LUPINS, winter-sown here in January, and later planted in the Serpentine Garden, had just last week set their small, green buds. How I looked forward to showing you these flowers as they matured into giant spires of purple, yellow, and pink! But while making “the rounds” this morning, I discovered that every fat bud had been cleanly nipped overnight. Who’s the culprit?
A chipmunk, I suspect.
At least one chipmunk dwells behind the dry-laid stone walls in the garden. Often I’ve seen him peering at me from one of his numerous hiding places. He’s too damn cute to invite much anger, even after he devours some of my flowers.
Will the lupins set more buds? Yes, and probably in far greater numbers than they originally intended. These I shall safeguard with an ugly but chipmunk-proof cylinder of one-inch hardware cloth. Or, perhaps I’ll try edging the plants with lavender. Lavender emits a scent that chipmunks, woodchucks, and deer positively loathe, and thus seldom trespass.
Whichever solution I choose, it will be a necessary one. For when you welcome wildlife on your property (and I hope you do, if only in light of the BP tragedy that has daily cost untold suffering for our finned, furry, and flying friends), you have to take certain measures to protect your cherished plants. And then your garden with its welcoming aura can truly be called a peaceable kingdom.
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