Thursday, May 24, 2018

Aren’t they sweet, little @%#$&!?$ and why don’t they eat rocks?

Yesterday morning I was in the driveway sifting gravel and river rocks (more on this later). I looked up from the task at hand and there were three young deer walking down the middle of the street. Cars stopped on the side of the road and folks walked out their front doors to watch the deer stroll down Ridge Drive.

While we see deer all the time in Astoria neighborhoods, this is the first time we’ve seen deer in our Portland neighborhood. It was sweet. They walked down a few houses and into one of our neighbors yards where, I assume, they had a lovely salad.

Tonight after dinner I went out to refresh the plants in several pots in the back yard. It was a temperate evening, high 60s and no breeze, perfect for a little gardening. As I walked through the back yard Scott noted that the little volunteer oak tree we had transplanted into a pot was gone. The previous owners bequeathed us a small rose garden. Five rose plants near the patio, an heirloom and several hybrids. Looking around the garden I noticed that every single bud on the rose bushes was gone, snipped as if someone had come through with a hedge trimmer. How could someone do that? And then it hit me...the deer! Argh!

Back to the never ending story of river rocks. We have been raking, digging, shoveling and picking river rocks out of the gardens for what seems like forever. Recently Scott started digging gravel from an area at the corner of the house. Last Saturday I had had enough of the river rock in the front garden and took a rake to the whole thing. 

There was 25 year old (at least) landscape plastic wrapped around the big pine trees that was almost girdling them. We were able to remove the gravel and rocks piled against the trees and then removed the plastic revealing large oxygen and nutrient starved roots.

With any luck, in the next couple weeks we’ll finally have mulch in the front garden under the trees. It will be a while before enough rock is removed from the yard that Scott will be satisfied. Why can’t deer eat rocks?