seem to not be interested in them.   Becki describes the grasses as “beautiful, regal, feather topped, silver sheened, golden stemmed, ten feet tall, back-lit by the sun and swaying in gentle breezes.”  After established, ornamental grasses are drought resistant.  You can fertilize them—or not.  They do like mulch.  And, ornamental grasses come in a multitude of heights, shapes and textures. Ornamental grasses sound like a plan to me. What do you think?  Oh, when, oh when will seed catalogs start to arrive?

Even if we can’t work outside in Iowa’s winters, we can still enjoy gardening by listening to someone from the Master Gardener’s Speaker’s Bureau.  A colorful and educational presentation on any number of gardening topics is available for your group or organization.  Contact the Linn County Extension Office at 319-377-9839 for a brochure reflecting the range of speakers’ experience.

Advertisements

Leave a comment »

Talking trees

   Wasn’t much of a tree. Neither showy nor stately. But when two storms in July and August of 2003 took down first one half, then the other, our backyard was forever changed, along with my opinion of the tree’s value.

   Birds lost their habitat and food source. Suddenly, the summer sun scorched its way into our home. Even the squirrels that used to chase each other up its branches seemed perplexed at what to do on the stump that remained.

   I hastily replaced the tree (the variety of which I was never sure) with another, without doing my homework. Not a good move. Suggestions made by the Marion-based Trees Forever in an article in the Thursday, May 22, edition of The Gazette might make better choices for Iowans looking to replace their trees this year.

   In the meantime, if you have any tree stories to share, add your comments here.

  

Comments (1) »