Sunday, March 6, 2011

Here's why I intensely dislike squirrels

No, this isn't why I hate squirrels. You'll see why at the end of this post. Before I started shoveling compost today I took some photos. The garden is changing moment by moment, and I have to start paying attention. This is Maman Cochet, Climbing. Her flower is much smaller now due to the cool temps, and the color is deeper than in summer, but she still has lots of petals!
Another flower and more buds. The squirrels did a job on her, chewing off a few inches from 4 new canes that were 6" to 12" long. @#$%#@%!!
This is Reve d'Or. Can you tell I didn't prune her yet? That fact is mostly due to not knowing how, but today I needed to put some compost under her and figured it was either learn to prune her or come out from under her in shreds, so... My method is called "trimming the bangs". I walked along and cut under a new shoot at about head-high, and boing! Up into the air went the suddenly lighter canes. It worked, and I think she'll be fine. It was near dark so no "after" shot. You know, even a good haircut isn't good the same day.
I don't know if this is a good photo, but when I turned around and saw 'Aloha' all covered in shiny new leaves and a few buds, I was stunned. This rose has never been a climber for me - just a tall, thin freestanding bush. And I didn't prune her either. (Apparently, I only got two thirds of the way around the house.) So I'm excited that 'Aloha' is progressing well on her own.
Here's 'Louis Philippe' down to about 5.5' tall and leafing out pretty well.
'E. Veyrat Hermanos' was another non-pruning, but this evening just as it was getting dark I trimmed up his bangs, too, but he wasn't as cooperative as 'Reve d'Or' in that he already has big buds all the way down his long arching canes. I was sentimental about those buds, so he didn't get as short a trim as RdO, and I swung some of the long canes upwards and sideways. He's not a hazard to life and limb anymore.
'Mrs B R Cant is being beautiful now. This flower is 3" across.
This is last spring's snapdragon that lasted through the summer and winter and is now back blooming again. Pretty cool!
I just love 'Leonie Lamesch'.
A China aster grown from seeds sowed in September. The color should be a bit bluer.
'Gruss an Aachen', planted in the ground last fall after languishing in a pot for way too long, has leafed out really well and is showing her stuff. Her coloration is a little unusual. Oh, man, I forgot to smell her.

Now would you risk a blood-letting for this beauty? This is 'Le Vesuve', first bloom of 2011.
The second bloom.
And there are eight more buds in less than half a square foot. He is a bloom machine, that's why I couldn't care less that he is not fragrant.
Two and a half weeks after pruning. Handsome, isn't he?
A China aster in the center and cheerful pansies.
This part of the garden is my pride and joy. That's 'Bermuda's Anna Olivier' on the left and 'Enchantress' on the right next to the daylilies. I only had to cut out the dead stuff on these two. 'Enchantress' never lost her leaves, and BAO was leafing out very early and is now full of red new growth. In the middle is a clump of  'Summer Carnival' hollyhocks, one of my seedlings from last year. It's already got a bloom started, and it looks like it will have several stalks. I'm very excited about it. Notice the beautiful compost?
This is clematis 'Westerplatte', a big bloom on a little post-pruning, second-year plant. Photo color should be a little more like wine.
Now you know why I hate squirrels. If they ate the flowers, I would be slightly less unhappy, but they just chew them off and run, leaving the precious bloom face down in the compost. #%$$@!


  1. Wow, Sherry I am so impressed by all the beautiful roses that you have already. Looks like like spring has arrived in your garden! To me the flowers of Mamon Cochet and Le Vesuve are very beautiful but Leonie Lamesch blew me away! I love that you have planted pansies and other spring blooming plants. Makes the garden so much more interesting than just a monoculture rose planting in my opinion. The clematis is gorgeous.

    I am with you, I started to hate rodents, too, again. In my garden they ate many blooms of Mme. Melanie Willermoz and of Baronne Prevost in the last two days. Now my husband build a chicken wire cage around the latter. Will see if this helps. The traps are ordered hope they arrive soon, grrr....

  2. I love hearing about and seeing your pruning projects. You have some real beauties.

    I've had Gruss an Aachen before, and I have Climbing Maman Cochet, but mine is lighter in color. She smells wonderful and I now have a couple of rooted cuttings from her, that I'll place around the property for more scents and her loveliness.

    I love your Clematis too. I don't think they will grow down here because of our heat and humidity.

    Happy Gardening ~ FlowerLady

  3. Oh those pesky squirrels! I haven't had any damaging my roses yet, that would just about make me buy a bb gun. (I couldn't actually shoot a squirrel.) Mine just eat all the birdseed and dig up all my caladiums. Your compost IS beautiful and so is your 'pride and joy corner.' I have one hollyhock seedling from one plant I had last spring and I purchased some more recently. I love the blooms and hope they love my garden. So glad to see all your new buds and blooms.

  4. Oh my, your roses are just stunning! I love roses, but have not got much luck by only tried hybrid tea roses, and you know they don't do well in South florida. The only one I thought should be good here and tried is one called "Josephin's land" from nelson florida roses, but it doesn't do well in my garden either. I check some local nurseries that are supposed to carry OGR, and was told that they will not bring more roses in until November since now summer is approaching! Well, now I know where to go if I ever feel the craving of gorgeous rose photos! Love all the roses you have, especially that 'Mrs B R Cant' and 'Leonie Lamesch'! Hope you can find some solutions for those squirrels.

  5. Your yard is looking so pretty and healthy....squirrel problems around here, my husband's pellet gun...they eat our fruit!

  6. I've never heard of squirrels chewing on roses. Wow, I'm glad our squirrels have lots of acorns. There's nothing has pretty as the shiny new leaves (and sometimes reddish foliage) bursting out after a full of hope and expectation. A few years back I grew the Summer Carnival hollyhock...that was so much fun and they were stunning. Can't wait to see yours. And, those snapdragons. I've never heard of any that last through the summer. Did you grow them from seeds or purchase them as plants? If you purchased them...where did you get them. I love snapdragons. Enjoy all your beautiful blooms.

  7. I can't believe you have so many roses blooming already (squirrels or not)! Mrs. B.R.Cant is beautiful. It is funny but I don't think squirrels do that around here - maybe there is more food for them here?

  8. Squirrels are a menacing crew. We have dozens in our yard. Well, they just live in all the neighbor's trees, too, so they are everywhere. I wonder why they chew the flower heads off? It's strange how they do their evils in cycles. Some seasons they bother the bird feeders more than others. Some times they dig into my container plants and cause plants to fall over... sometimes they dig holes everywhere in the ground ... can you tell I am not fond of them either! I never think they are *cute* when I see them.

    I feel badly for you. Your roses are so pretty and you have so many of them ~~ I'm in awe.

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