Wednesday 4 January 2012

The Good Life?

This time of year is not a time to be declaring war, but I'm breaking with
A little visitor to my garden.
tradition. Let it be known that I'm officially at war with some cunning rats and outwardly cute, 
but very destructive, possums. No Christmas spirit is lingering in my soul when it comes to these destructive creatures.
Courtesy of SGA Australia
Rats are thwarting my efforts to live a greener lifestyle - the good life in the suburbs. My first harvest of pumpkins, nurtured through "fair weather and foul' were all found to be hollow when harvested - neatly eaten away with just enough flesh left on the pumpkin skins to maintain their shape and keep me blissfully ignorant of the rodent activities within ....... until I picked my bounty!  Currently the Lebanese cucumbers have teeth marks - rather big teeth marks - left in their remaining flesh, as do my zucchinis. Daily, half-eaten tomatoes appear on my lovingly tendered tomato bushes - I have yet to taste one of my home grown tomatoes this season. Score: rats, 4; city gardener, 0. 

Courtesy of
The lemon trees is another battlefront where the war is not proceeding in my favour. Here my enemy is  a battalion of ring-tailed possums, which devour the rind and pith of the ripening lemons, leaving the perfectly intact lemon flesh swing from the branches or scattered on the ground. Possum battalion 2 are stripping my climbing roses that once adorned the walls of the house whilst the third battalion are decimating the 50 year old camellias. Not to be outdone by the appealing looking ring-tails, the bushy tailed possums gallop over our roof top, dislodging tiles and mortar. Occasionally there is a possum war overhead, with blood curdling screams that would fuel nightmares. 

Possums have been protected in the very unnatural metropolitan landscape for many years. Catching them is illegal and they refuse to be deterred by any of the chemical weapons my well researched arsenal - cloves of garlic, camphor, quassia chips, naphthalene,  mosquito coils, blood and bone fertilizer and POSS-OFF (a natural Possum deterrent). 

Bushy tailed possum Courtesy of SGA Australia 
As a last resort an expensive, battery driven possum deterrent was recently purchased - a Christmas present to myself. However, instead of being frightened off by the strobe lights and high pitched noise of this electrical gadget, these furry blighters appear to be partying in its flashing lights, snubbing there little pink noses at me. I am ashamed to admit that once, in utter desperation, I attempted combat with a jousting stick, only to be sprayed from above, with my enemy's foul smelling urine. Score: Possums 7; me 0
Being outsmarted by such tiny creatures is battering my self-esteem, the garden is being ruined and the vegetable plot is looking very, very sad; but, I'm not willing to admit defeat and fly the white flag ...... yet!