One of my close friends flew up to Sacramento today for a meeting. Afterwards, I drove her out to see Oak Creek Ranch. She wanted to see our new place and I needed her advice. Brett has been putting up shelves in the laundry room to give me more storage space. He painted the shelves a soft grey to match the sink vanity. I like the contrast of white sink and grey vanity but I wasn't sure of which color to use on the walls. Sandie is an artist and I love her use of color in both her paintings and her home. She advised painting the walls white and the existing cupboards grey. Brett rolled his eyes at the work involved with painting the cupboards too, but he liked the idea.
I took Sandie into my garden to show her the raised bed Brett built. Horrors! The bed was a mess; deep animal prints and plants half buried. Nothing was dead and nothing was eaten. It was odd. We speculated; not a deer since the lettuce hadn't been eaten and not the dogs or a fox because the garden is fenced. I leveled the dirt, unburied the lettuce and parsley, and we wandered out to see the animals.
In the front yard, two of the lavender plants were uprooted, laying on the grass with the root ball still intact and shaped like the pots they came from. They were withered but still alive and there were no nibble marks. The same deep prints were in the soft ground of the flower bed.
At the entrance to the barn, I found more chaos. One of the wine barrel planters was a mess of daffodil, tulip and freesia bulbs scattered on top of the soil. My neat, orderly (and attempted artistic) arrangement was history. Not only had the bulbs been dug up, they had been messed up. I was not pleased.
Meanwhile, our trainer was giving Vanessa a lesson in the dressage court. I walked over to say hello to her mom, Cindy. As Sandie, Cindy and I stood talking I mentioned the mystery marauder in my garden. Cindy smiled knowingly and said "raccoons." They are notorious for uprooting newly planted plants and tossing them carelessly aside.
And so my Sierra Nevada foothills gardening education continues.
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