Everybody is Watching Everybody

Tuesday Tips

I had to get your attention because I have a tiny tip. When planting bulbs, keep the masses guessing and even consider relocation if they don’t or will not move on their own. Even if it means getting creative.

I have tried every trick in the book to keep the critters out of the beds, but by dumb luck, found one that worked this year. Keep reading, I hope you wait for the tip.

So….who is watching who. I had quite an audience during my bulb planting endeavor.

Here is one spectator that had to be relocated. The bed I am planting was home to this garden spider. I like spiders and rather than destroy him and his home, I relocated him. In only one night, a web over two feet in diameter was rebuilt.

The bed below was home to the spider and is what I am digging up for the first time in four years. This is what I referred to as the jungle, that and my vine menagerie which I have not yet tackled. These vines are home to countless spiders and two sparrow nests, long evacuated.

These images show the bed at the beginning and middle of the season. We will see the jungle in a moment.

Iris in Spring

Iris To Lily Transformation

Asiatic Lily Bed in Full Swing

Late Fall Mess, Weeds and Spider Included

Bed Devoid of Iris, Lilies and Weeds

This was a lot of work digging up all the lilies and iris. I planted two hydrangea I layered from the mother plant, seen below in a photo taken yesterday. The layering happened last fall, and I potted up the little ones for the summer. I raised them in a pot with a large coleus to keep them shaded and always moist. They made it through great and now they must face a winter in the bed.

They have small, late blooms. They are so cute with their little blossoms. I am hoping they are ready for snow season. Being youngsters, they don’t quite know what’s ahead after being separated from mom. I guess layering could have been a useful tip, but that is not it. Keep reading.

Now who has been watching all my hard work? Let me introduce you to Gaylord, the black squirrel that lives in the Mulberry tree behind my house. He and Gilbert were watching the whole process from Gilbert’s tree. That is Gaylord below in the crotch of Gilbert’s tree.

They could not wait to dig into all the bulbs in this messy pile. I bet their mouths were watering seeing the smorgasbord below. This is all the lilies before splitting, and they are all mixed up with the iris. You can see lots of new plants for sharing. I do that and have friends (humans not critters) lined up for the bounty. But the tip is not on splitting. Keep reading, please.

I cleaned up the mess and potted up bulbs and iris to sell at our garden walk next year. Our block club is talking about raising money with a plant sale. So I am getting prepared.

I will store these in a greenhouse down at the farm to over-winter. I did not take the time to identify the colors. It will be a pot luck kind of sale. Normally I make plant tags with all the applicable info, but not this time.

You can see five varieties above, but I have black, yellow and orange iris as well. Two bloom earlier and one blooms with the lilies. The tip is not on potting and storing. Keep reading.

Our Block Club is decorating all the lamp standards on the block this Halloween. I got corn stalks and Indian corn down at the farm, and bundled them all up for the neighbors to tie on the lamp posts. So what’s this have to do with my tip…everything.

Here is an image of the replanted bed, below, before Gilbert and Gaylord start their digging expedition. But, I had an idea up my sleeve. Now for my tiny tip.

I stripped the yellow corn from the stalks and broke them up to toss in my garden. Now, this is not a tried and true tip yet, because, if those little devils shucked the corn and buried it, I may have a crop growing next year. But I am guessing the corn is up the trees by now, stored for the cold winter months that lay ahead here in Niagara Falls. That, or the little gluttons ate it already.

Keep reading, another tiny tip.

So for four days, I kept them busy with corn. I think they forgot about the bulbs. Digging ceased. And of course, so is the corn, gone, that is.

If they start looking for bulbs, I will just go get some more corn to keep them busy. City squirrels don’t get such fresh country fare.

I have one more tip. Notice that the bed is surrounded with boxwood. This is to keep the iris and lilies upright without staking. The iris support the lilies and the boxwood support and contain the iris. Simpatico relationship. The two baby Hydrangea are new to the bed, so we will see what kind of neighbors they make. Mom did pretty well.

Here is another visitor who was patiently awaiting the corn. Handsome Blue Jay, don’t you think? He ate so much corn, I was not sure he could fly.

I was being watched by everyone at Gilbert’s tree.

And here is Gilbert snacking on the corn. He did not care that I was standing only five feet away. Cute little devil with his big fuzzy tail. Gilbert opened a restaurant here at 664. Look at the promo below. Crafty and opportunistic I think, so keep reading.

Stop in At Casa de Squirrel Restaurant and Grille

Casa de Squirrel has been garnering a crowd of devoted followers with its simple, stunning presentation of high quality bulbs and corms.

A seven course meal, al fresco, an unpretentious favorite of locals and celebrity squirrels alike. Five Star dining in the comfort of a tree-lined street and most convenient to nests. Enjoy the stunning vista atop the tall Norway Maple for a most romantic evening.  Fresh, field corn is the tasty appetizer to start off your fine dining experience. Call ahead for reservations. Gaylord, your maitre d’ will be happy to find you a great foraging spot. Families with kits welcome.


  • Allium Aflatunense
  • Hyacinth Delft Blue
  • Tulip White Emperor
  • Tulip White Marvel
  • Lily White Heaven
  • Lily Elodie
  • Lily White Pixels

About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at: http://gardenwalkgardentalk.com
This entry was posted in Animals, Clean-Up, Funny Stories, garden, My Garden, Squirrels, Tried & True Tips Tuesday and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

32 Responses to Everybody is Watching Everybody

  1. Even your late fall mess is so neat and tidy! I love your boxwood borders. I use dwarf yaupon to keep my glads standing moderately upright, but I prefer the rich kelly green of the boxwood. I will be anxious to know how your tip works out. Either you are a genius or you’ve just committed to feeding squirrels from now on. Plus blue jays! Great photos, really enjoyed reading it.

