?`s and ANNEswers

Ten minutes to write. Less time to read.


The man who helps me with my flower gardens came yesterday to assess the damage of the long winter and make a plan. The damage is severe: moles have taken over the lawn and the flower beds. The bushes are brown and doubtful. The two hundred additional tulip bulbs we planted last fall are reduced to about a dozen blooms, mostly thanks to those destructive creatures.

I’d looked forward to a spectacular spring and summer, given the efforts we made at the end of last season. After yesterday’s meeting, I’m adjusting my expectations as our plan is more in line with retrenchment than enhancement.

First things first:  Search and destroy moles (What good do they do anyway?  I’m sure Google® could answer that, but I really don’t want to know.) Reclaim the lawn by dethatching, stomping on mole hills, adding grass seed to bare spots, and finding flower bed edges that have disappeared under creeping grass.

Tear up the annual flower beds to destroy mole runs.  Try not to disturb the perennial beds. Except for the tulips. I’m afraid they’re a lost cause.  But my other perennials are of hardy stock: daisies, black eyed Susans, and two gorgeous clematises that survived both the winter and the moles.

Power wash the indoor-outdoor carpet and clean the patio furniture.  Maybe use teak oil.  Replace the candle holder and candle we should have brought inside last October.  It was reduced to crushed clay. Then see what’s going on before we decide what to plant this year.

We’ve got a little less than three weeks before Memorial Day, the traditional time to plant flowers around here.  And we’ve got our work cut out.  Moles, beware!

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