See this? 

This sad clump of fernlike leaves is what's left of my yarrow (this is the last bed I have to mulch, and I haven't yet, so it looks even sadder). 

Last year, it looked like this: 

Well, the mulch is way better and there's actually flowers on it.

This year, I have an influx of adorable but insanely destructive baby critters that are decimating certain plants in my garden, yarrow among them. It's hard to be mad at these guys, but I am: 

Awww, baby bunny (responsible for lobelia murder)

Awww, twinsies fawns (responsible for eating SPIKY and POISONOUS plants because they don't know better)
Awww, begrudgingly cute baby groundhog (responsible for so much destruction, yarrow included, but they look like funny fat little otters running across the yard)

Grrrr. You can see that in the back, there is NO SHORTAGE OF GREEN THINGS TO EAT, but all these babies just love the gourmet stuff I've apparently put out just for them. 

However, the other day, while bringing weed refuse down to a pile we have at the bottom of our hill, I found THIS: 

Snuggled in the weeds, and so much poison ivy, was YARROW! Tons of it! I have two theories: 

1) When I deadheaded the old yarrow seed pods, I brought them down here with the refuse and they sprouted

2) Baby destructo rodents POOPED OUT yarrow seeds and BAM! new yarrow they don't eat in an unexpected place! 

It made my day. I was so upset about the loss of my carefully cultivated plants, chomped on by the abundant wildlife that, to be fair, was here first, that I totally missed this resurgence of pretty plants in a totally unexpected place. 

I was stuck on what I wanted things to look like that I ignored what works in this wild place, but the beauty erupted elsewhere, where it was more suited to thrive. Maybe even growing out of a pile of shit. 


There's that whole "bloom where you're planted" saying, but I also feel like you could upend it to "don't force things that don't work out, instead go with what blooms where it ends up." 

What's frustrating is that a lot of plants that are being devastated this year were fine last year, but that works too -- sometimes there are unexpected setbacks. Learn from them and adjust. 

I appreciate the wild flowers that crop up unexpectedly and don't get eaten: 

milkweed (asclepias incarnata)

wild bergamot or bee balm (monarda fistulosa)

Purple vetch (grossly known as hairy vetch or vicia villosa, an invasive weed when not naturally prettifying a meadow)

Butterfly weed, a type of milkweed (asclepia tuberosa) you can actually buy but grows naturally in our meadow hill

Black-eyed Susan (rudbeckia hirta) that the groundhogs chow down on in my garden but leave alone in the pretty meadow hill where they grow naturally

I won't get more of what was clearly a very expensive salad bar, and instead will focus on the plants that clearly do well, which is a shrinking list due to deer, rabbits, groundhogs, crappy soil, and walnut trees (they make the soil poisonous, yay). 

There is beauty though in all the things that thrive wildly here in this somewhat inhospitable plot of land. I will focus on that rather than mourning (too much) all my pretty plants lost.

Want to read more #Microblog Mondays? Go here and enjoy!


  1. I'm fascinated with all the critters you get in your garden. I know that's not the point of your post, but from NZ it all seems highly exotic, given that we have no native mammals or rodents (the only good rodent in NZ is a dead one, as they are all alien invaders and kill our native birds and trees).

    And yes, metaphorical beauty abounds, it seems. It's the best!

    1. Oh wow, you could give here for a mammal/rodent safari! Rabbits, groundhogs, raccoons, skunks, gray squirrels, red squirrels, deer, martens, opossums... SO MANY. Also coyotes, foxes, bobcat in winter, and the occasional marauding black bear. Only ever seen bear poop, though.

      So funny how different regions have such different wildlife!

  2. Clearly you have some amazing wildlife in your YARD! (We have to venture out to find some of those critters.)

    I love your twist on "bloom where you're planted."

    1. Thanks! Total wild planet out here. When we lived more suburban, we could use a Havahart trap and send the groundhogs to the wilderness (not a euphemism)... Now we ARE the wilderness.

  3. Aw, too bad about your herbs getting munched, but wonderful to find them growing elsewhere. Very symbolic!

    We used to have rabbits here, but there have been many bobcat sightings the past couple years and so they have been scarce. Maybe you need a bigger predator too, hehehe. It is nice to live in a place with wildlife though. I have lived in cities with no biodiversity and there is a poverty of spirit to them. It feels like living in a two dimensional world, and there is a sadness that doesn’t lift. We are lucky to still have critters in many parts of North America.

    Do share how your garden evolves through the summer! I will have to post about mine; I’m actually proud of it this year, which I have never been before.

  4. I would love to see your garden!
    We have coyotes and foxes, and fisher cats, and the occasional winter bobcat. And 8 billion large birds of prey... But no dice! Maybe it would be so much more crittery without those predators...
    "Poverty of spirit," so beautifully put.

  5. If it helps, I also have murderous rage towards small critters that thrive on eating my garden.

    And yes to the message of thriving where you land, even if it wasn’t as planned. Often the best things come from the breaking of well-laid plans. It doesn’t mean there isn’t pain, grieving, regret, or murderous rage (usually a mix of all), but opportunities present themselves all the time. Sometimes (often) we need to be reminded to be open to them.

    Thank you for this reminder, which I needed.

  6. We used to get rabbits in our back yard all the time. We were surrounded by neighbours with big dogs, so I suspect it was safe haven for them! Lots of squirrels (a few of whom took up residence in our attic, as you might recall...!!) and raccoons too.

    Here at the condo, there is a creek/ravine nearby... we haven't seen as many animals since they built the townhouses behind us, but while they were under construction, we saw (and heard!) a couple of coyotes wandering through. We've also seen foxes, rabbits and even a beaver meandering across the road, heading toward the creek!

    My dad has a running vendetta against the rabbits that feast on his vegetable garden. He has an air gun he uses to scare them off. They live near the edge of town & get deer wandering through there occasionally too.