Garden Photo of the Day

Visitors in May’s garden in British Columbia

Amazing where rabbits will go to get a tasty snack. This one has jumped up on a bench to gain some height. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of May Kald

We’ve visited May Kald’s garden on Vancouver Island in British Columbia three times (refresh your memory HERE, HERE, and HERE), but we’re not the only ones visiting! Today May’s showing us some of her other garden guests, however unwelcome and destructive… May, if we GPODers ever come for a visit, we probably won’t be as cute and entertaining, but we’ll surely be more polite than to take “cuttings”. Thanks for sharing (with us, that is!)

**May’s commentary in the captions**

And I thought rabbits were too short to eat tall daisies! Here is one, standing on his hind feet, daintily picking off daisy petals, one by one. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of May Kald

This is prime time to take some photos in your garden. So get out there with your cameras and send some in! Email them to [email protected].

A Columbian black-tailed deer. This buck manages to get into the backyard just in time to enjoy the new buds and flowers of the rose ‘Outta the Blue’. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of May Kald
Columbian black-tailed deer. Looking out across the front porch one can see deer enjoying the daisies, roses, and anything else in season. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of May Kald
Columbian black-tailed deer. Golly, I wonder what this deer is munching on? Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of May Kald
Columbian black-tailed deer. Another deer enjoying rose petals at just the right height for least effort. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of May Kald
Can you see the little critter? Doesn’t he look happy with all that food available? Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of May Kald
This is the little fellow that loves peaches and birdfood, berries, figs and other things I just happen to grow. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of May Kald

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  1. user-1020932 08/15/2013

    love to see wildlife in OTHER peoples gardens :)

  2. User avater
    meander_michaele 08/15/2013

    Well, they are gosh darned cute and I agree with tntreeman...nice for thee but not for me! It was very thoughtful of them to pose so graciously for the camera...the pictures are great.

  3. Deanneart 08/15/2013

    Oh deer~!

  4. bee1nine 08/15/2013

    Must agree with both entreeman and meander1!!
    To: entreeman, (Roll-over from last night)..OK, are you
    putting me on the spot? Wondered if someone would eventually
    ask. Perhaps one day I shall submit some photo's if my quality is acceptable! ... and since you asked where I live,
    that would be on Cape Cod.
    Oh, and by the way, I'm quite touched you look forward to my
    comments. Thanks!! :)

  5. thegardenlady 08/15/2013

    Love your sense of humor, and the reminder that gardens aren't just for plants. A wise gardener I know practices a philosophy of planting enough for the critters to have some too.

  6. tractor1 08/15/2013

    Great photos, May! I love having all the critters on my property, that's why I live here. If I wanted to live isolated from life in a bubble I'd choose a 30th floor apartment in NYC... and there'd still be rats and roaches. Looking out into ones yard and seeing those critters foraging is what makes life worth living. I can't garden all my acres anyway so any planting I don't want eaten I fence plus I try not to plant what's on the critter's menu... there are plenty of beautiful native plants that the critters avoid... right now I'm enjoying all the spectacular flowers of the thistle scattered about my property... many try to erradicate it because of its stickers but it's really a very beneficial plant, the birds feast on its seeds and thisttle has tremendously deep roots that aerate and nitrogenate the soil. And this year the goldenrod flowered early, no other plant has so vivid a yellow flower. I love having all the native wild flowers, that many call weeds, and they know where to sprout where they grow best, I do noting but enjoy; daisy, black eyed susan, queen annes lace, the list is endless. And I supply lots of brush and wood piles for critters to make a home.... I've discovered long ago that if I make homes for critters where I want them to live they leave my home alone, same reason I feed them so that they don't bother my vegetable garden... birds and squirrels much prefer the seed, corn, and peanuts I put out on my deck to my zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, and cabbage growing 100 yards away. And my cats are entertained by the show all day. Btw, rabbits love dandelion flower stems, they slurp them down like pissghetti. I use no repellants, insecticide, defoliant, no chemicals, no chemferts either, the critters have to live and they were here first. Thank you, May.

  7. jagardener 08/15/2013

    Now that is what I call a true symbiotic relationship.

  8. user-7006902 08/15/2013

    How generous of you! This year a band of rabbits got together, organized themselves and then systematically downsized my garden. I still love watching them, however I am missing my normally, freshly harvested, large bunches of swiss chard and kale this time of year. I am always thankful to live in the middle of a village where deer are not your average garden visitor. I can't imagine after the band of rabbits, what an organized herd of deer might do! Even their name sounds sinister and illegal: black tailed columbian.

  9. tractor1 08/15/2013

    thevioletfern: black tailed colombian is a pseudonym for drug lord! lOL It's very easy to keep bunnies from your chard, a few dollars worth of chicken wire. I use 6' fencing of turkey wire to keep deer out and I have chicken wire atached at the bottom 3', and still the field mice enter as they can scale the wire, even the occasional rabbit will dig under the fence... it behooves to inspect often. They don't eat much, plant extra. And my barn cats patrol my vegetable garden at night. Cali won't eat canned cat food, she hunts every day and only eats fresh kill... each morning I remove the uneaten paws and tails from the barn.

