My Ugly Garden

My Ugly Garden

Friday, April 30, 2010

The Exterminator

In our efforts to dissuade the rodent population from setting up house in our house, we decided to enlist the talents of a specialist.  Daisy is a 10 week old Miniature Schnauzer, our new companion and Chief Rodent Population Control Officer (CRPCO).  I have to say, I have neither seen nor heard any rats since bringing her home on Saturday.  Which is great.  However, the Ugly is in pretty bad shape.  So bad that there was a notice posted on the door this morning from the city telling us to cut the weeds.  How embarrassing!  I could very easily give a list of excuses:  'I'm preparing for a concert this Saturday night' or 'I've been working on homework' and my newest excuse, 'house training the puppy'--Whine, whine, whine.  So, some time this weekend has to be carved out to take care of the side yard.  Hopefully, there will be some before and after pictures next week.  I really need some 'after' pictures....starting to feel overwhelmed.

Friday, April 23, 2010


So sorry about the wonky page layout on the last post.  I'm still figuring out the ins and outs of blogspot.  Thanks for your patience.


Some developments around here have forced me to address the north side of our house. As you can see it is in pretty bad shape.  Lumber bits, weeds, the fence is leaning precariously .....

Saturday, April 17, 2010


I love Freecycle!  After taking a drive to the local garden center in search of a particular plant, Jupiter's Beard, to be exact, and finding that they had none, I decided to post a request for the plant on my local Freecycle page.  A very nice woman responded that she had some in her yard that I was welcome to and we made arrangements to meet.  Upon my arrival she took me on a tour of her very nice garden and invited me to take bits of all kinds of different plants. I came home with a bucket full of Jupiter's Beard, Lamb's ears, marigolds, daisies, iris and salvia. I will post a picture of my new treasures soon, right now they are recovering from the shock of being transplanted and look a bit bedraggled.

Ratz-putin update:  Well, it turns out Ratz-putin is a mama.  Yesterday, I looked out my kitchen window to see her and 3 babies scurrying around in the herb garden. I'm pretty sure the scratching in the wall is now a nest.  Without going into too much detail, we created a circumstance that I'm hoping scared the family away.  I didn't hear anything last night and haven't seen them at all today.  A trip to the animal shelter is getting higher on my list,  especially if our dog sitting gig doesn't work out.  I am totally bummed by this rat situation. One of the "big plans" for the Ugly is to put in a chicken coop.  I am seriously reconsidering this idea now.  If a handful of bird seed has attracted and produced a rodent family what will a coop bring?  If you have a coop, I would love to hear how you handle rodent issues.

In the mean time, I am super excited about the new plant additions to the garden.    Next week, I have some serious weeds to tackle.  I mean like 2 foot tall weeds, so embarrassing......

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


I was puttering today.  No real project work, put a few more rocks in the dry river bed.

Admired the blooming lavender and watched the bees flit in and out of the flowers

Look at this little guy. I think it's a salamander.  Daniel and I found it under a piece of wood. It was no bigger than a dime.  It's little legs made me smile.

This is my next stop.  I call this mound of dirt "the Himalayas" Last year I started digging out a patio and here is where the dirt came to lie.  When I could no longer push the wheelbarrow up the hill I stopped digging.. The patio deserves it's own post, so I won't go into it to much right now, but we have a very cool design for it, we just need some time to get out there and start digging again. As for the "Himalayas" I need to get the weeds out of there so the kids can get up there.  It's one of their favorite parts of the Ugly.  With the arrival of Ratz-putin, (who is still in residence, by the way) I am now paranoid about snakes coming in.  So, all tall weeds have to go sooner rather than later.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Ratz-putin part 2

"A thumping! A bumping! A wild alive scratching!" Horton Hatches the Egg by Dr. Suess
The above quote perfectly describes Ratz-putin's activities last night. I thought a beaver had squeezed into my wall, what a racket! And thought for sure he was coming through the drywall any minute. Yesterday afternoon I tried blocking the way Mr. R was using to access the crawl space, thinking he was out. But with all the noise at 1am, he either was able to get in anyway or I locked him in. Something will have to change soon, before Mr. R decides to bring a Mrs. home.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Well, visitor isn't the right word, actually. More like, making itself right a home, in my bedroom wall. I wondered how long it would take before rats would reappear after the departure of our cats. The answer is 5 months. Our neighborhood is bisected by several creeks, so creatures of all stripes have appeared in our yard over the years. From ducks to skunks, raccoons and owls, it is actually quite amusing to see such a diversity of animal life smack dab in the middle of suburbia. Amusing, until they try to move in with you. I have dubbed this little guy, Ratz-putin.

I snapped this picture this morning while he was snacking on fallen bird seed. The bird feeder has since been removed and the grass around that area cut down. I am hoping that by removing the food source that will encourage him to move on, but I doubt that I will be that lucky. The scratching in the walls at night is driving me batty.

The appearance of our little furry friend has me thinking about getting another cat. In all the years we had cats, as lazy as they were, we never had problems with rodents. I suppose a dog would offer the same services, though I am reluctant to take that responsibility on, much to the chagrin of the other members of my clan. We have recently offered to take in our friend's dog while they take an extended summer trip. If that were to work out, it may by a good solution. My kids and husband will get to play with a great dog for a couple of months and I can see if I'm up to the challenge of adding our own dog to this motley crew. Wish me luck with Ratz-putin's eviction, otherwise my next step will have to be a trip to the hardware store....Sigh....