Sunday, May 29, 2011

Annual open nursery and garden

Well another open nursery and garden has come and gone. We were lucky we had no rain. Especially since this spring has been so wet and cold. We thought last spring was bad!  We had four garden designers this year that offered demonstrations, tours and garden design ideas. Wine tasting and lunch were also pretty popular especially in the afternoon when the morning rush was over. No one got stuck in our field. No one got drunk and no fights broke out over plants. We did not even have to call the sheriff! Actually, it was a great bunch of people and we had a lot of fun. We were able to keep the lines down to just a few people- thanks to the help of our volunteers.  Many of you signed up for our e-mail list and we will be sending you an invite to our garden party in July and an invite to a special 10% off three hour sale Saturday, June 25th.

This spring has not been great for working in the garden or getting an early start on tomatoes, but it has been great for slugs. I am amazed how prolific they are. They must be related to rabbits. It seems that they just keep eating and eating and I thought deer were bad! We have holey cannas and irises in the garden and even a few plants that vanished over night. Although slug bait slows them down, it does not stop them. They are even climbing up our Laburnum  trees in our allee to dine on the just opened flowers. The allee is starting to mature and look like an allee, but if we don't stop the slugs the flowers will be gone. Laburnum is not very interesting without flowers.

I think Hollywood should make a horror movie about out of control slugs. I bet Alfred Hitchcock could have made a real thriller. I think slugs could be a lot more scary than The Birds especially if you had a very rare hosta that was given to you by your grandmother before she died. I can see it now, instead of running from a plane in North by Northwest, Cary Grant could be running from a massive invasion of slugs and trying to get to the hosta before it was too late. Or maybe they could do a sci fi about a mad professor who was trying to genetically engineer a supper escargo for the French, but somehow got slugs got mixed up in the experiment and they became immune to slug bait, beer, salt and ducks.Slimy human hell, slug heaven.

I bet in their little slug brains, slugs have no idea that they cause such angst to those of us gardeners at the supposed top of the food chain.  Slugs have no ethics either. They will eat anything, including each other. When I take my morning walk down the hill to get the newspaper, I step on many slugs in the long driveway. On my return, new slugs have arrived and are eating their fallen squished comrades. We just got two ducks for our pond- my do they like slugs! We do not even have to feed them. They are fast. They swallow the slugs whole and seem to slide down their long necks with record speed. I guess the slimy slugs come with their own lubricant. The only problem is they only go slug hunting near the pond and do not venture into the garden. I guess they have heard the coyotes at night.

I heard on the news the other day that the current "La Nina" is the strongest ever recorded. Studies in Australia revealed that this "La Nina" is officially over and  that sea temperatures have returned to normal. I guess the Pacific Northwest has not heard the news. Here's to hoping we have a "normal" summer.