Squirrels 0; Rob and Jeannie–WIN!

Poetic justice. That’s what I call it.

The 6′ sheperd’s crook from the Depot, hanging out of my cart both front and back I happily report didn’t take anyone out on the way to the register, even though I stopped for the door busting 99cent poinsettias and the free cup of hot chocolate they were offering.

All of this to combat the squirrels after the birdseed.

Once home, we plotted our revenge.

Crook planted, baffler with coupler attached to it, we filled the new recycled two liter bottle (the squirrels chewed through the top of the last one trying to get that very last seed.) I waited. Watched. Binoculars perched. First the Juncos, then the sparrows. A few doves. The squirrels had to wait on the ground below for anything the birds kicked down. Ha. Although the sparrows are tough. On the perch, when any other bird tried to get on board the sparrow would either try to kick him off or peck him on the head. I was glad, though, that most of the birds who stopped by at least had a turn. The jays had moderate success, if they were able to dine sideways. Rather amusing to watch.

I feel like this success was an early Christmas gift. But now onto the rest. Here is a list of great stuff for any gardener.
1. Crabtree and Evelyn Gardener’s Hand Scrub with Pumice. Gets all the dirt and softens as well, with a pleasant herbal scent.
2. Felco #7 Pruners. I’ve had my pair for 15 years with only one blade replacement. That would be a cost per year of about $4.00. A joy to use, for real.
3. Subscription to Fine Gardening Magazine. My favorite part of this magazine is the plant combos with key on the back page. Always something creative and cool. Out of the box.
4. A gift card for a massage–or two, depending on how generous your friend is. Nothing better than this after the first few ’rounds of spring cleaning up. You know you will be sore, but at least you can look forward to some relief.
5. Now for the philosophy: an end to Lyme’s Disease. You think I have it in for squirrels? That is harmless, I assure you. I have heard sooooo many times about folks putting up feeders for deer. And often these are folks with small children who play outdoors. Lymes disease is very serious business; it should be viewed accordingly. Please do not feed deer; they certainly have enough to eat in the landscapes we provide and there are just too many of them; it is a serious problem. Hungry enough I have seen browse even on holly.
6. Peas on earth. Not a typo. Wouldn’t it be great if everyone on earth had enough to eat every day? Not long ago I volunteered for a Saturday at Philabundance. I learned that there are over 40,000 food deprived people in the Delaware valley area alone, comprised mostly of the working poor. In that I mean that these are folks who earn low wages and have to make a decision as to whether they will pay rent or feed their families. Consider making a donation to your local food bank this Holiday season. When planning your gardens next year, consider how you can plant some extra and share it with a food pantry.
7. Gardening, from an online article I recently read, ranks 7th out of 50 for the top hobbies in America. I’d say a great gift would be to move it to number 2. I am ok with reading maintaining the #1 spot.
8. A winter with moderate snow. Some of you know this, but for the rest, I grew up in Buffalo. Probably enough said on this, but seriously…most folks have no concept of snow by comparison. My family who still live there were terrified that their roofs were going to collapse under the weight of the snow from the last round. I could also, since I’m asking, do without the ice that breaks tree branches.
9. I also read recently about Veronika Scott, a Detroit design student who was challenged as a project to come up with something that would make a real difference in her community. She designed a coat that could be converted into a sleeping bag to help the homeless. Design with such a high goal is where the rubber hits the road.
10. How about peace on earth. Or maybe we could take it on, one garden at a time….

Hoe, Hoe, Hoe
The Garden Cup Runs Over...with Gratitude