Category Archives: Pets & Pests In The Garden

Simple Garden Syrups

Simple syrups are just that; extremely simple mixtures of cane sugar and water, boiled for a few minutes until the sugar is completely dissolved. Before electricity and freezers were common, most fruits were canned in simple syrups, which helped preserve their quality and flavor. Simple syrups can be flavored with all sorts of things, from vanilla beans and peppercorns to toasted fennel or coriander seeds. In summer, it’s delightful to capture the fleeting scents and tastes of herbs, flowers, and even fruit in such syrups. The primary rule here is to use only organically grown fruit, flowers, and foliage, as pesticide residues are definitely not edible.
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Posted in Easy Care Perennials, Pets & Pests In The Garden, preserving food, Recipes, Sustainable Gardening, Sustainable Living, Vegan Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Learning To Love Our Neighbors

I often keep a stash of compost or dairy manure in my gardens, and over the years, I’ve often seen deer snuggle up into the relative warmth of the decaying material on chilly winter nights. I’ve also found deer “nests”, mashed down places where they clearly come to snooze in peace. It’s kind of endearing, and gives me a feeling of compassion for these innocent animals who get hated and harassed by people like me who want our gardens to remain undamaged.

So what would I plant if I wanted to make deer feel at home? It’s more a case of what would I not rip out, since deer feed mainly on native plants (really). Here’s a list of their preferred foods: notice that it does not include roses, lilies, clematis, daturas, or many a precious plant that they eat for novelty or perhaps even spite! Continue reading

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Moving Day. Again.

As I settle into the house, I’m already thinking about what to do out of doors. If full-on gardening is limited (which it certainly will be, thank you Bambi), I can still have some of the more compact Rugosa roses, as well as hardy herbs like rosemary, sage, lavender, and thyme. I can see stinging nettle rising from soggy patches of ground, and I recall that their long, snaky roots are ripped up most readily in spring, so I’ll put on long gauntlet gloves and go after them before the grandkids get stung. We can make tea with the nettles, then replace them; blueberries might be happy, as well as hydrangeas (though some deer eat both sometimes). Continue reading

Posted in Garden Prep, Gardening With Children, Pets & Pests In The Garden, Sustainable Gardening, Sustainable Living, Weed Control | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Murder & Mystery In The Garden

Victorian gardeners struggled with many garden pests, just as we do today, and their pest controls were direct and simple. During the mid- to late Victorian period, a boatload of toxins were developed, giving them an almost incredible arsenal of deadly poisons to play with. Indeed, the lethal ingredients found in typical garden sheds inspired several generations of murderers as well as mystery writers.
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Posted in Health & Wellbeing, pests and pesticides, Pets & Pests In The Garden, Sustainable Gardening, Sustainable Living | Tagged | Leave a comment