|I saw a junco eating liatris seeds just this morning in this border along my kitchen window.|
My garden looked great last year.
It especially was great when you consider the amount of work it took to get it there. Sure, in the spring, I lopped any remaining dead tops of perennials to the ground, and raked out the beds, but I found the standing dead material had protected my garden during the most brutal winter in nearly everyone's memory.
There was also no denying that last year was a hard year in the garden for many. It was not without the benefit of seed heads left for birds and shelter for smaller animals. All the way up the food chain, more coyotes were seen closer to town. A friend spotted a wolf running through their yard just south of the village. Bear have been frequently spotted. There have been rumors of mountain lions.
A number of times during a couple days of near freezing temperatures without a wind, I have considered cutting back some of the taller plants. We have had less snow cover than I remember in many years and my mobility has improved. The urge to get out into the garden has been strong. Then, however, I will spot a cluster of birds working over my plants, scavenging for food. The impulse goes away.
I have to face it. I have a lot of critters in my garden.
We will all need to learn to get along.
Which critters will you allow to coexist? Like insects, which will be deemed beneficial and which will be seen as pests?
Are feral cats bad if they are hunting small mice and rabbits? What of the Cooper's hawk if it snags the occasional songbird? What of coyotes, if they hunt feral cats?
We can't have our cake and eat it, too.