My thoughts on squirrels

I have now had another 24 hours of fighting to get on to the web site and write.? I don’t know if it’s my old computer or the vagaries of Sympatico but it’s been impossible, irritating, maddening. I love technology but only when it works. I may switch servers it makes me so angry.

It also kept me awake just thinking about the squirrel police out there defending these little beggars.? I have great admiration for squirrels: they created the great Eastern forest of? North America with their busy little paws moving nuts around and then forgetting where they planted them.? We couldn’t have?done without them.? There is even a myth that squirrels could go from east to the prairies without?touching ground they did?their forestry so well.

But I, too, am territorial. And?I have carved out this little patch for myself. If the poor little?squirrels had no other?forage I might consider?feeding them. But has anyone looked at them recently:? fat (probably pregnant) and sassy.? The whole point of making wild animals into pets is really bothersome.? I also don’t?have a bird feeder. I plant things for animals. They are not dependent on me for survival which is the way it should be.? I guess if I lived in a place where there was only grass, no trees and shrubs with seeds and berries on them, I might consider a feeder and I might consider leaving stuff out for the squirrels.? But where I live in downtown Toronto there’s plenty to go around.

I am going to continue to defend my bulbs with everything I have at hand:? rolling them in blood meal or spraying them with garlic oil (though they’d probably develope a taste for that);? I have chicken wire to put over a whole new patch (sorry Juliet just have to do it); and I’ll try to make any area look as though it hasn’t been dug up.? The latter is what attracts them. They may be clever but they can also be lazy.

I still have all those bulbs left (see #4) and if someone doesn’t buy them, I’ll be planting them here and I already have a ton for my own garden. These things just won’t last over the winter. Anyone who buys bulbs and think that they can get away with not planting them this year is mistaken.? As soon as the night time temps fall and it’s a steady 12C during the day start planting.? If you haven’t received bulb orders and it’s?cold, dig the holes and save the soil in a shed or garage

Thanks to those who wrote. You are dolls. I realize I might not be explaining enough here.???And I will try to improve in the future.? And I’ve had a question about a good screening plant about 7 feet high.? My choice would be serviceberry. There are plenty of different species and cultivars that would be about right.? Go for Amelanchier stolonifera since this is a country property. It will get to six feet? and has all the lovely features of the genus:? white blooms in spring, berries, great autumn colour and gray striated bark in winter. I’m told serviceberry is overused.? All I can say is pooh to that.? Who cares it’s a great plant.

Marjorie

1 Comment
  • Carol MacSween

    October 28, 2007 at 12:35 am

    Hi Marjorie,
    I live on a one acre lot just outside Cambridge and have plenty of squirrels. I have found that by throwing in a bit, not much seems to be required, of my recently-cut children’s hair with my bulbs has been the answer to keeping all rodents from digging them up. I have planted plenty of bulbs, around the front porch and out in the yard, a fair distance from the house and have not had them disturbed. I can’t remember where I heard this tip but it has always seemed to work for me…. maybe I’m just lucky! I assume it was from you or from the other gardening guru, Ed Lawrence. Love your contributions to Gardening Life and heard you on CBC Ontario Today with your resourceful words of wisdom… Thank you for your gardening wisdom… so very appreciated. Must confess though, I do have a bird feeder to satisfy my ‘perhaps selfish’ love of watching the chickadees and finches… I will promise to feed them throughout the winter! Have a great day!
    Carol