Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Wednesday Vignette: The good and the bad

As I suddenly have extra time on my hands, I spent a large part of yesterday in my garden.  I noticed a couple of interesting and unexpected things, one good and one bad.

On the good side, I nearly tripped over a plant that seemingly appeared overnight, Ferraria crispa, otherwise known as the Starfish Iris.

I planted 2 bulbs in 2016 and 2 more in 2019 but thus far only one plant has shown itself

I believe this must be one of the 2 I planted last year as the flower color is much different from the plants that grew from the original bulbs

The bulbs I planted last year came from a chain garden center with a label that said the flowers are a red/brown color, although the flower on the left looks more reddish purple to me.  The flowers that bloomed last year looked like the one on the right.  Hopefully bulb blooms in the lighter color will also make an appearance soon.


So that was a nice surprise.  In the not-nice category was this:

I wanted to believe that this pile of dirt and rock at the base of the stacked stone wall in the front garden was due to decomposition of the stone

My husband pointed out the gap between the stone wall and the mountain of dirt beside it, confirming my worst fear than a gopher has taken up residence.  One of our next door neighbors has battled them for years in her back lawn but I asked her not to send them in my direction in her effort to evict them...


Sadly, we all often have to accept the bad with the good.  We've had rain on and off for over a week now and there's still more in the near-term forecast.  That's good!  Our season-to-date total thus far here is 8.24 inches.  Not great but certainly better than it was at the start of the month.  And all three of my rain barrels are now full!  On the nightmarish, nearly unbelievable side is the novel coronavirus pandemic that has turned nearly everyone's life completely upside down, including my own.  I hope to discover a way to "encourage" Mr. Gopher to leave my garden for an empty lot or a nearby hiking trail, and I hope that our government and world leaders from other countries will find a way to halt the progress of the virus plaguing us.

If you have any suggestions for ridding a garden of gophers, please let me know.

For more Wednesday Vignettes, visit Anna at Flutter & Hum.


All material © 2012-2020 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

16 comments:

  1. I like the unusual blooms of the starfish iris. Fun to 'just discover' something in the garden. Am waiting for the snow to melt to discover all the spring bulbs emerging. Try a Bounce dryer sheet (or two). The smell repels them and they leave for less smelly areas.

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  2. Oh, Kris - I absolutely feel you. We DO have to take the good with the bad, and I am grateful for the fact that I can be happy for all the good things in my life. And, if worse comes to worst, I have decided that dying from the Corona virus is far preferable to the slower death imposed by Alzheimer or cancer. I have no suggestions re: gophers, but the Bounce sheet sounds interesting. Please report back if it works.

    I love the Starfish iris. The dark one is my favorite, but the only one I could find at the nursery this year was the lighter one. Either one is cool, so I bought it. Hope it survives both our climate and my care.

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    1. The Starfish Iris have come back regularly here, Anna. I need to scour the area near this one as they tend to hide among other, spreading plants.

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  3. That bloom is most unusual. So are the leaves and stem. I don't remember you writing about this beauty before. I am glad to see it.
    As to gophers. I don't know a thing about them. Best of luck getting rid of it though. Maybe it won't like it when you are out there gardening and choose to go someplace more quiet.
    Be well...

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    1. The fact that my neighbor has been trying to get rid of the gophers since we moved in 9 years ago (and possibly before) doesn't bode well for my chances. I'll have to ask her if her loss was my gain ;(

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  4. Very pretty iris, so unusual. 'Starfish' is apt. Not sure about gophers, but we use rags soaked in ammonia placed in and near the burrows of woodchucks. It supposedly mimics the smell of bobcat urine, so they skedaddle. Good luck!

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    1. I'll try the dryer sheets and, if they don't budge, I'll try the ammonia!

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  5. So sorry you have a gopher. I've never had or seen any of those here in the city. They tend to be country dwellers. But I've had possums, raccoons, and skunks move in, and I know how trying that can be. Good luck getting rid of him/her before they have babies.

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    1. I've got possums, raccoons, skunks, bunnies - and coyotes too! I guess the gophers wanted to be part of the in-crowd.

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  6. Black Hole traps, set immediately as soon as the first soil piles are spotted. You must them before their tunnel network is so extensive they can easily avoid the traps.

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    1. Me too. I knew they were in the area so I guess it was inevitable.

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