…along with about 50% of everything we’ve planted over the last four years. Just the other day I was ecstatic over a wonderful gardening success story. One out of two cherry trees we planted was still alive (the other one cacked after a couple months for no good reason), and was actually putting out cherries!
Stunning, bright red orbs of mediocre flavor. That strange, unadorned stick confidently labeled “bare root tree” at the garden center, later encased in wire on all sides to protect it from the evil chewers of all growing things (gopher and deer), had actually shot out some branches and leaves, and now was happily bearing the fruits of our labor. Oh the wonders of nature!
Yet, sending me a very clear message that I should never be so cocky as to take pride in the work of mother nature, the very next day after taking this triumphant photo, a gopher had tunneled in though the deer protection, up and over into the gopher basket, and begun beaver-chewing right through the trunk of the tree. He/she wasn’t completely through the trunk when I discovered it, but on a 2-inch diameter trunk, that wouldn’t take long.
The tree was already showing some wilt, so we heavily watered it, tried to squish the gopher hole back together with our shoe (very futile), and tried to convince the cat that this would be a great place to hang out and hunt for awhile. So far the tree is still hanging in there, the gopher seems to have moved on for the moment, but the tree has of course given up on that silly cherry-producing jag it was on. Don’t know what it was thinking actually trying to produce fruit. Must have been a moment of confusion or something. This is why, on the rare occasion that the cat deposits a dead and dismembered gopher in or near my favorite shoes on the front porch, I smile and thank her profusely.
It's not all bad news though from the garden. These lovely flowers managed to really go off despite no protection from deer or gophers, intense sun, snow, and very little assistance from us. Thanks to friend Debbie who not only dug them out of her garden and brought them up here, but also planted them for us. Not sure what the heck they are, but they're tough.