Predators and Plants

We enjoy the music and plumage of birds on our front porch. The “pretty, pretty, pretty” of the scarlet cardinal, the song of the vibrant yellow finches, and the brilliant indigo buntings. Sparrows, chickadees, nuthatches, and doves join in harmonious tones and a hummingbird whirrs around our heads.

Then there is nature’s darker side: the ominous black cone tells of the ongoing battle with our nemesis, the squirrel. Below, the citronella plant gracing the table helps fend off blood-sucking mosquitos. Across the driveway, deer graze on the periphery of my elevated raised vegetable garden beds.

Outside the dog yard, rocks outline a new garden bed. Hours of labor, a bird bath gifted by a neighbor, and sixteen new plants added to the existing infrastructure and greenery.

I wanted to share the photos before the deer and rabbits devour the flowers. The nursery claims my choices will not interest the nibblers; I’ve heard that story before. My wife set up her trail cam aimed at the garden. We’ll find out if and who the culprits are. Survival of the fittest!

[For those of you who are plant aficionados: Around bird 🐦 bath: “plum dandy”-Alternanthera hybrid, “lambs ear silver carpet”-Stachys byzantina, & “shining star grass”-Schizachyrium scoparium.

At the bird house end of the garden: “pyromania hot & cold/red hot poker”-Kniphofia & “foxglove flame”-Digitalis hybrid. (pre-existing polygonum surrounds the bird house stake)

Between bird bath & wire cage: “black-eyed Susan Little Goldstar”-Rudbeckia fulgida & “cranesbill”-Geranium Rozanne. Partially hidden behind the wire cage are older plantings of a redbud tree and “Little Kim” Lilac.

The arch has previously planted Carolina Jasmine. In front of the arch: “bee balm”-Monarda sugar buzz rockin raspberry, behind the arch “oriental poppy”-Papaver prince of orange.

Between the arch & a small lilac on the right: “St John’s wort”-Hypericum calcinum.]

Do you enjoy bird watching and gardening? What challenges do you face?

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Author JL Huffman

Author JL Huffman

I’m a retired Trauma surgeon/ICU doctor, a world traveler and gardener. I’ve published in the surgical literature; now I’m writing poetry, memoir & fiction.