Tuesday 10 March 2009

Let me out

We were all looking longingly out of the window yesterday.

Garden Boy kept pointing at the patio doors and when that produced no results he banged forcefully on the window to reinforce his desire to go outside. The pull outdoors must be even greater now I have moved our long suffering dracaena out of reach. The steady removal of soil and leaves has left the poor plant somewhat droopy. But I do feel for him because I too wanted to be outdoors preparing the garden for further plantings.

The thing is, a few weeks ago we spotted a couple of rats happily running around at the bottom of our garden. Now anyone who tells you that rats rarely show their faces in daylight are mistaken. The modern rat is perfectly happy to potter about the garden in broad daylight observing the antics of a mother and her two children. Whilst we did spend some time (behind the safety of the double glazing) observing them back; making themselves busy, gathering food and digging in our compost bin (where it turns out they have made their home) we did take immediate action and called out the local council Pest Control.

Confident that the problem would be sorted quickly I wasn't too worried initially but the happy couple have refused to take the bait and as time has passed we have noticed smaller versions pottering about outside. This growing family is obviously now in short supply of food; we have stopped delivering vegetable peelings to their door every evening and they now have more mouths to feed. And this has brought them closer to the house.

A sonic rat repeller now sits on our patio to deter them from coming even closer; I must be younger than my years suggest as I can clearly hear this high pitched noise which 'most people' should not be able to hear. It is a comfortingly irritating noise so should do its job but just incase similar indoor versions now reside in our house and garage, though I have taken to switching them off when we are in hearing vicinity. I figure if I can hear them, the little garden helpers with their younger ears, must get the buzzing loud and clear.

So we have had to resort to rat traps which we would have liked to avoid but with two children we have no choice but to take all measures to prevent a full blown infestation. So while we wait for these clever critters to feast on their peanut butter and treacle, we are locked in and progress in the garden has been halted.

Finding alternative entertainment for the Little Garden Helpers has been easy enough with trips to the local park and lots of baking (Garden Boy is just as happy throwing flour around the kitchen as soil in the garden and at least flour is edible). Luckily there is a comic relief bake sale at Garden Girl's playgroup which means my waist line won't suffer too much. So I am trying to look on the bright side and instead of gazing outside I will use the time to read up about the vegetables we intend to plant and fill you all in on how the garden has changed from its former overgrown state to its current incarnation as a vegetable plot.

The first installment of 'Our Garden: a history' will have to wait till another night though as the ironing basket sits taunting me just within eye shot.

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