Aquilegia canadensis

Wild columbine is one of my favorite flowers. Back when I was living with my sister and taking care of her garden I tried several times to plant it. Each time, the squirrels dug it up. More than destroying the flowers, it seemed that they liked taking advantage of the loosened soil and the depression in the ground once the plant was gone to use the space as a sort of dirt bath. Finally, I tried putting it in a pot to see if that discourage the digging. The squirrels sometimes hide nuts in the pot, but they haven’t destroyed the plant. Several years later and it’s doing quite well.

  1. Charity said:

    Absolutely beautiful. Thanks for the tip about the squirrels. They’re all around me, I would have never thought about putting the plant in a pot.

    • fojap said:

      Another plant the squirrels kept digging up was wild ginger, Asarum canadense. We wanted to replace the English Ivy in the garden with a native groundcover so pots wouldn’t do. In the case of the asarum, I think the squirrels might have actually been eating the roots. What I tried, and more or less worked, was to put some rocks too heavy for the squirrels in a circle around the roots of the plants. After a couple of years when the plants were established, we were able to move the rocks and, last I checked, most of the plants were still there. The asarum is a host plant for the Pipevine Swallowtail, which is one of the reasons I kept trying so hard. Still haven’t managed to get my hands on a pipevine, which is a pretty interesting plant.

      • Charity said:

        That’s fascinating, fojap. We have a large yard, almost an acre, with lots of trees. A couple of them are black walnut and the squirrels can’t get enough of them! I think between all of the grass and trees, there’s no reason for them to bother my flowers. We have azaleas, knockout roses and lilies in our landscaping by our house and the squirrels don’t touch them. However, I recently noticed a squirrel climbing the holly tree by our front door. I’m fortunate enough to see finches, mocking birds, cardinals and blue jays in our front and back yard. They also love all of our holly trees (all four of those are apart of our landscaping) for nesting and digging up our landscaping and grass for worms.

        I think it’s pretty amazing that you’re a city girl with a green thumb. I also wanted to tell you that I’m glad you’re back in NYC. You seem much more yourself there than what you were in Baltimore. I know you moved back a long time ago, I just keep forgetting to address it when I comment. It’s as though your most comfortable in NYC. I hope your newest apartment is working out much better than your previous one. I know you had some safety concerns at your former residence.

        Thanks for the beautiful pictures. Happy spring!

  2. I appreciate your issues with the squirrels. Here in West Virginia, we have to deal with the deer as our sworn enemies. Slowly we are finding deer-resistant flora, but we don’t have squirrel or rabbit issues. I’ve written some of my posts on gardening, in between scientific and political posts. We do have some issues with squirrels, but they are mainly related to our apple harvest, which we’ve not gotten to enjoy due to the ravenous hordes of squirrels who pluck every last one off while they are still very green.

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