  10. friedamaus 08/15/2013

    Love, love, love that you share as I do here in TX. When I moved to San Antonio 13 years ago I had no idea I was living in a thriving colony of diverse critters. I love daylilies and all kinds of lilies really so the first year I was here I planted 100's in new beds that I had to build up because you can't dig rocks. I have an acre so I went a little crazy. I waited patiently for a sea of colorful blooms across both my front and back yards. I had my camera charged and ready went bounding out the front door only to find a sea of stems. Every bloom and bud had become last nights dinner to a herd of roving deer. My neighbors got a real chuckle and asked me what I was going to plant next. Over the years I've learned deer will eat just about anything when hungry. Now I plant some for me and some for the critters; deer, raccoons, opossums, squirrels, birds, mice, lizards and the occasional rat.

  11. tractor1 08/15/2013

    friedamaus: one acre is not a lot to fence... I'd only fence the back yard, perhaps 1,000' feet of 6' turkey wire, you can do it yourself in a weekend. Set the fence up on the posts a foot off the ground, you'll obtain more height, deer can't get underneath but you'll be able to mow, string trim, and weed much more easily. After a year the shiney galvanize will dull to matte grey and you won't even notice the fence... steel fence posts that you hammer in work fine, they can even be driven through rocky ground... there are drop-hammering tools that you can operate from the ground.

  12. TeriCA 08/15/2013

    I LOVE your sense of humor about it all, as these critters munch away at your BEAUTIFUL garden!!!

  13. GrannyMay 08/15/2013

    Thanks everyone! I sent these photos in for fun. We all have our setbacks and disappointments, so try to capture the humor or the beauty of the moment, then move on. After losing all my totally unripe figs this year to an unidentified fig-lover, I have now moved my dwarf peach tree right into the house to let its 10 peaches ripen safely.

  14. arthurb3 08/15/2013

    I have many bunnies, too. They become so tame!

  15. tractor1 08/15/2013

    arthurb3: The bunnies here don't become tame or they'd more quickly become part of the food chain.

    Anyone know what this plant with the lavender flowers is, it grows wild here at the edge of my woods.

  16. cwheat000 08/15/2013

    Tractor1- I think those are new York asters, Symphyotrichum novi-belgii. They are so pretty. It is hard to beat what mother nature plants naturally. May - you took some great shots. I love the mouse in the tomatoes. When you see the damage they do, it is easy to get frustrated. However, when you actually see the critters, it is hard to stay angry. They are wonderful and miraculous.

  17. cwheat000 08/15/2013

    Tractor1- on second thought, those might actually be Aster novae-angliae, or New England aster.

  18. tractor1 08/15/2013

    cwheat000: I searched and looked at various images and it's difficult to say which... I'm leaning more to the New York aster as the foliage matches better but it could be either, there are so many variations of each. I'll just say they are asters... thank you very much.

  19. GrannyMay 08/15/2013

    Friedamaus, I absolutely know that feeling! You plan and execute a wonderful design, with all the right plants, then just when the beauty should happen all that remains are green stubs or bare stems. And you KNOW that the same thing will happen next year, and next. So, you rip out the plants and give them away or try to fence out the critters. I'd be totally willing to share most of the things I plant, if they would only leave me some too! Still, I have to admit to a rush of pleasure when I watch them, even in my own garden.

  20. user-1020932 08/15/2013

    may, my figs are LOADED this year and i check them everyday waiting for them to ripen. not sure how i would react if i lost them all to a thief in the night. fresh figs are not a common occurrence here in upper east tennessee, chicago hardy being the only variety i have had any success with at all

  21. pattyspencer 08/16/2013

    I have to admit I envy you having critters (big and small) in your garden. Yes I know they cause damage but they are so darn cute! I live in an area that only in the winter do I see rabbit tracks in the snow - I don't see them at all other than tracks. Thanks for these pics - I love them all!!

  22. GrannyMay 08/16/2013

    tntreeman (Jeff), we are warm enough to grow some varieties of figs, but only ripen the first crop of the season, not both. Last year there were maybe 3 dozen figs (my tree is not very large) and I got to enjoy practically all of them by being very vigilant and picking each one just before it was totally ripe. This year there were a LOT of figs, as I had pruned the tree a year earlier to maximize production. I was shocked to find them suddenly gone one morning, long before they had even begun to droop. As there was no damage to the branches, no debris or traces under the tree, and no partial fruit left on the tree, I ruled out raccoons, birds, mice/rats/voles, and even squirrels, as the thief had to be nocturnal. I don't know if we have fruit bats here and whether they would totally clean out an entire crop in one night. Batman maybe??

  23. mrspain 08/16/2013

    They are cute in other peoples gardens I agree. If I found them in my garden eating up all my hard work, I think I would just cry, then plan for next year. Trying not to let them get the best of me

  24. mrspain 08/16/2013

    tntreeman, I have Chicago Hardy figs also. This is my second year with the tree and the first year they have produced. The tree is full, but not ripe. Is it too early. I live in Ohio. Zone 6. Is there anything special I should be doing. Never planted a fig tree before

  25. user-1020932 08/17/2013

    gloriaj i don't really do anything for the chicago hardy fig. i do mulch heavily with pine straw in fall well up onto the tree because i normally have freezeback but they rebound quickly and bear on new wood. last year no freezeback so right now they are all about 10 ft tall well branched and loaded. i have had only 3 or 4 ripen so far but once they start they all ripen quickly. we just eat them fresh off the tree or sometimes slice into halves, top with gruyere and put under the broiler to toast the cheese. delicious anyway you eat them. we have never had enough to make preserves

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