    • I am already suspecting the squirrels are thrilled with the corn. So are the song birds with the squirrel scraps. But, so thrilled, they have discovered the Indian corn that I bunched together and are climbing the corn stalks to get it. They never did that before. I created corn monsters. Birds are getting nasty too. They are fighting over the corn.

      Well, the corn is almost gone in the neighborhood and the squirrels have forgot all about the bulbs. Mission accomplished.

  2. One says:

    Hi Donna, The corn is a good idea. I wonder if Gaylord and Gilbert will invite their relatives over for a feast. The border is a wonderful idea too. Your photos are really good especially the ones on the spider, squirrels and bird. Thanks for the tips.

  3. fer says:

    Great story and tip!
    I don’t have problems with squirrels in my balcony garden, but I enjoyed your little adventure. Hope they don’t get a hold of your bulbs.
    Also, your garden looks great

  4. Good tip on the corn. I don’t see many squirrels so I’m not up on all the squirrel deterent needed. It was nice to watch the progression. You harvested a lot of bulbs for your sale. The bounty of a garden is wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Very funny story. I did keep reading until the very end. Let me know how the corn works. Love your boxwood staking idea. That’s a really good one.~~Dee

  6. Ginny says:

    Fun post! Years ago I tried to deter the squirrels from my bird feeder by giving them there very own feeder stashed with corn. They were greedy and wanted BOTH their food and the birds’ food. Now I have a squirrel proof feeder. The squirrels didn’t go for my irises when I transplanted them. I hope they didn’t dig up my daffodils when I wasn’t looking!

    • I learned years ago that the squirrels are greedy. I did what you did. I made them there own feeding station, and they made short wok of the bird feeders . I tried various squirrel proof feeders and never had any luck. If they could not get into them, they just destroyed them to open them up.

  7. Donna you are crazy funny and have so many tips hidden in your delightful post. Love love love visiting you!!!

  8. Cat says:

    Oh, you are a funny and clever girl! This post was so entertaining – great job! And the corn idea, brilliant!

  9. Garden Sense says:

    You kept me interested all the way to the end! I love your trick of using Boxwood for “staking.” Very pretty bed – I’m sure it will be even more beautiful next summer with your thoughtful editing.

    • I often use companion plantings. In this bed are also naturalizing daffodils. Their leaves are so similar to the iris that they are not even noticed when dying back. Other ideas in this bed are the alliums, like the daffs, repel the squirrels. They may dig them up, but not eat them. Now that we have had a few hard rains, the earth no longer has a soft till appearance, so the squirrels basically gave up. The corn was just until natural conditions changed for the better.

  10. Jennifer says:

    I am glad to know that I am not the only gardener who names wild backyard visitors. We have grey squirrels called “Tips” and “Hairy-ears”. We have a chipmunk we called “Scare-face”. Gaylord is a great name for a squirrel.
    I am impressed with how neat your garden is! Mine always has a barely-under-control look to it. The boxwood hedges are a nice touch.

    • I can recognize the two squirrels from others the same way as you, by their ears. Plus they live in trees, one on my property and the other, right behind my garage. I see them so much, they are like part of the family. I though Gilbert got taken by a cat the other day. Lucky it was not him.

  11. patty says:

    Super idea. Let’s hope they forget about the exotic menu and stick to the native one.

    • I am not as happy about their native fare. I now have a black walnut behind me that will pretty much poison the rear bed. Plus the squirrels look at my yard like going to the spa, a peaceful place to have a bite to eat. They bring in the walnuts by the bushel.

      And you should see them in the mulberry tree. They eat the berries that fall, and like the birds, get drunk. Then they try to scurry across the utility wires and fall off. Funny, but sometimes tragic. Two days ago, one squirrel was on my neighbor’s awning. A feral cat was watching is sloppy movements intently. Drunken, he slid right down the awning into a waiting, feral cat’s grasp. End of him.

  12. Karen says:

    Donna, what a fun and informative post! Gosh, you do have alot of eyes watching you as you garden. I hope all of our squirrels blow away in this wind we’re having and leave the gardens alone. The amount of work you have done with potting up all of your plants boggles my mind and the cute Halloween decorations are amazing!

    • I still have twice as many to pot up waiting in the garage. My friends are all running out of space to put them. Next year, we are going to have quite a sale. I have Monarda, Veronica, hydrangea, grasses, and the standard daylilies and hosta to split in spring. Our Master Gardener group also has a sale. I pot up baby boxwood that I split and caryopteris shrubs from seed too.

  13. Gail says:

    You have a lovely garden and it’s very neat! You should get a close look at mine! I love the the squirrel story~I can tolerate the squirrels better then the chipmunks! gail

  14. Loved this post! You kept me in suspense! And what a great idea. I have a bag of 100 Ice Follies daffodils to plant…who knows who might be watching me and what measures I might need to take 🙂 Your garden is a “picture in a magazine”!!!! Just lovely!!

    • No worry with the daffs. Squirrels don’t eat them. I companion plant them with the tulips. Since they bloom first, they foliage is not a problem. They help protect the tulips. This is the first year I removed the daffs out front. I am hoping I still have tulips next year. They got dug up when I did the front bed reno.

  15. gardeningasylum says:

    Interesting tip, though I think it requires a certain gentle attitude toward the squirrels. For my own new lily bulbs, they are in pots in cold storage…

    • No need for concern with the critters in my yard. As much a pain as they can be, none of them are ever harmed. Well, now that my Akita is gone that is. He did catch a squirrel mid jump to a tree. Broke the little guy’ s back. So sad.

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  17. Your blue jay is one of the most beautiful birds I have ever seen!

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