Sunday, March 23, 2008

Me & My Vegetable Garden...

It seems that I may have implied that I stay in my robe all the time, which is true to some extent, during the cold months anyway, although I do this mostly when stationed at my trusty computer. However, when warm weather arrives, I begin planting & tending my garden, which I often do in my robe as well. I have an old worn robe that I wear out to the garden, along with a button front shirt, a scarf tied under my chin, knee high rubber boots, rubber coated garden gloves and a wide brim straw hat. Now before you start thinking how silly this sounds, allow me to explain.

Mosquitoes, wasps, bees, hornets, and anything else that flies & wants to harm, are crazy about me. Mosquitoes have a particular affinity for me, and can seek me out at any given time, even if it is the only one for a hundred miles around. I guarantee this. My friends & family can confirm this odd phenomena. Even if no one else ever gets one bite, I always get at least one, which everyone always finds hard to believe, until they see it with their own eyes. Unfortunately, it's impossible to deny once you see how I swell up from their sting, and I'm deathly afraid of contracting West Nile Virus. I've had this problem since childhood (although the West Nile thing is fairly recent), no matter where I go or whatever preventions I might be foolish enough to attempt. There is something about my body chemistry that they are devotedly attracted to. You'd think this would discourage any outdoor activities, but I've always been an outdoors girl.

I also have a honking huge squirrel problem and you can see the damage in this picture. Look very carefully at the edges of the white tablecloth underneath. It looks like something I got at a haunted house garage sale. My beautiful linen damask table cloth. Aren't squirrels cute? Yeah, right! Little rats. Off with their heads!!!!

I've had a vegetable garden almost every year since we bought this house 22 years ago. Evidently, we have idiots for neighbors because we NEVER seem to be in short supply of mosquitoes in spite of the fact that I check every single day for standing water during their breeding months.

That said, wasps, yellow jackets, red wasps, honey bees, bumble bees and hornets seem to have a similar affinity for my body chemistry. Okay, it could be the garden veggies & flowers, but they're attracted to me everywhere else as well. Since I want them to be in the garden, and I also want to weed & tend the garden, this is my solution to living in harmony with all the little flying beasts. I also enjoy having dinner on the patio, but am usually armed with the big guns. Meaning my 98% Deets spray and at least 8 to 10 big ass, big wick Citronella candles.

I once read an article in the Dallas Morning News about how to avoid getting stung. Although it was a rather lengthy article, they basically said this: When you encounter a bee, JUST RUN. When you encounter a wasp or a yellow jacket, RUN FASTER. When you encounter a swarm of bees or killer bees, RUN LIKE BLOODY HELL. How informative. I've already done those all my life. It usually embarrasses everyone around me when I start waving my arms & running around like a crazy person, but I got over the embarrassment when I was a child. The running thing has always worked for me, in spite of the laughter from anyone close enough to witness my *act*.

So, having spilled my guts to the world about my deepest phobias, I will now reveal to you one of the HU's favorite sources of comedy. Me, in my garden garb, in last year's garden. Enjoy. Feel free to laugh. Everyone else does. Me, in all my hidden glory. The garden area is located beyond our regular back yard, in a seperate yard that measures approximately 60 feet by 30 feet. All of our yards are on well water, which is a wonderful thing.

Also, for 22 years, we've had foxes which were at first distressing because they would take one bite out of like ALL the tomatoes. Since our first encounter many years ago, we have also learned to live in harmony... which could probably also be interpreted as a Mexican Stand-Off. I've always done an organic garden and don't believe in pesticides of any kind. To deal with the fox... I plant a seperate patch of tomatoes closer to the old playhouse that aren't in cages, and I kind of let them grow wild. Foxes eat fruit. Whatcha gonna do? If you can't lick 'em... join 'em. Thankfully, this has been an acceptable plan for Her Highness, Madame Fox. The bitch isn't even scared of my fake owl, lol. Frankly, I haven't found anything that IS actually afraid of that stupid owl, but I allow him to stay on anyway.

In the early years we used to try & catch the fox (or foxes) in a "have a heart" trap, and guess what? Yup, she was too foxy for that and we eventually gave up. I also now cover my caged tomatoes in what is called bird netting, which I buy through Gardens Alive, among other natural products for the garden. The only things that can get through those nets are the things I need to pollenate, and pollenate, they do!
I'm also usually lucky enough to see a handful for little horned toads each year and I fiercely protect them from my cat (who only wants to play until it quits moving).


noble pig said...

Mosquito's are attracted to you must be blowing it out girl in large proportions...all that talking! Ha!

Nice garden though.

brneyedgal967 said...

Wow - what a great garden. So nice and neat. I have no idea what mine will look like in a few months. My first vegetable garden. Gah. You may need to come help me.

Snooty Primadona said...

Hey! Are you saying I'm full of carbon dioxide or hot air?

I just throw the seeds in the ground & they grow. Of course, you've got to water them.

Janie said...

Lord, lord, you make me laugh!

I'm so glad you started blogging and I ran across your blog!

I could just picture your "run from the wasp" dance.

Dances with Bees, eh??

Snooty Primadona said...

Oh crap, Janie! Please don't make that my new nickname! LOL...

Meg said...

You are so talented, my West Texas sista...and a hoot to boot!

Have a great day!

Hugs from the hill country!


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