One of my life-long interests has been gardening. Growing up, our gardens contained everything that would grow in Wyoming’s lower elevations, and my mom usually planted enough to feed six families for at least a year, which meant a fall of canning, freezing, drying and storing vegetables. In my adult life I’ve scaled back considerably, but have found new challenges nearly everywhere I’ve lived and haven’t had grand success transferring my Wyoming gardening knowledge to new places.
Between the vog (volcanic smog) and banana slugs the size of my index finger on Hawaii’s Big Island, paradise was one of my least successful gardening adventures. Since I had a dog, poison was out, so I spent many a night with a flashlight and tweezers squeamishly picking slugs off plants, tried trapping them with beer, and experimented with a host of other natural remedies, but in the end I lost. Jackson Hole was another bust. No amount of carrying pots in and out of the house at night and covering plants with blankets can truly compensate for about a 60 day growing season. And, even that was no guarantee I realized one July as I watched the fireworks amid the aftermath of a lovely summer snow storm.
Finally-South Dakota, a locale much similar to the more temperate climes of Wyoming. True enough, but I’ve found the temperatures to be the least of my problems. The deer love plants that deer supposedly don’t touch and find most deer repellent sprays to be merely a seasoning spritz for their salad of my flowers, vegetables, fruits and shrubs. The garden, therefore, is now enclosed by a six-foot high chain-link fence. Problem solved. Wrong again, I forgot about the chipmunks, squirrels, birds and baby bunnies. FYI, baby bunnies love cauliflower and cabbage. Hopefully the rabbits will soon grow too large to fit through the chain-link, but in the meantime, my adventures in gardening continue.