|Clockwise from the left, the new plants include: Metrosideros collina 'Springfire', Tibouchina lepidota, Agave titanota, and Aloe deltoideodonta. The last 2 were received as pups from Hoover Boo of Piece of Eden. I also planted 3 Iris germanica (not shown here).|
Once again, we got more rain than predicted (yay!). Delivered at a slow steady rate throughout the day, the six-tenths of an inch of rain caused no damage whatsoever in my area (yay again!). Clean air and clouds greeted me this morning.
|The view of Angel's Gate was partially obscured during the morning hours|
The birds were singing.
|and Mr. and Mrs Lesser Goldfinch enjoyed splashing in the fountain|
But then I realized that the raccoons had paid me a late night visit. I guess they thought maybe I'd missed them.
|At least they couldn't upturn the Metrosideros, planted from a 3-gallon pot|
It took me nearly an hour to restore order. They dug around some established plants in the front garden but the little opportunists went to town in the soft fluffy soil surrounding my newest plantings. Luckily, they caused no serious damage this time.
Some readers will remember that I have an ongoing battle with these furry grub-hunting beasts. I've tried a variety of methods of stopping them, from non-toxic chemical deterrents to physical barriers. Planting spiky agaves didn't faze them but I've had some luck with a mulch of prickly Magnolia seed cones.
|Most of last year's fallen Magnolia seed cones were scattered around the Cotinus coggygria I planted in early fall, currently bare of leaves|
However, the best defense I've discovered thus far are aggressive ground covers.
|Three of the best ground covers I've used for their raccoon deterrent value are (from the left): Dorycnium hirsutum (aka hairy Canary clover), Helichrysum petiolare 'Silver Mist' (a virtual weed here), and Lotus berthelotti.|
Tell me, do you have any other effective methods of controlling troublesome visitors?
All material © 2012-2017 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party