It's that time of year again. My senior mom has developed a love/hate relationship with her garden and the cute, funny, irritating, adorable critters who reside in it. She LOVES the birds and butterflies. They're lovely to look at, fun to watch, and eat pesky insects. She is less fond of the squirrels and the bunnies. They snitch food from her beloved Cardinals, make a racket on our roof (the squirrels do, anyway), and sneak bites out of the vegetables she is growing on her own version of "raised garden beds." Namely, pots on a table and in her garden wagons.
We've tried a variety of kind ways to shoo them off:
- Marigolds interspersed with the vegetables
- rubber snakes from the Dollar store
- a HUGE blow-up snake from Walmart
- bribery, like corn on the cob in a special squirrel feeder
- stakes and netting all around
So far, those things have helped but not totally solved the issue. After it was too late for the Christmas season items to still be around, I read the suggestion of putting pinecones in the flower bed to discourage some critters and we thought we might try that for the bunnies and squirrels. So the minute Christmas shopping ensues, we will be lined up at Michael's to get as many pine cones as our cart and pocket book can handle. 🙂
In the meantime, my senior mom will continue to enjoy her gardening activities along with birding and butterly enjoying while sniffing constantly at the squirrels. And I will be on the look out for ways to help her enjoy all of this as independently as possible. We just bought two of the cloth hoses we discovered at Walmart. They are so light weight she can lift them easily when she needs to. And the grandkids are thrilled to watch them puff up with water so they can water the Sunflower garden she turned back over to me, not to mention our big tree.
Helping our senior parents keep up with their gardening is a great way to help them stay healthier – physically and emotionally. It's also a wonderful way to monitor and maintain the outside of their homes. If the time comes for them to have to downsize due to health needs, that will be hopefully be one less thing for you to have to deal with as you help them with all their real estate and health issues. How about you? Do you have any suggestions for us on critter care or gardening help for our aging parents? We'd love to hear.