There is something in TheGardenLady’s garden that does not like theÂ garden decorations.
As my garden is being filled with plants, this garden lady has turnedÂ to putting decorations in the garden where no plants will grow. I tryÂ to get decorations that serve a dual purpose. By that I mean I haveÂ been buying birdhouses to decorate tree branches and to serve asÂ places for the birds to nest. I bought a mechanical owl to make aÂ natural looking environment as well as to, hopefully, deter someÂ creatures who want to eat my plants. And I have two wind spinners thatÂ are decorative that I hope will work like the old fashioned scarecrow.Â (Though I think wild animals are too sophisticated to be scared byÂ these whirling decorations)
But, as I said in my title – there is something living in my garden-rent and tax free, I might add, that does not like my decorations.This critter is ungrateful enough to even destroy the decorations thatÂ I place in my garden.
Let me explain.
I bought a mechanical owl for my garden and placed it in variousÂ locations on the ground or on the ladder where I grow my Major Wheeler honeysuckle vine. Wherever I place this owl, I come out theÂ next day and discover that the owl has been knocked over.
I have hanging in my trees 6 birdhouses. A seventh and fancierÂ birdhouse I placed on the railing of my deck. This was a cutesy birdhouse made to look like a country store with a bale of hay and aÂ bench on the front porch and tiny signs advertising sale items in theÂ “store.” I put this birdhouse on the railing of my deck instead of aÂ pedestal so that I would be able to watch from a kitchen window whenÂ birds moved in. The next morning I didn’t see my country storeÂ birdhouse. Did someone steal it in the middle of the night? I wentÂ out and there it was at the bottom of the deck. I thought, could theÂ wind have blown it down? I returned it to the spot where I had putÂ it originally. The next day, it was back on the ground. I moved it toÂ another location- and it was gone the next day. This happened soÂ often that I knew some culprit did not like it. And the last time IÂ picked it up, the birdhouse was smashed.
I had a charming mobile of hummingbirds and red flowers hanging on myÂ cercis/ Eastern redbud tree. The mobile had a solar cell so that itÂ was lit at night turning red and green. I liked it. The mobile lastedÂ about a year.until my culprit started chewing it down- piece by piece -Â until now all that is left is one small plastic hummingbird.
My sister-in-law bought me a present of the cutest straw birdhouse.Â Well, that did not last on the branch I hung it for more than oneÂ day. When I came out the next morning I found it on the ground becauseÂ the straw loop holding it on the tree branch was chewed through.
I could go on to talk about the half dozen wooden birdhouses nailed onÂ trees had been chewed on, etc.
I blame the squirrels for this damage. I have not seen them do thisÂ mischief. So I may be falsely accusing the critters. But I have readÂ about nasty things those cute little rodents can do. So without aÂ judge and without a jury, I am declaring at least one of my squirrels -Â Guilty!
For example, I do not hang food for the birds. Not because theÂ squirrels eat the seeds but because squirrels seem to attack and kill the birds that do. I had a feeder up and one day I cam home and foundÂ dead baby birds about 6 ft from that feeder. I have even found a deadÂ bird under one of my birdhouses. I have read that these rodents eatÂ chicks, eggs and sometimes adult birds, but I have seen just the deadÂ chicks and birds that seemed to be killed because of some mean spiritÂ rather than hunger.
There are ways of getting rid of squirrels, but I believe it isÂ difficult because others will return in their place especially if, this Gardenlady has, there are lots of nut trees on the property. AndÂ by the way, the critters have been planting acorns from my oak treesÂ and walnuts from my wild black walnut trees like crazy, especially inÂ the soft garden soil where I plant my plants. So this property willÂ have a never ending supply of nut trees to feed more generations ofÂ squirrels.
I enjoy seeing the squirrels and wouldn’t want to harm them; they areÂ cute as they run around the property. But I do wish I could teachÂ them to live and let live.
People have some benign ways of keeping squirrels out of theirÂ gardens. Whether these methods work or not is questionable. From theÂ Huffington Post comes this natural recipe to keep cats and squirrelsÂ away from your property: First mix 1/3 cup flour, 2 tablespoonsÂ cayenne pepper, and 2 tablespoons powdered mustard. Then use theÂ mixture to sprinkle around the perimeter of your yard. Or, mix it withÂ 4 cups of water and 4 cups vinegar to make a spray.” Or watch theÂ YouTube video on the top of this post.
I have been buying bottled hot sauce to pour over some of my plants toÂ try to deter their being eaten.
If squirrels are a problem in your garden, read more about getting rid
of them in the Old Farmers’ Almanac.
Do readers of TheGardenLady have any great suggestions that work inÂ keeping squirrels and chipmunks away from their gardens? LetÂ TheGardenLady readers know what you do to prevent squirrel damage.