Many in New England have been made drunk and euphoric by the spring weather this week. Alas, my poor garden must cope with the winter hangover before rejoicing can happen.
The maladies are many.
My poor tree peonies suffered compound fractures in all extremities. The carnage was complete. A good doctor seeks to understand the mechanisms of injury. Wet snow fell, ice storms covered the wet snow. All further snow storms added weight to the bent arms and legs, until they screamed and broke.
I'm a terrible peony-mom. I didn't hear the screams until it was far too late.
A whole host of plants didn't live through the winter. Consumption got 'em. Dead stems keeled over. Pull at the stems, and the gardener-doctor is confronted with this.
Winters without snow cover kill plants from dehydration, cold, and exposure. Winters with protective snow cover give rodents their shot at all the best entrees, desserts and appetizers.
Castor oil doesn't work. Volebloc slows them down. Maybe. I'm planting in wire cages for now. It simply sucks. I asked one of my patients, a landscaper, what to do about voles.
He laughed, without humor, replete with irony. "Feed 'em," he advised.
So I either put out food to decoy them briefly and help them survive? Or feed them expensive perennials? I think I'll go sniff some wool fumes tomorrow. No matter what I buy at Connecticut Sheep and Wool, it will be less expensive than feeding voles.
I do want to end on a positive note. If you aren't reading Sheepgal, you should. Her descriptions of lambing and lambs bring it all home. It is funny, amazing, joyous, and sad as Barb Parry takes you through her spring on the farm.
Lantern Moon sent me replacement needles for the incorrectly sized #7s. They sent me ten to replace two. I will email the customer service representative to see if that really is what was supposed to happen. Right now, I'm feeling the warm glow of excellent customer service in response to the problem.