I've been thinking a lot about the problems we've been having with the beavers and squirrels. It didn't seem to be as much of a problem last year. Maybe because there weren't as many plants. Maybe because there wasn't as much attention paid. Maybe because there wasn't anyone to complain to. Whatever the reason how to deal with these critters is going to be an on-going challenge. I intended to start a proposal for how to deal with the vertebrate "pests" but what came out was this. Let me know what you think.
The Western Colorado Botanical Gardens is located near the banks of the Colorado River. Both the Gardens and the riverbanks are in transition, the attitude changing from ignored and industrial to concerned and conserved. As the Gardens prosper the changes will invariably attract notice.
That is its intent, of course. To seduce the public with burgeoning buds and blowsy blooms. To tempt with the eye with collusions of color and startling symmetry. To entrance with the scent of honeysuckle and sweet daphne.
If you plant it they will come. The public, our community, friends, children, even the indigent who subsist alongside the tamarisk between the thorns of the Russian olives. Alongside the rabbits and squirrels.
Alongside the deer, skunks and raccoons, who also notice the changes and investigate, nibbling on succulent plants. The aroma of potting soil is too tantalizing to ignore. The flourishing worms tickle the toes of birds. Even the leaf cutter bees can’t resist the broad, flat, leaves of Kintzley’s Ghost and neatly clip circular green blankets to nestle between each egg.
How do you disinvite someone to the party? We’ve planted this but not for you. We adore you from afar but please don’t eat the cilantro. You are really very cute until you move into the cactus gardens. How dare you taste the Ruby Moon Hyacynth Bean? And damn it, stay out of the pansy bed!
I imagine the answer isn’t simple and will be quite involved with hearts being broken and toes being trod upon. Secretly, I think there is no answer only a continuing dance with changing partners and a tireless band.