I purchased a few root stocks for apples and I went home armed with yet another day of explanation, the little rubber strips and the green goop I needed. I already had the groovy grafting knife sharp enough to cut off your entire arm so quickly and cleanly that you wouldn't know it until you went to bed that night and could sleep peacefully on your side without wondering what to do with your irritating arm stuck under you because unbeknownst to yourself you cut it off earlier that day with your wonder knife you got for grafting trees.
I took some terrific clean and willing scion wood off of our favorite tree in the orchard right outside of our house, one of the many surviving trees from when our place was homesteaded by Sam Sorenson over one hundred years ago. I carefully performed four grafts, one didn't take, one was knocked off by the stinking dogs and two took and have been growing in little pots ever since waiting for me to decide if they are staying here or coming with me when God says "move."
When we were about to experience twenty degree and lower temperatures back a few months, I gathered up my little nursery, shoved them all in close to one another, surrounded them with old hay that Dirt allowed me to "waste" on my plants even wrapped all that with an enormous sheet of plastic all around the base so that the hay would not be blown away. Some of the hay I put over some of the smaller less self insulated pots so that they wouldn't freeze out from the top down as well as from the sides and bottom.
Everyone was nice and cozy.
Yesterday I decided that I was done waiting for the second big freeze so that we could ice skate one more time before spring hit. And since things are beginning to pop up in my garden (see my new banner picture?) I decided that maybe some of my nursery stock would like to take their winter covers off and get on with the business of breathing once again.
So moldy hay be darned, I began pulling the huddle apart and setting the various plants in their little groupings. I was excited as I moved the last of my many potted lilacs and reached for my grafted apple trees that looked pretty good (excitement building, building) up top, nice bud set good branching beginning...
And girdled by those ballasted little rodent buggers! Okay, not my exact words and yes one of them is rather made up, but those would be the words I perhaps should have used if I was worried that the neighbors could hear. Fortunately, unfortunately however the case may be, I do not have neighbors within ear shot. Hey, don't come over and canvas the neighborhood for consensus just take my word on it.
But there you have it folks. a ruined little apple tree. Not to mention they did some more damage, not as heart breaking, but damage none the less...
can you see the hole there that they made into the roots of a special mint?
Here, now can you see it?
I didn't have my camera with me when I picked up a huge pot of hibiscus that they burrowed under so greatly that I was able to put my hand and arm under one side and come out the other! And I am no slip of a girl either, my arms are the size of linebacker thighs! So I am not sure that the mice operated alone in this mission of take down the resident gardening idiot.
Crumb, crumb, crumb, crumb. Cut Rate Auto Parts!
Oh well. Better luck next year.
Oh and my bazillion onion starts? Yah, they didn't survive my fever so I am starting some new ones that I won't have room for and are rather late and maybe just ordering some plants from Dixondale. But I refuse, refuse mind you, to let the garden defeat demons get to me this year. I will plug along as if none of this has happened. Lessons. Lessons, it is all counted as lessons.
I am a week late (in my mind) on my peas but they will be going in tomorrow after a good soak tonight and finding something to plant under them so as not to loose them to the burrowing vermin.
You know with all the killing that these Terriers and Tabbies do it is a wonder that I have any vermin left to do this type of damage. How many more cats can a person have before they finally reach verminless paradise?
That's it! No body is getting fed from the bag.
If your hungry find something to murder and eat! And the next person caught gratuitously feeding these freeloaders, well lets just say you'll be in big fat ugly trouble! Welfare is over around here! Now get to work!