So, besides writing and cats, my other favorite thing is gardening. I could talk endlessly about plants, but that would bore the shit out of most people. So I won’t, but I will talk about a project that I’ve been working on for the last 3 years only to be thwarted each time by my nemesis: Raccoon. Or bastard fuckers as I like to call them.
We are natural gardeners. We allow the landscape a bit of free reign. We use native plants mostly and a few years ago we had our garden certified as a wildlife habitat. We love a wild garden, and we also love ponds, but they are notoriously difficult in a woodland setting. We stumbled upon and subsequently fell in love with Pam Penick’s stock tank ponds a few years back. I spoke to her about it — she is quite the wonderful person and a most excellent garden designer — then we went about finding a stock tank that would fit our landscape.
The first year, we had a few plants and some local minnows, nothing too fancy, until the frogs showed up. After that, it became a frog pond.
And a war zone.
For the three years I have had this thing, it has been a constant struggle with the raccoon. They love to dig in the mud, and so the lovely frog pond turned into a mud pit with pots overturned and plants strewn around and destroyed. This year for some reason, they are particularly nasty little fuckers. I have some lovely plants that overwintered well in the cold frame, and I get really pissity when my plants get destroyed and more so when my frogs get terrorized. So Thursday night, I emptied the pond and put all the plants on a table, up out of the way, until I could think of a plan.
What was even more upsetting was that the first frog had showed up to an empty pond on Friday. I was very sad and angry. But then I got a plan. Turn the pond into a micro-bog (all my plants are marginal aquatics) with a small faerie pond for the frogs to dip their toes. They don’t need much.
So Saturday morning at 9AM we began.
- Installed a bulkhead for drainage. Bogs must drain. Slowly. But they do drain.
- Added 3 inches of river pebbles then some weed-block fabric to prevent silt from sliding into the gravel.
- Then 4 inches of top soil/sand mix.
- Then the plants, and we topped that off with a peaty sand mix and a mulch layer.
- Add a frog house and some rocks, fill the reservoir, and we have a mini frog pond.
The squirrels gave it a little dig last night, but nothing a litter pepper powder won’t stop. Hopefully with the water gone, the raccoon will move on. I’ll keep you posted.