I’m not sure how I came across The Wildlife-Friendly Vegetable Gardener by Tammi Hartung. The book is illustrated with cute pictures of vegetables and animals with lots of white space and at first glance I thought it was going to be some silly puff pastry of a garden book. While it is basic, it isn’t fluff in spite of appearances.

Hartung is not an urban gardener so covers wildlife like deer and moose that I will never have trouble with in my garden. At least I hope not. If I ever look out my window and see a moose standing in my lettuce bed I think I would faint! And some of her squirrel deterrents made me laugh. A radio tuned to a talk station or sports channel to make the squirrels think people are in the garden? Heck, my city squirrels are bold enough to come up on my deck and look through the window as well as run through the garden when I am clearly in it. A radio is not going to keep them out. They’d probably change it to a station they like better!

Ants, however, apparently don’t like cinnamon. Every spring we have trouble with ants coming into the house. They find the cat food on the floor in the kitchen and we spend the rest of the spring and summer battling to keep them out and the poor cats get stressed with us moving their food dishes all over the house. We’ve tried cayenne pepper along the baseboards and it kind of works but we have never tried cinnamon before.

I also learned that mosquitoes don’t like mint. So at the risk of mint going wild in the garden, Bookman and I will be planting peppermint around in a few locations. I do like mint tea quite a lot so I suppose if I pick leaves for tea regularly that will keep the plants in check.

Then there is much about inviting wildlife into the garden. Birds and pollinators and toads. Bookman and I will be making a few toad houses for the garden this year in hopes of enticing one to take up residence. And I learned that yellow jackets and wasps that we are always worried about building nests in the clothesline pole and the eaves of the garage, are good garden guests to have. I just have to learn how to coexist and not pull up plantain as a weed anymore because it is good for stings (just in case!).

So overall a pretty good book.

The weather forecast for the week is giving us hope that we might be as warm as 39F (4C) on Thursday. Oh joy! But of course there has to be a fly in the ointment. The wind will be blowing and the windchill will make it feel like it is 7 degrees (-14C). I can’t even be warm when it’s warm out!

On a side note, our internet modem is on the fritz. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. We hope to get a new one Monday, but it could possibly be as late at Thursday. And then there is no telling whether a new modem will freak out our wifi router and make us spend way too much time figuring out how to make them speak to each other. Ah, the joys of technology.

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