Monday, May 23, 2011

Happy Victoria Day!

Happy Victoria Day to my fellow Canadians! This is our first long weekend of, and the unofficial kick-off to summer.  Initially the forecast called for rain and thunderstorms all weekend, but we’ve had lots of sun and minimal rain (although today the storm clouds are rolling in).  The garden centres were a buzz of activity as people were taking advantage of the great weather and heading outside to plant the garden.  My parents came down for a visit, which was great.  We had some great meals and saw the movie Thor (highly recommended if you like the comic-action movies like I do).  My parents took a day trip south to some vineyards on Saturday, but I stayed put to reclaim my balcony.

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, then you may remember my summer-long battles with the squirrels.  While I have battled them since I moved here, the squirrel-capades began here when they built a nest on my patio and chewed my garden tools. It continued with some unique hiding spots for their peanuts, and they kicked it up a notch last year eating my patio furniture

Last year I bought very cheap plants and placed chicken wire in all my planters to keep them from digging and destroying the flowers.  It worked and I had planned on doing so again this year.

I hadn’t been able to get the balcony ready for the summer as we’ve had a solid week of rain, and I’ve had other things on the go.  I noticed that there were two small squirrels who kept coming back.  Last week, I reached the edge of my patience when they started climbing my screen door, upside down and doing somersaults through the small metal trellis I had in a planter. I couldn’t even manage to capture a picture for you because I was 1) beside myself in anger and 2) terrified that they were rabid and going to somehow get into my house.

I’ve read many articles…and contemplated paintballs, slingshots and other weapons of choice,…but the most repeated phrase was “if there’s nothing there for them to chew, they’ll leave”.  Apparently squirrels are like beavers, in that if they don’t chew, their teeth outgrow their head. Gross. 

At one point, I thought of giving it all up.  I wouldn’t go out on the balcony at all. That lasted all of 5 minutes when I remembered the summer the balconies were redone and I couldn’t go out there at all. I was miserable all summer.

Call it a change of strategy, or waving the white flag of defeat,  Saturday while my parents enjoyed wine tasting and driving by the lakeside, I got rid of everything a squirrel could chew.  I got rid of all but one planter and will only be planting some small flowers in pots.  The wooden patio set is gone and replaced with a metal and glass table. I swept all the small branches and pieces of cardboard (they chewed the box of bone meal…which is supposed to keep them away because it’s made of…well, ground up animal bones) away and reorganized my summer sanctuary.

I haven’t picked up the flowers yet, but I’m already thrilled with my reclaimed space.  Don’t worry, I take the cushions in when I’m not out there…I’m not taking any chances!

patio set

The rain has held up so far today, so if you need me…I’ll be on the patio!

Happy {holiday} Monday!


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