We have a lovely dogwood tree that has gotten a bit too big. It butts up against our second-story deck and gives the critters an easy gateway to climb onto our roof. And then things like this happen:

pruning dogwood trees

Whoa my gosh!

To be fair, this guy actually climbed up the drain pipe, but thanks to a tip from a friend, I sprayed a little WD-40 on it so he can’t grip it. Still, I’m trying to eliminate any other entries for him or his friends.

(Related side note: Along with the ever-present deer, we also have a family of rabbits who are running around like they own the joint.

pruning dogwood trees

I had a five-minute standoff with this little bugger when s/he wouldn’t move out of the driveway. The stink spray seems to be keeping them out of the garden at least, which is a good thing because, despite the unfair tag of being a vicious breed, this one is no help whatsoever when it comes to chasing things away.)

pruning dogwood trees

Enough of the menagerie. Point is: I needed to trim the dogwood. Previously, I had borrowed my father-in-law’s long loppers, and those were great, but some of the dogwood limbs had gotten too thick to cut with the loppers. No, this was a ladder and chainsaw kind of job.

pruning dogwoodIn hindsight, it was probably a “call the tree service job” but I didn’t realize the scope until I was in the middle of it.

And, this is definitely a ‘do as I say, not as I do’ scenario. I really should have waited to trim this dogwood until after it finished blooming and ideally somewhere around September. But I couldn’t take the chance of varmint choosing our roof as a permanent penthouse, so I plowed forth.

pruning dogwood


pruning dogwood

After – better, no?

I’ve been monitoring the dogwood, and I don’t see any signs of disease or distress. More importantly, I don’t see any signs of critters. Hot dogwood!


Hey, Jerkface, This is Not a Salad Bar

Literally, less than 24 hours after I put the baby Brussels sprouts in the ground, something had sampled the merchandise. I was all, “Dude! This is not Shoney’s! And I am not Shoney Bear! Be gone with ye!”

keeping rabbits out of the garden

Long-time readers may recall that I’m in a constant battle with the dastardly squirrels.  They steal tomatoes and dig up seedlings and are generally a pain in my tush, but this is one thing I can’t blame them for.

Nope. If you see bites taken out of your vegetable leaves, it’s probably not the squirrels. But I think I know who it is and, more importantly, how I’m going to bite back.

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You’re Killing Me, Smalls

I’m waking up to find a lot of tomatoes that look like this with their baskets knocked to the ground:

gardening in ohio1


It’s a pretty good metaphor for how things look at the start of this week: Otherwise lovely and perfect until something comes by and takes a big bite out of it, completely ruining all of the work that went into it.

I’m at a loss for a solution at the moment, and I don’t have much time or effort to devote to figuring one out. Work has gone bananas, and I am behind in just about every aspect of life: laundry, watering the garden, sending thank you notes and “welcome baby” gifts to friends, calling my folks … laundry. I don’t like to be behind and find myself grouchy and peevish. Not even working in the garden sounds fun right now. I would call it the ‘summer doldrums’ but the ‘summer grumpies’ is more accurate.

I’ll be back tomorrow with a better ‘tude and, with luck, better tomatoes.